The summer parties our clients host at Regent’s University vary wildly in their look and feel. Having helped organise scores of them over the years, we’ve come to realise that although on the surface they may have appeared very different, their successes were down to a handful of underlying factors. We’ve pulled together a round-up of the ways planners have created memorable summer parties to offer inspiration and guidance to anyone embarking on planning an event this summer.
A strong theme not only ties together all the various elements of your event, but it also helps with all decision making and creates a talking point for your guests. Tried and tested themes like tropical island, retro fairground and English country garden are used time and again because they work. If you wanted to go a little more risqué, look along the lines of Day of the Dead, a mini-music-festival, British seaside or Midsummer’s Night candlelit dinner…
TOP TIP: As every creative decision you subsequently make hinges on your choice of theme, it’s imperative it has legs. Explore what each of your shortlisted ideas will mean for your menus, decorations, music and entertainment before you commit.
It’s not just the food you serve, it’s the way you serve it. Add a little drama and excitement to proceedings by using cuisine-themed food stations or stalls at your party. As well as the main dishes, at Regent’s we also have a Pick ‘n’ Mix sweet stand and an ice cream trike at our summer events. Barbecues always draw a crowd as do our huge dishes of paella – ‘live’ cooking can become part of the entertainment as well as the catering if it’s done well.
This is an area in which you can get really creative without blowing the budget. An innovative cocktail menu is as much about style as it is substance, so be very visual with your creations.
As well as serving colourful, show-stopping drinks consider hiring a mixologist to enhance your guests’ experience.
Entertainment and games
A beautiful setting and fabulous catering is the foundation of a brilliant summer party, but if you want to make your event truly memorable, it’s the entertainment and games that can set it apart from the rest. If you’re hosting in a large outdoor space, make the most of it. Live music, fire jugglers, treasure hunts, soft ball, falconry… think big and try to keep any decisions under wraps as you should never underestimate the element of surprise.
Creating atmosphere at any event comes from a variety of factors, one of the most important being lighting. Illuminating your space as dusk descends should be one of the most exciting points of the party and will inject the event with a whole other identity. Fire pits, fairy lights, candles, torches, Chinese lanterns… there’s a vast array of different ways to light up an outdoor, evening event and it’s worth investing time and money in your choices.
A keepsake from a special day is a great way to help your event stay fresh in the minds of your guests. As such, try to give away something that will last longer than the journey home (cupcakes and branded biscuits are always a hit, but don’t have the longevity required). Sunflower seeds and a little pot to plant them in, cosmetics, socks, even a key ring or pen will be a recurrent reminder of a lovely day.
The Events Team at Regent’s University London has organised dozens of summer parties and loves nothing more than helping clients with the creative aspects of their events. Give us a call on 7487 7450 to discuss your ideas.