In today’s post, we will disprove a common misconception about event planning, namely the fact that theme parties don’t belong in corporate events, but should be kept exclusively for private functions. This could not be farther from the truth: most corporate event planners will tell you that theme parties make spectacular corporate events. Having a specific theme strengthens the event’s structure and helps guide the planner’s choices in matters of decor, set-up and even catering. Besides, theme parties are a great tool to highlight a company’s personality, while crafting a richer, more engaging experience for the attendees and customers.
Theme parties: where we started
We have planned plenty of themed parties over the years and we always start by picking the perfect theme, which does not need to be particularly complex. Even a colour can work perfectly as a theme around which to build an event. Such was the case with the launch party for Michael Kors’ new fragrances, which we organised in Milan. When launching a new product or line, the theme for the actual event is pretty much self-evident. In this case, we focused on the colour pink, which dominates the packaging of the new collection.
You don’t need decor, when you have this…
After picking the event’s theme, we needed to find the perfect venue. We picked one of our latest favourites among Milan venues, a unique space that means a lot to us. It is a magnificent terrace on the penthouse of a skyscraper, with the best view in the whole city. Milan’s skyline can be truly breath-taking when observed from a vantage point like this. Moreover, since our event took place in the summer, we were able to plan most of the activities on the actual terrace, outdoors, and to time the event perfectly, so that our guests would be able to enjoy the most amazing sunset Milan has to offer. The sky turned slowly pink, matching our party theme to perfection. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why choosing the right venue is just about the most important thing you can do as an event planner.
Showing our true colours
Theme parties that build around a single colour need more than decor to be truly impressive. Of course, we know that colours impact our mood, that they trigger our emotions on both a conscious and an unconscious level. Pink – particularly the kind of bright pink that was chosen for the launch of the new Michale Kors fragrances – is a summery colour that inspires cheeriness, excitement, and happiness. This is particularly true in a tropical setting, which we created through a few, carefully chosen decorative elements. Now, if you think of the two concepts of “pink” and “tropical” at the same time, chances are the image of a cocktail will pop into your mind, usually something fresh, fruity and sweet. Therefore, by suggesting a whole atmosphere with a few brushstrokes (the decor, the pink theme, and some careful lighting), we created for our guests the experience of lounging on a tropical beach… on a skyscraper in Milan.
For this event, we were also in charge of the catering. One of the best things about theme parties is that one is allowed to be much more creative than usual when it comes to food and drink. Naturally, because this was not the kind of event where people expect to sit down and be served dinner, we focused on finger food, which was carried around on trays and offered to the guests. Tiny, bite-sized delicacies, to be consumed while standing and chatting, lounging on the elegant sofas on the terrace or even dancing to the cool beats of our amazing Dj. Our favourite course of this unusual, pink-themed catering, were the bright-pink fruit cupcakes. We also arranged for a selection of pink long-drinks to be served, and for plenty of fresh fruit to be on offer both as a decorative element and as part of the catering.
Theme parties are as much fun for the planners as they are for the guests. Like in a game, the most important thing is to lay down the rules at the beginning and then have fun finding creative ways of applying them. The whole experience is a fun and exciting journey.