6 elements of a successful Summer party
Why do some Summer parties sparkle and shine while others just fizzle out and flop?
We asked author and global events specialist, Tahira Endean, to lay out her steps for a successful summer party. “You want it to sparkle and shine? It’s all about meticulous preparation and planning and the right combination of these 6 ingredients”, she told us, “Location, Activities, Catering, Venue Spaces, Entertainment and, finally, a copious pouring of Secret Sauce”.
Choose your party location with two things in mind, Tahira told us. Is it easy to get to and from? Summer parties often start directly after work so think about traffic and parking.
It might make sense to organise group transport directly from your workplace so think about drop off points for large coaches. When it comes to the end of the night will taxis be readily available? Is there a local hotel in case revellers opt to make a night of it?
At Croke Park we have parking for 600 cars, large bays for coach drop offs and direct access to our very own 4-star hotel! Our proximity to the city centre also means taxis are never more than 5 minutes away.
All boxes checked there!
“Great parties always have great participative activities that facilitate networking and bring colleagues together” Tahira explained.
With the long daylight hours of a typical Irish Summer there are endless possibilities for activities, games and immersive experiences.
“Start your party with activities and make sure you have a wide range available that appeal broadly to both male and female. If you’re putting folks in teams then try to make sure the activities are generic, i.e., not ones that require specific skills. Team activities are great as an ice breaker and really do get your party off to a great start!”
At Croke Park we partner with a range of specialist activity suppliers like Orangeworks who provided an amazing range of experiences at our recent Summer party including wall climbing, axe throwing, ziplining and laser shooting! The Orangeworks team surveyed the Davin outdoor space and recommended the perfect range of activities to suit both the occasion and the space.
Food and drink are front and centre at any party so the same goes for your Summer party. Be sure to seek out opportunities to surprise and delight your guests.
“Most summer events involve outdoor grilling and that’s how it should be. However, you still have ample opportunity to break the mould by offering an unusual take on the classic barbecue. Be inspired by what you find at festivals – street food, poke bowls, a lot more beans and legumes, extensive vegan options. But also be aware that we all crave comfort food and there’s nothing more comforting than the familiarity of a great flame grilled burger
” said Tahira.
At Croke Park we’ve developed an enviable reputation for innovation in food presentations and service. At our award winning “Event of the Future” we even served barbecued grasshopper!
Why not challenge our Executive Chef Ruairi Boyce
to come up with something totally different? You’ll be blown away!
4. Venue Spaces
“Depending on your numbers, you’ll need one or more event spaces
,” says Tahira. “Select a venue with versatility and flexibility and back-up cover in the event of a sudden change in weather!
In larger venues, try to create designated “zones” that foster different elements of the overall event experience – a catering zone, a party zone, a comfortable zone with great seating options for conversation, a quiet zone for relaxation etc. This dynamic dimension to the event makes it particularly satisfying and contributes enormously to its success.
At Croke Park we’re spoilt for choice! We can literally cater for thousands on Level 5 using the Hogan Suite and foyer with uninterrupted views over the field of dreams. We can also offer wonderful outdoor parties down on level 3 in an edgy urban setting and our latest party was held in the Davin park space with evening BBQ in the stunning new Hawthorn restaurant with heated outdoor terrace and bar at The Croke Park hotel
Tahira shared “Entertainment at summer parties is all about timing. It’s all about matching the mood of the moment and dialling it up at just the right time. If folks are coming directly from work then you need something that signals the start of festivities, fosters conversations and stays in the background. As the evening unfolds and folks settle, the entertainment becomes more prominent. In my own experience there’s nothing better than a live band to bring the event to a riveting climax
The Dublin Gospel Choir. Strolling magicians. Tarot card readers. Henna tattoo artists. Street performers. Fire eaters. Riverdancers. Hip Hop artists. DJanes. Live sax DJs. Seo Linn. The Camembert Quartet. The Joshua Trio. Not to mention The Boss
, Taylor Swift
, The Rolling Stones
and most recently Westlife! We’ve had them all at Croke Park.
A great MC also brings everything (and everyone!) together throughout the party and Dáithí Ó Sé did just that as event MC at our recent event.
6. The Secret Sauce
And what about that pouring of Secret Sauce?
”, says Tahira, “that’d be sunshine! If the sun shines that’s the icing on the cake, the sweet sauce that nobody can get enough of. But, if not and you’ve followed the other 5 steps faithfully, your event will shine with or without that ball in the blue sky!
Tahira Endean is Head of Events at SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence
. She is also author of a seminal work on event design Intentional Event Design Our Professional Opportunity.
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