Organizing a party in a five-star hotel can be an involved process. You'll have to pick a theme for your event, screen venues and reserve one, consider menu options, create attractive invitations and consult with event planners. Nevertheless, it's worth the effort if you want to have an enjoyable evening in elegance or network with business contacts. Indeed, a successful event could burnish your reputation as someone who knows how to have a good time in style.
Set the theme of the party. The theme will influence the steps necessary to organize it. If it's a holiday-themed party, for example, this will tie you to a certain season and it's likely that there will be a lot of competition for venues, so start organizing the party as early as possible. At the latest -- for any party -- begin organizing at least three to four months in advance. For some venues, it might require a longer lead time since rooms could be booked several months ahead. Since this will take place at a five-star hotel, avoid themes that might be considered lowbrow (like a square dance), as well as themes that might lead to excessive noise (like any with loud dance music).
Make a guest list. Guests should be people whom you know will enjoy and appreciate the theme of your party. For example, if you're organizing a masquerade ball, avoid inviting people who dislike costumes and dressing up. If you are organizing a party for a charity, be sure to invite past donors. The guest list will help determine how large the venue should be.
Create a budget. If possible, check the budgets of similar events to estimate costs. Make a balance sheet detailing expenses for all functional areas of your event, such as staff time, marketing expenses, food and beverage, taxes and gratuities, and service charges. Include a contingency fund to take care of last-minute expenses. Don't forget the cost of general liability insurance.
Make a list of at least three five-star hotels and rank them in order of preference. If you have a long guest list, consider your preferred hotels' accessibility and whether they have adequate parking available. Contact your most preferred hotel first and see if the venue is available for the date you have chosen; if it's not, contact the next preferred hotel on your list. Visit the hotels that remain on your list to determine suitability. Consult with an event planner there to discuss costs and other details to help you decide where to hold the party before signing a contract.
Start work on the party. Once you have signed the venue contract, meet again with the planning staff to get their assistance in incorporating the theme into the event, including the food and room decor. Remember that the event planners are working for you; never hesitate to voice your opinion about their suggestions, especially if it differs from theirs.
Create and mail invitations to all of your guests. Since this event will be in a five-star hotel, the invitations should exude the same elegance as the venue itself. Specify that attire should be formal for both men and women, or black-tie if you prefer. Mail them at least six weeks before the date of the party. Be sure to include a response card. If this is not a hosted party, such as a fundraiser, be sure to clearly state the cost to attend on the invitation or on a card inserted inside the invitation. Add information as to how to pay.
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