Turning an ordinary space into an idyllic and exciting spot for a wedding, launch event or private party is what the expert team at Stones Events pride themselves on. The luxury Leicestershire catering company is the perfect partner for anyone planning an exclusive, high-end event. With a client list that includes the likes of Ferrari, L’Oreal, Joules and Siemens, Tom Goodwin, managing director at Stones Events, is used to temporarily transforming a space into an amazing location for an event, and here he explains the points to consider when giving any venue the wow factor.
One of the key decisions you will make when planning any celebration, be it a wedding, awards ceremony, charity ball or launch party, is the venue and location. This decision can make or break your event. The setting is the first glimpse for your guests of what they can expect from the stunning interior you are creating, building excitement and enticing them to find out more.
Here at Stones Events we have worked at an array of fantastic venues, set against a backdrop of stunning locations, and the key thing they have in common is that they have been carefully chosen as the perfect spot for the event and interior space in mind.
This includes an exhibition we did for Watches of Switzerland and Mappin and Webb at their Basel and Geneva event, held at The Diary Art Galley. Choosing this hidden gem as a location, gave VIP guests the opportunity to preview the latest timepieces in a luxurious yet relaxed setting – creating a perfect interior space for this high-end product. We have also worked with many brides and grooms to help them develop their dream weddings. Each couple is looking for something unique for their big day, from the breathtaking beauty of the historic interior at Belvoir Castle to the exclusivity of a luxury, private estate; these venue choices have been picked as the ideal spot for the event.
Consider the occasion you have in mind. Have you always dreamed of the fairytale wedding inside a castle or an ultra modern and glamorous launch party? Knowing what you require is a great place to start and then you can see if your budget will stretch to meet those expectations. Hiring out a grand stately home for a corporate event may look very impressive but you may need to rein in your ideas to meet the budget you have.
Visit your chosen venue and consider the size of the room or rooms you are looking at. Can the venue accommodate the number of guests you are inviting and if you are planning on launching a large product, will the space available be suitable for this? We recently worked on 11 launch events for the Ferrari 458 Speciale and of course, room was needed to showcase these spectacular cars!
Other things to add to your checklist when making a decision on a venue is the exterior view from the rooms you will be using. Can guests take their drinks and canapés outside at a summer event to a courtyard or garden area? Is there a good location for photos? If you are planning an event in winter, the interior space needs to be just as impressive as the exterior or you will need to consider increasing your budget to temporarily transform the space.
Any room can be dramatically converted but think about how much you want to spend. Creating a winter wonderland in the middle of a conference room with a paisley red carpet can be difficult unless you are prepared to cover the flooring – so your theme can dictate your venue choice. If your room has low ceilings this will effect the kind of lighting you can use and may also limit the production and if you pick a listed building, you will need to check what you can and can not do, as there may be restrictions.
Your venue also needs to be accessible for guests. Consider if they need room to park, how easy it is to find and if there is accommodation on site or near by for those wanting to stay overnight? Take a good look at the entrance to your chosen venue. Is it an amazing sweeping drive to a house in the country or a modern minimalist looking reception? As long as it fits with your theme, it will give guests the right feeling from the word go and can really help to build excitement for what’s going on inside. For corporate events, ensure there is space in the foyer to welcome your guests, direct them to the right place and even take their coats.
Once you have decided on a venue with the interior you require, you need to consider how to transform the space you have into something that will give your guests the wow factor when they arrive. The most dramatic way to change even the most simple of spaces is to drape the walls. This immediately transforms the room and by adding twinkling lights to the drapes you will give the atmosphere a magical feel. Another trend we have seen recently is creating rooms within rooms. This means guests can dine in one room and then once dinner is finished a curtain will drop to show a ‘reveal room’ where the entertainment will take place.
Another popular space to create for your guests is a chill out room, complete with comfy low seating and laid back music, giving people a chance to take a break from the main party. We recently transformed an area for an Ibiza themed 21st Birthday party and completed the laid back theme with Mediterranean white washed furniture and subdued coloured lighting, giving guests the chance to enjoy a unique transformation twist.
Enthralling entertainment is also a vital part to add excitement to any event and the size of the room you are using will dictate how extravagant you can be. Is there room for a stage where a band can perform or would it work better to have singing waiters or a magician interacting with your guests? You could also tie in the entertainment with your chosen theme, think a circus with fire-eaters and acrobats or for a car launch, set up a mini racing track for guests to try their hand at. If you have space outside, add some outdoor fete activities like a coconut shy, lucky dip, archery or boat rides. Your location and budget will determine how adventurous you can be.
The final, vital detail to consider is ensuring the food you are offering guests is as impressive as the surroundings. What makes our service so special is that every detail is considered, this even includes co-ordinating your menu to compliment the venue. Examples of this could include a medieval banquet at a historic venue, a gaming supper in a stately home or afternoon tea in an orangery. These finishing touches help to create the overall harmony of the event for your guests.
When it comes to temporarily transforming any interior, the sky is the limit as long as you have the budget and the lead-time to organise everything. Here at Stones Events we have been asked for many unusual things from sourcing 400 army mess tins for guests to eat from, to revamping a space to serve high tea to hundreds of guests at the opera. As long as you consider the space you have, you can dream big.