August 9, 2019

Party Planning: Our Best Kept Secrets Revealed!

If there’s one thing we love to do, it’s to celebrate—and nothing says celebration quite like throwing a big (or little) bash!

After 35 years of party-planning and hosting, we know no grand event is complete without with the clinking of glasses and classic cheers among friends, family and colleagues. From quaint dinner parties and anniversaries to the must-attend gala-of-the-year, we work with clients to bring the elements that make our guests want to get it #forthegram.

From our table to yours, we’re spilling our best tips to help you celebrate any occasion. Invite your friends for a seasonal soirée or a book club in the comfort of your own home and toast the night away.

Start with your guest list.

The elusive guest list is an important consideration to help you decide the budget, size and theme of your celebration. Decide whether you want to host five of or your closet friends or 5,000 community builders.

  1. Eventbrite and WeddingWire are user-friendly platforms that help manage event ticketing and track RSVPs online.
  2. Start planning your seating arrangements once you have your guest list finalized. Don’t worry about your guests knowing each other. We’ve seen the beginnings of friendships and business partnerships happen when guests break bread together at a great event (but make sure there’s some overlap between circles of friends and your guests can bring a plus one—and don’t forget name cards).
  3. Consider how you can promote and maximize ticket sales by telling your event’s story or by partnering with industry influencers for ticketed events.

Set the bar high.

A well-stocked bar means happy guests, even if your event doesn’t feature an open bar. When it comes to beverages, there are plenty of options to satisfy everyone’s palette. Consider asking your guests to bring their favourite bottle of bubbly for a low-key night in at home or showcase a comprehensive tasting bar to showcase partnerships or expertise.

Here are a few of our favourite vino tips:

  1. Build a great wine list. Organize your wine list by region, grape, body or pairings. You can even match your wine list to your event’s theme.
  2. Select a range of price points. Highlight quality and affordability. Aim to have the majority of your beverage selection fall in the mid-range price point. This way, you can incorporate several varieties.
  3. Use the correct glass for the wine you serve. Shape and style impact aeration, aroma and how your taste buds experience flavours. One type of wine glass will be better for maintaining a cool temperature while the other is better at collecting aromas.
  • Typically, white white is served in smaller bowled glasses. Smaller glasses preserve floral aromas, maintain cooler temperatures and express
  • Your choice of a red wine glass mitigates the bitterness or spice of the flavor for a smoother tasting wine.
  • A large Bordeaux glass is shaped best for bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux Blends.

You are what you eat…and serve.

Every host wants a menu their guests can’t stop raving about and every guest wants to discover the next foodie sensation ahead of the curve. At the Edmonton Convention Centre, food is our passion and, we know the real enjoyment in eating is the dining experience itself. When it comes to food, we eat with our eyes first and savour the experience. Our team of chefs, lead by Executive Chef Serge Belair and Executive Pastry Chef Jason Wang, continuously innovate creative new ways to impress guests through a locally-sourced fine dining experience. For one event, our servers poured soup from tea pots into a garnished plate while our guests watched amazed in their seats. We’ve even designed Edmonton’s skyline on an entirely edible chocolate dessert.

You don’t need 11 Red Seal chefs to serve a great meal. Whether you want to re-invent the wheel or perfect simplicity, we’ve shared our chefs’ tips:

  1. BYOC – Ask your guests to Bring Your Own Charcuterie and read our comprehensive charcuterie guide. Break the rules and play with your food!
  2. Choose your menu as the focal point of your event. Throw a themed party based on the international cuisine of a country or a prepare your food to complement a colour palette (we once planned a monochromatic menu with each course featuring a different colour).
  3. One of the biggest menu trends is to get your guests involved with an interactive food station. From our doughnut wall to DIY Caesar bar, we love incorporating new ways for guests to experience food.

Whether you are throwing a backyard bash, hosting an intimate chef’s table experience or planning your wedding day, we hope your next event is everything you imagined and more!

For more information on hosting your next event at the Edmonton Convention Centre, please contact us to speak with our team experts.

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