Grammy event by Along Came Mary
What is style? It’s a concept that any
forward-thinking meeting or event planner strives for, yet one that
everyone seems to define differently. Some think it means
presenting cutting-edge products to excite even the
been-there-done-that crowd. Others view style as an experience that
sweeps guests off their feet with service. Still others consider it
to be finding new ways to invigorate the sometimes worn patterns of
meetings and events. Style is all of those things and none of them.
It’s the experience of surprising beauty, the melding of boundless
creativity with everyday elements to craft a sensation at once
astonishing and profound.
Understand, then, the difficulty the style-makers featured
herein found when trying to define the term. Instead, they touched
upon bits of style, glimmers of things that, when executed
properly, can provide some small nirvanic elevation for attendees.
Here are their suggestions details that can work to create the hush
of awe and the murmur of contentment.
Know your audience
“The most important thing is to know your client and your
audience. What you find stylish might not be what they find
stylish,” says Jono, the one-name mastermind behind Jono
Productions (212-675-6839; www.jonoproductions.com), with offices in New
York City and Sydney, Australia. Jono, who has put on events for
the likes of fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi and rapper Kanye West,
offers a few suggestions that work for almost any event.
Invite perfection. “The invitation is your
first impression,” notes Jono. To lure attendees, pour your
creativity into it. One good way of convincing people to come: Hire
a calligrapher to handwrite the invitations.
Send half a gift. Put one part of a present in
the invitation, and promise the other half in attendees’ gift bags.
One stunning earring works well, or one cuff link. These items are
lightweight for mailing, have high perceived value, are not
necessarily expensive, and are not handed, meaning no-shows will
not ruin a pair.
Pack the goodie bag. “People actually rate the
success of the event based on what they go home with,” says Jono.
the gift bag a theme to achieve greater impact.
Hire beautiful waitstaff. It’s perhaps a sad
truth, but some people will find events to be considerably more
stylish if young, incredibly beautiful men and women are serving
food and drinks. Find a company such as New York City’s The Party
Crew (212-247-3331; www.tandlevents.com), which casts its waitstaff as one
might cast a movie. New York City-based Shiraz (201-255-7001; www.shiraznyc.com) is another outfit that staffs
events with model-caliber hotties.
Spa up the bathrooms. Slip into the venue’s
rest rooms, switch the soap with something scented and luxurious,
dim the lights and place votives everywhere. A typical bathroom is
Deliver the unexpected
Much of the magic of the Walt Disney brand comes from the
element of surprise. Little treats at unexpected times can make as
big an impact as extravagance when anticipation is high. Both are
necessary for an event that mystifies and delights. Here is what
behind-the-scenes staff at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort &
Spa in Lake Buena Vista suggest for amazing events.
Cast the room in blue. If it’s possible,
replace all standard lightbulbs with blue tinted ones to create a
more seductive mood.
Serve food on furniture. Disney Resorts
smartens up the typical coffee setup by bringing in an armoire and
putting the coffee service inside. Use a dish filled with coffee
beans to catch the coffee drips and a dish of tea sachets to catch
the hot water. Place the napkins and other coffee accouterments
inside the drawers.
Get creative with aromatherapy. The right
aroma can be a potent element in a stylish event. Disney Resorts
suggests choosing a fragrance that matches the food; for example,
for one recent event, the Disney team used citrus aromas in the air
and also infused every item on the menu with citrus.
To Mary Micucci, owner of L.A.-based Along Came Mary
Productions (323-931-9082; www.alongcamemary.com), style is in the
details. She considers all the elements of an event and ensures
that each is extraordinary on its own and even better as part of a
unified experience. Here are just a few of her ideas employed at
myriad movie premieres and big-name company parties.
De-light the hall. If lights can’t be dimmed,
replace bulbs with those of a lower wattage 25 to 40 watts are
optimal. Or, if the venue is intimate and fire-safe turn off all
the electrical illumination and light the space with candles.
Gift early. Try sprucing up the place settings
with scented candles, a small potted flower or a two-piece box of