There’s a reason why cocktail parties are a go-to option for all kinds of occasions – they’re celebratory and social in nature! Hosting a cocktail party for your next corporate event is a great way to switch it up from the usual mingling at the water cooler. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered…
Cocktail Party Ideas
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Cocktail Party: A Round for Everyone!
Ah, the cocktail party. A time to mix and mingle with succulent hors d’oeuvres and delicious drink concoctions. A cocktail party may not have an extravagant meal; however, it does require a lot of careful planning. Usually the party is set around a theme. So it’s your job as the party planner to provide food, drinks, and decor that focus on that theme. Also, you must relay that theme to your guests especially if it requires them to wear something specific. Here are some tips from GigSalad for hosting the perfect cocktail party.
Choose a Theme
First and foremost, you must determine the theme of your event. You can go with something as simple as a color or two, like a black and white event, or something as extravagant as a bollywood event. The rest of your event will revolve around this from the invitations and decor to the entertainment and beverages. For example, if you are hosting a pink event, your invitations can have the shape and background of a Cosmopolitan. The invitations should also let your guests know if they need to wear something specific. Sticking with our pink event, your guests will need to wear something pink.
Next up is your decor. You will need to decide whether or not to hold your event indoors or outdoors. If it is a nice time of year, consider hosting the party outside under a tent. Whether indoors or out, most cocktail parties only have seating for about 10-15 percent of the guests; this encourages the guests to mingle with one another. When it comes to decorating the event space, be aware of the fact that people will be milling around. Focus on decor that is hanging or can rise to the level of the guests, like a tall floral arrangement.
It’s Happy Hour All Night Long!
Two of the most important aspects of a cocktail party are the food and, of course, the beverages. It isn’t called a cocktail party for nothing; therefore, it is essential to hire a bartender. When it comes to setting up the bar, you have a few options: a full bar, which has a little bit of everything; a limited bar, which just has a few choices of liquors like vodka and bourbon only; and a signature/themed cocktail bar, which will feature a select number of drink options. The most expensive option is the full bar, because you may purchase some liquor that doesn’t get used. The most creative option is the signature or themed bar. This bar allows you to choose a few drinks that goes along with your theme. Going back to the example of pink themed event, you could offer Cosmopolitans, Cape Cods, and Tequila Roses. If you’re having an outdoor, summertime event, stock the bar with margaritas, mai tais, and other fruity concoctions. You get the drift. This option prevents you from purchasing liquor you don’t need and it sticks with your theme. No matter what bar set up you choose, be sure to also stock it with essentials like non-alcoholic beverages, beer, and wine for those who do not like the drinks you choose.
A cocktail party is rarely a sit-down dinner. The most common food served at a cocktail party is hors d’oeuvres. Some may be simple enough to make yourself, as long as your guest list isn’t too long; however, for a larger party or more complicated hors d’oeuvres be sure to hire a caterer to create everything for you. That way you can enjoy your party without worrying about checking on the food situation. Regardless, you will need to hire a waitstaff to butler the food. Traditionally, the food is served by servers strolling the room with trays of food. If you want to go a little less formal, you can have the food set up buffet style.
Choose Entertainment to Fit Your Party
Lastly, you will need to make sure your guests are entertained. For entertainment that you don’t want to be the center of attention, hire some nice background music. This could include a harpist, pianist, or string ensemble, among other musicians. You can also hire entertainment that goes with the theme. For a bollywood party, hire a belly dancer to entertain your guests. If you’re party is themed around the 40’s or 50’s hire a crooner, Frank Sinatra impersonator, etc. It helps set the tone for the event. For something more interactive that requires the audience’s attention, hire a comedian or magician to perform for a certain time during the party. Someone like a magician can even stroll around the event after his set and continue to perform.
A cocktail party is a fun event to host. It allows you and your friends or associates to mix, mingle, and have a good time. If you’d rather be able to sit back and enjoy your event, hire an event planner to do all the hard work for you. You can let the planner know your theme and how you want to the event to go; you can then sit back and let the planner do what they do best! As always, you can find any entertainment or service for your cocktail party on GigSalad. Cheers!