A gala event can be a magical evening filled with celebration and (sometimes too much) champagne. They can range from intimate gatherings to hundreds or thousands of guests. Gala events often have a dress code or theme plus a sit-down meal. The event may even include guest speakers, performers, auctions or raffles. But how do you even begin to plan all of this? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Keep reading for our foolproof guide to planning the perfect gala event.
Planning a gala event
When you begin planning your gala event it can seem overwhelming. There are lots of things to consider. It’s best to approach it methodically, this can help you to stay on track. Follow our guide below:
Outline your ideas
What is the purpose of your event? What are you trying to achieve? These are two important questions to ask yourself. Having a clear goal in mind prevents you from sliding off course. You might find it useful to write down your ideas in a brainstorm or list. Let’s pretend that you’re planning a charity gala dinner. The purpose of your event is to raise awareness and funds. If you keep that goal in mind with every decision you make, you’ll be a lot more likely to achieve it.
Know your theme
The next thing to consider is the theme. Are you keeping it simple and classy or going all out extravagant? Your theme determines the dress code. If you decide to keep it simple you might have a black-tie dress code. An extravagant theme may call for a costume such as a masquerade or the 1920’s. Whatever you decide, make it clear on the invitation, so your guests know what they’re in for.
Find the perfect venue
A venue can either make or break an event. There are lots of considerations when choosing a venue:
- Size: you need to consider how many guests are attending. This determines the size of the venue you require.
- Location: you may decide to hold your event in a city bar or perhaps a country vineyard depending on your theme.
- Transport: you may need to organise transport for your guests depending on the location.
- Parking: this is especially important if you throw the event in a busy city location. You need to ensure that there are adequate parking options.
- Facilities: consider the facilities you need such as a stage, plenty of bathrooms or a sound system.
- Accommodation: if you have guests that are travelling to your event you may need to choose a venue that has accommodation options nearby.
- Catering: do you require a kitchen at your venue or are you ringing in outside catering? Remember to check the cooking facilities of your venue before booking it.
- Equipment: you may require tables and chairs, remember to check with the venue to see what they offer.
Determine your crowd
Who are you inviting to the event? Is it a mixture of people from different industries? How many people are on the guest list? Do you need to create a seating plan? It’s important to consider these questions carefully. The way the crowd mingles can affect the vibe of the event. When making a seating plan, you should aim to put a mixture of both friends, colleagues and/or strangers. This ensures no one feels uncomfortable but also gives people an opportunity to make new connections.
Surprise and delight your guests
Finally, you should plan one element of surprise or fun for the event. This could be a guest speaker or surprise performer. Make sure it ties in with the overall theme. You may choose a comedian, circus performer or a cabaret act. People love to have a laugh and let their hair down, it’s a great way to break the ice. Make sure you also hire a fabulous band or DJ. After a few drinks, your guests are sure to get up and dance.
Celebrate with us
Whether you’re planning an intimate work gala dinner or an elaborate charity event, Navarra Venues has you covered. We have a range of venues all over Sydney, each with a unique look. From quirky inner-city bars to beautiful country properties. We offer a range of inclusions and features in every venue. If you’d like to know more then give us a call. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have and book you in for a tour.