Hosting a corporate event presents a huge opportunity to increase brand awareness, make sales, create engagement and improve relationships, and get a positive ROI for your money spent. It’s imperative that you create a unique experience for your guests, so you are not wasting your money on another boring corporate party!

Some of the world’s most successful brands do an amazing job of creating unique experiences for their guests; so we’ve put together a list of our top 12 to give you inspiration for your next corporate or branding event.

1. Adobe MAX Corporate Event

The annual Adobe MAX conference is a celebration of creativity and so is a great example to kick off our list. Last year’s event featured a 3D selfie creator booth, a station for designing mobile apps, and even a giant Lite Brite. This giant board game was based on the original by Hasbro and offered visitors baskets of coloured pegs with which to write messages or create pictures on an illuminated wall.

Key takeaway: cutting-edge technology can be used to both impress and entertain.

2. Virgin Media’s Halloween Party

Virgin Media are well known for being a fun and innovative company and Halloween is a great excuse for a party; two factors that made this 2011 corporate party a huge success. The company hosted a “Trick or Cheat with TiVo” quiz, along with bartenders in convincing spooky costumes and Halloween-themed snacks. This quiz, hosted by Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, was performed using the Virgin Media TiVo interface, and managed to weave in selling points of the system alongside horror trivia.

Key takeaway: corporate parties don’t have to be dull – have fun and don’t take yourselves too seriously.

3. LinkedIn’s Ice Cave Conference

When LinkedIn hosted Talent Connect – the three-day conference for recruiters and talent professionals – in 2013, they created a cave out of real ice for relaxing and networking, complete with yetis and arctic explorers.

Key takeaway: have a fresh think about your corporate event venue and what you can do to make it a talking point and memorable for attendees.

4. Google’s Carnival Corporate Party

Google City Experts are volunteers from all over the world who contribute their time, free of charge, to improve information about local businesses and locations listed on Google. To thank these people for their time, Google hosted a carnival-themed appreciation event complete with fun games and food. Guests let loose playing traditional games such as ring toss, hook-a-duck, and coconut shy, and got to live out their childhood dreams by helping themselves to a selection of candy displayed on a giant cake.

Key takeaway: a corporate party isn’t all about your business and brand– it’s also to show thanks and appreciation to the people who work for you.

5. Fox Upfront’s Corporate Party Balloons

At the after-party for Fox Upfronts presentation and media event, they decorated a path in Central Park with giant illuminated balloons with the names of some of their best-known shows, providing a unique and memorable alternative to traditional signage. Guests walked along the path on their way to the after-party at the Wollman Skating Rink. The balloons not only acted as guideposts for attendees of the party, but were also seen by thousands of people and successfully generated some hype for new shows as well as reminding the crowd about their old favourites.

Key takeaway: use styling and decoration as a way to show off your brand.

6. Samsung’s Interactive Art Installation

At the annual music and media festival SXSW, Samsung hosted an interactive “Dream Tweet” art installation in which tweets with a particular hashtag were projected onto the wall to form a constantly evolving piece of art.

Key takeaway: create a hashtag for your corporate party or event and make the most out of social media.

7. Always Digital Graffiti Wall

The Always #LIKEAGIRL campaign aims to turn the meaning of the phrase “like a girl” on its head and show girls they can do anything. At their Unstoppable Confidence summit, attendees had the opportunity to write inspirational messages, which were projected onto a wall.

Key takeaway: adopting a social cause as the theme for your corporate event can be powerful and memorable.

8. Food Network’s Edible Chandeliers

For the 20th birthday party of the Food Network, various installations made of food were part of the décor. These included a macaron chandelier and an ice oyster bar.

Key takeaway: think creatively and out of the box when it comes to styling your corporate party.

9. Fox’s Outdoor Cinema

To promote their new documentary series, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”, Fox set up an outdoor cinema in a car park complete with thousands of overhead LED lights to make attendees feel like they were in the middle of space surrounded by stars. The first episode was premiered and followed by a Q&A session with the hosts of the show.

Key takeaway: the lighting at your corporate party has a big impact on the overall effect.

10. Puma’s Spinning Competition

Puma set up an incentivised spin class in their SPINSTAR challenge, in which participants could win Puma branded workout clothing and sneakers if they lasted at least two hours on the bike. Those who lasted the longest had the opportunity to go to the final for a chance to win $25,000 cash and $10,000 of Puma products.

Key takeaway: competitions and prizes can make a corporate event more fun and memorable for attendees.

11. BMW’s Lolly Logo

At one of BMW’s annual corporate parties, they recreated the brand’s iconic logo out of blue, white, grey, and black sugar-coated chocolate candies.

Key takeaway: an edible version of your logo is an easy and fun way to make your brand more memorable.

12. TEDxSomerville’s Beanbag Seating

Forget rows of uncomfortable plastic chairs – the team at TEDxSomerville opted for an alternative and more comfortable solution by providing large cushions and beanbags for attendees to lounge on while they listened to speakers.

Key takeaway: think about providing alternative seating solutions for your conference or corporate event.

Dani McEwin

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Dani McEwin is the owner and Head Event Manager and Stylist at Evviva Events.

I started Evviva after deciding to follow my passion for entertaining and creating beautiful celebrations. I bring years of industry experience and knowledge to Evviva, thanks to my background in corporate event planning and project management, and a passion for design and styling.

Coming from a large Italian family, you could say I have the celebratory blood coursing through my veins!

I’m really obsessed with event styling and interior design. Growing up around an Interior Designer (my mum), I developed an appreciation for beautiful things, and now I’m so happy that I can use this when creating looks for events. I love coming up with styles that really speak to the personality of the hosts and guests, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else, that makes them say “Wow, that looks amazing!!”.

The main thing I love about my job (I hate using that word as it’s not just a ‘job’, it’s a passion) is the people. I work with amazing clients and suppliers and we often end up forming friendships and really bonding over the process of organising their event. I strive to create a happy and wonderful experience, not just for the event but during the planning process itself. My aim is to deliver event perfection with passion and a flair that my clients won’t see elsewhere. The joy I get when I see the amazed expressions on my client’s faces when they walk in the door to their event really gives me satisfaction!

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by Dani McEwin

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Unless you’ve been on a desert island for the past year, you’d know that Saturday was the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in a beautiful ceremony at Windsor Castle. The two, now formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, wowed their guests and the world at large (there was an expected audience of two billion tuning in to witness the nuptials!) with their elegant and highly personalised service.

Here, we’ve rounded up our 10 favourite things about the Royal Wedding. From fashion, to florals, to food, there was something for everyone to fall in love with.

1. The Fashion

Guests began arriving for the ceremony from 10am, two hours before the ceremony’s start time. While the popular colour of choice was midnight blue, our standout outfit of the day was worn by Amal Clooney. She wore a stunning bright yellow dress designed by Stella McCartney.

Amal and George Clooney at the Royal Wedding

Amal and George Clooney
at the Royal Wedding

Serena Williams also looked sensational as she arrived at the wedding in a soft pink dress by Versace and complementing fascinator.

Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian arrive.

Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian arrive.

2. Brotherly Love

Bridegroom, Prince Harry and Best Man, the Duke of Cambridge’s camaraderie was clearly visible during their arrival to the venue and wait for both the Queen and Bride’s arrivals. We’ve loved watching the young Royals growing up together, and to see them remain so close is heartwarming.

William was clearly relaxed and doing his best to calm his younger brother’s nerves. Both men looked as dashing as ever, sporting their Blues and Royals frockcoat uniforms. Fun fact – Harry had to request the Queen’s blessing to keep his facial hair for the day – it is generally frowned upon to not have a clean-shaven face when in military uniform!

William and Harry

3. Flowers

The couple chose Philippa Craddock to design and create their wedding flowers, for both the ceremony and the lunch reception at Windsor Castle. The florist succeeded in setting the scene, softening the Gothic architecture of the building for a more celebratory atmosphere.

Grand floral archways were installed at the west door at St George’s Chapel, as well as the threshold into the Quire. Branches of beech, birch and hornbeam featured, as well as floral arrangements with white garden roses, foxgloves and peonies.

08

4. Bridal Style

One of the most anticipated moments of the day was of course, the arrival of the Bride. Megan stepped out from the car that delivered her to the venue in a pure white, boat-neck gown designed by French fashion house Givenchy. Her relatively modest train was offset by an elaborate five-metre veil, featuring florals from all 53 countries of the Commonwealth.

Meghan arriving in her gorgeous gown

Meghan arriving in her gorgeous gown

Megan’s fresh and dewy makeup allowed her beautiful freckles to shine through. Paired with a casual up-do hairstyle and Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau tiara, on loan from the Queen, Meghan’s style was elegant, understated yet breathtaking, and will no doubt be recreated by many brides around the world over months and years to come.

Meghan's face was glowing in her fresh and natural makeup look

Meghan’s face was glowing in her fresh and natural makeup look

5. The children who stole the show

The Bride and Groom chose a selection of four pageboys and six junior bridesmaids to follow Meghan down the aisle. Amongst the cherubs in attendance were Prince George and Princess Charlotte, godchildren and children of friends close to the couple.

We loved this pageboy’s unbridled excitement, captured as the Bride was waiting to begin her walk down the aisle.

royal wedding pageboy

This pageboy couldn’t hide his excitement!

Princess Charlotte, who has shown a penchant for public attention, was adorable as she waved off the newlyweds as they began their procession through Windsor in the Ascot Landau carriage.

Princess charlotte waving the newlyweds

Princess charlotte waving the newlyweds

6. Untraditional walk down the aisle

Following the last minute withdrawal of Meghan’s father from attending the wedding to give away his daughter, the Royal Family quickly enveloped their newest family member into the fold, with Prince Charles stepping up to walk his (almost) daughter-in-law down the aisle.

Meghan stuck to her original plan of walking alone for the first half of the procession, being greeted by Charles as she entered the Quire. We were charmed by Charles’s paternal affection towards Meghan, as well as his kindness towards Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, taking her hand to sign the wedding register, and also accompanying both his wife and Doria as they exited the Chapel. And can we just say – how moving was Doria’s obvious pride for her daughter, which shone throughout the ceremony?

Prince Charles, Camilla and Doria leave the church

Prince Charles, Camilla and Doria leave the church

7. Harry and Meghan’s affection

We all swooned as Harry visibly lit up at the first sight of his Bride. As she reached his side at the altar, he leant in and whispered, “you look amazing.” Throughout the ceremony, the pair held hands more often than not, and their stolen gazes towards each other throughout the service was heartening. And the way he removed her veil, ever-so-gently? Sigh.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George’s Chapel.

8. Moving Music

Stepping gently away from Royal wedding tradition, Harry and Meghan’s service incorporated a performance by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir, who sang Stand By Me. If you weren’t already in tears by this point, there was certainly not a dry eye remaining among the guests once this historically significant piece came to a close.

Choir signing 'Stand By Me'

Choir signing ‘Stand By Me’

We’d be remiss to not also highlight the moving performance by royal wedding cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason. The 19 year old BBC Young Musician of the Year Award winner was requested to perform by Meghan personally. His performance, made during the bridal party’s signing of the wedding registry, was simply breathtaking.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason performing at the Royal wedding

Sheku Kanneh-Mason performing at the Royal wedding

9. The first kiss. And the second!

The moment we were waiting for came unannounced – the first kiss. Once the newlyweds arrived at the west entry to the Chapel, ready to descend the stairs and begin their procession through Windsor, they lovingly embraced and the crowds went wild.

We were treated to an additional cheeky kiss that the couple stole whilst riding in the carriage towards the reception. A fairytale moment in time, and an image the world will recall for decades to come.

Meghan and Harry share a kiss outside the church

Meghan and Harry share a kiss outside the church

10. Let them eat cake!

Whilst the procession through Windsor ended the public component of the Royal wedding, we’ve since been shown the delight that was Harry and Meghan’s organic lemon and elderberry wedding cake. The three-tier sponge crafted by Violet Bakery was too heavy to stack, so instead was displayed with each tier resting on ornate golden goblets.

Mmmmm.... cake!

Mmmmm…. cake!

A huge thank you to Lee Du Plooy for her input into this article!

Dani McEwin

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Dani McEwin is the owner and Head Event Manager and Stylist at Evviva Events.

I started Evviva after deciding to follow my passion for entertaining and creating beautiful celebrations. I bring years of industry experience and knowledge to Evviva, thanks to my background in corporate event planning and project management, and a passion for design and styling.

Coming from a large Italian family, you could say I have the celebratory blood coursing through my veins!

I’m really obsessed with event styling and interior design. Growing up around an Interior Designer (my mum), I developed an appreciation for beautiful things, and now I’m so happy that I can use this when creating looks for events. I love coming up with styles that really speak to the personality of the hosts and guests, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else, that makes them say “Wow, that looks amazing!!”.

The main thing I love about my job (I hate using that word as it’s not just a ‘job’, it’s a passion) is the people. I work with amazing clients and suppliers and we often end up forming friendships and really bonding over the process of organising their event. I strive to create a happy and wonderful experience, not just for the event but during the planning process itself. My aim is to deliver event perfection with passion and a flair that my clients won’t see elsewhere. The joy I get when I see the amazed expressions on my client’s faces when they walk in the door to their event really gives me satisfaction!

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by Dani McEwin

Top Party Venues in Melbourne With a View

PUBLISHED: July 15, 2017

Can you imagine your next event overlooking the sparkling Melbourne city skyline by night, or glistening Port Phillip Bay by […]

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Read More

The First Three Things You Need To Do When Planning Your Wedding.

PUBLISHED: July 20, 2017

You may have heard that it takes between 150-200 hours to organise a wedding from start to finish. If you […]

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Here we take a look at some of the upcoming wedding trends for this year, to help you plan an unforgettable day!

Bridal Gowns

In the world of bridal gowns, we will be seeing a surge of super sexy dresses: off shoulder, plunging necklines and crop top two pieces, in blushes, metallics and bold statement colours. We will also see a lot of beautiful romantic 3D florals on bridal gowns, as in recent collections from designers such as Oscar De La Renta. We also can’t go past elaborate bridal capes and shawls, with lots of brides opting for these over the traditional veil. Check out this stunning cape from the 2018 Elie Saab bridal collection.

elie saab

Suits

Grooms and groomsmen are also choosing bolder colours, along the lines of burgundy and plum, in gorgeous textures of crushed velvet and tweed, and as with the ‘maids, groomsmen will be opting for floral accents. Slim fitted suits will be the choice for 2018, with bow ties and suspenders adding a whimsical touch.

Suit

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids are going to be in pastels, florals, sexy metallics and most likely mismatched. Again, two piece outfits are growing in popularity. Think hair in tousled waves and loose braids. Makeup trends include eyelash extensions, dewy makeup finish and bold brows.

mismatched bridesmaids dresses

Wedding Party

In 2018, the movement towards mixed gender wedding parties will pick up pace, which we love!

Guest List

Weddings are becoming more intimate events, with discerning couples aiming to create a more personal feel. Guest numbers in 2018 are likely to be between 75-125, as opposed to the previous average of 150-250 attendees.

Statement floral features

Statement florals pieces are an absolute must have at your wedding, such as a hanging chandelier or elaborate floral arbor. This trend will continue in 2018, with couples opting for large hanging installations to create a stunning feature for their ceremony or reception room. We will also see more incorporation of lighting into these features, such as this stunning one below from Flower Jar.

hanging floral with light

Food and Drinks

Formal plated dinners remain a firm favourite for catering in 2018. However, couples are using the wedding meal as another opportunity to show their personality, and tell their story through the inclusion of their favourite foods.

Whilst wedding cakes won’t be disappearing in the new year, they are certainly shrinking. Couples will be opting to cut smaller, though still elegant, cakes, and serving this alongside other desserts as the star sweets. Cakes to look out for in 2018 will be decorated with watercolours and metallic accents, with fresh flowers.

Gorgeous Watercolour cakes by the talented Cake Ink

Gorgeous watercolour cakes by the talented Cake Ink

Beverages on offer become an increasingly important decision for the 2018 bride and groom. Craft beers and local wines are firm favourites, and signature cocktails designed by the duo will be making their debut.

Dessert bars

We are moving away from traditional lolly only buffets and we will be seeing more elaborate mini dessert bars in the new year, or luxurious chocolates mixed in with gorgeous desserts. We will be seeing a lot more quirky additions such as donut towers or dessert walls. These sweets will be the stars of the show and guests will be talking about the indulgent (and Instagram-able) morsels on display, long after the day is over!

Couples tying the knot in 2018 will be doing so in a more intimate event, and all facets of the day will showcase their personalities. So, if you are wondering whether to include something in your day, our answer is: if it is important to you, then yes! Don’t be afraid to let your individuality shine. Your guests will adore you, and your wedding, all the more for it.

Getting married in 2018? Download our FREE Wedding Budget Template!

DOWNLOAD BUDGET TEMPLATE HERE

 

Thank you to the wonderful Lee Du Plooy for her input into this article xo

 

Dani McEwin

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Dani McEwin is the owner and Head Event Manager and Stylist at Evviva Events.

I started Evviva after deciding to follow my passion for entertaining and creating beautiful celebrations. I bring years of industry experience and knowledge to Evviva, thanks to my background in corporate event planning and project management, and a passion for design and styling.

Coming from a large Italian family, you could say I have the celebratory blood coursing through my veins!

I’m really obsessed with event styling and interior design. Growing up around an Interior Designer (my mum), I developed an appreciation for beautiful things, and now I’m so happy that I can use this when creating looks for events. I love coming up with styles that really speak to the personality of the hosts and guests, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else, that makes them say “Wow, that looks amazing!!”.

The main thing I love about my job (I hate using that word as it’s not just a ‘job’, it’s a passion) is the people. I work with amazing clients and suppliers and we often end up forming friendships and really bonding over the process of organising their event. I strive to create a happy and wonderful experience, not just for the event but during the planning process itself. My aim is to deliver event perfection with passion and a flair that my clients won’t see elsewhere. The joy I get when I see the amazed expressions on my client’s faces when they walk in the door to their event really gives me satisfaction!

Recent Articles

by Dani McEwin

Top Party Venues in Melbourne With a View

PUBLISHED: July 15, 2017

Can you imagine your next event overlooking the sparkling Melbourne city skyline by night, or glistening Port Phillip Bay by […]

  • Share
Read More

The First Three Things You Need To Do When Planning Your Wedding.

PUBLISHED: July 20, 2017

You may have heard that it takes between 150-200 hours to organise a wedding from start to finish. If you […]

  • Share
Read More

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Are you trying to book in your wedding venue but don’t know where to start? There are so many places to choose from, each very different. We have created a step by step guide below to help you narrow down your search, and find the perfect venue for your dream wedding.

Step 1. Narrow down the area.

You may already know where you’d like to get married, but if not, you need to narrow down the area. This might be based on where you live, or if you want a destination wedding, narrowing it down to the city or suburb. For example, you may know that you want a winery wedding within 1 hour of Melbourne CBD, so narrow your search down to Yarra Valley or Mornington Penninsula.

Step 2. Create a list of every potential venue in the area you are wanting to get married in.

I have found that the best way to create this list is by using Google Maps on a computer (way easier than trying on a phone!). I suggest Google Maps rather than just Google searching the web, as if a venue does not have an optimised website they may not show up in Google depending on your search terms. However; most places will show up in Google maps simply because of their location, so it doesn’t matter if they haven’t optimised their website. So, get onto Google Maps on your computer, and zoom in on the suburb or location you are wanting. Then type in the search box ‘Wedding Venue’ and you will see a list of potential venues pop up. Type the name of each venue into an excel sheet in a list. Try searching on a couple of other terms as well, just to ensure you have an exhaustive list of venues. So you could also try ‘winery wedding’, and ‘weddings’ to see if anything else comes up. At the end of it, you should just have a long list of venue names.

Step 3. Figure out your main criteria and start culling unsuitable venues.

When I say main criteria, I usually break it down to two things. Cost per head for food and beverage, and venue capacity in guest numbers.

If you haven’t already figured out your budget per head for food and beverage, have a quick read of my article on ‘The first three things you need to do when planning your wedding’ and download the budget template so you can figure out what you can afford per head.

So add in two columns into your spreadsheet; a ‘cost per head’ column and a ‘capacity’ column. Start doing quick Google searches on these two criteria for each venue in your list. It sounds like a daunting task but it shouldn’t take too long as most venues have this information readily available on their website. If not, a quick call to the venue will give you the answers you need. Fill in your two columns for every venue (cost per head and capacity). Once you have this information, you can start culling. Filter the list by capacity, and then cut out all venues that are too small for your guest numbers. Then filter that list again by budget, and cut out all venues that are more than $10 a head over your budget. I say this because a lot of venues are willing to negotiate slightly, so if you look at venues only slightly over your budget you can probably talk them down to fit within your budget.  Now you should be left with a list of less than ten potential venues.

Step 4. Research your list of venues

Now that you have ten or less venues to look at, you can start doing some deeper research into your potential options. Go onto their website and download their wedding brochures, and read through those. Also look at pictures of the venue and see if the style of the venue matches what you want. For example, if you want a country barn style venue, looking at a Victorian mansion is going to be a waste of time! Based on the look of the venue, you should now be able to cull the list even further, down to around 5-6 venues. This is your shortlist!

Step 5. Create a venue scorecard.

Next step is to sit down and think about the things you will be looking for in a venue, and create a list of these things to rate each venue against. Some of these items might include ‘Options for outdoor ceremony’, ‘Options for indoor ceremony’, ‘food quality’, ‘photo locations onsite’. If you need help thinking of things, I have created a scorecard which you are welcome to download and use (click on the below link). Once you have your scorecard items, take this to each venue and rate each venue against each item (score out of ten).

DOWNLOAD OUR WEDDING VENUE SCORECARD HERE

Step 6. Go and see the venues in your shortlist.

Call up each venue in your shortlist and make an appointment to go and meet with them (very important!). I strongly advise against just turning up without an appointment. Firstly, it’s kind of rude, and secondly, there is no guarantee that someone will be available to show you around and you won’t get a good feel for the venue and have all your questions answered. Also, if there is an event on at the time, it’s unlikely that they will let you into the function room. Once you are at the venue looking around, make sure you take out your scorecard and cover off every single item on there. Give the venue a score out of ten for each of the items (write it down at the time so you don’t forget).

Step 7. Choose your venue.

Once you have seen the venues in your shortlist, either of these two things would have happened.

  1. You fell in love with one of the venues and it ticked off everything in your list, so you are confident that you want your wedding there.
  2. You are confused about which venue is right for you, and can’t decide between two or three venues.

If you are in the first category, then congratulations! You’ve chosen your venue! Now you can go back to that venue and negotiate pricing and inclusions. If you are in the second category then have no fear! Whip out your venue scorecard and look at the scores for those venues you can’t decide between. If there is one that has a significantly higher score than the others, it means it is the most suitable for you. If there are two that have pretty close scores as the highest, then make another appointment and meet with the event sales managers. During this meeting, tell them you can’t decide and you want to see what they are willing to offer you to help make the decision. This could be a discount on the per head price, or it could be throwing in lots of extras for free. Hopefully by the end of this second meeting with both venues you should be able to make a decision.

Step 8. Book in your wedding date.

The wedding world moves very quickly – dates that may have been available very quickly fill up at popular venues so make sure as soon as you know which venue you want, and you have negotiated pricing with them, you book in the date and pay the deposit immediately! As a guide, popular venues usually get booked on Saturdays around 14-16 months in advance, and less popular venues are booked out on Saturday around 12 months in advance. So; get cracking so you don’t miss out!

I hope this step by step guide has helped you pick the perfect wedding venue. If you need any further help or you are stuck, contact us and we will give you a free event consultation to help you on your way!

Dani McEwin

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Dani McEwin is the owner and Head Event Manager and Stylist at Evviva Events.

I started Evviva after deciding to follow my passion for entertaining and creating beautiful celebrations. I bring years of industry experience and knowledge to Evviva, thanks to my background in corporate event planning and project management, and a passion for design and styling.

Coming from a large Italian family, you could say I have the celebratory blood coursing through my veins!

I’m really obsessed with event styling and interior design. Growing up around an Interior Designer (my mum), I developed an appreciation for beautiful things, and now I’m so happy that I can use this when creating looks for events. I love coming up with styles that really speak to the personality of the hosts and guests, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else, that makes them say “Wow, that looks amazing!!”.

The main thing I love about my job (I hate using that word as it’s not just a ‘job’, it’s a passion) is the people. I work with amazing clients and suppliers and we often end up forming friendships and really bonding over the process of organising their event. I strive to create a happy and wonderful experience, not just for the event but during the planning process itself. My aim is to deliver event perfection with passion and a flair that my clients won’t see elsewhere. The joy I get when I see the amazed expressions on my client’s faces when they walk in the door to their event really gives me satisfaction!

Recent Articles

by Dani McEwin

Top Party Venues in Melbourne With a View

PUBLISHED: July 15, 2017

Can you imagine your next event overlooking the sparkling Melbourne city skyline by night, or glistening Port Phillip Bay by […]

  • Share
Read More

The First Three Things You Need To Do When Planning Your Wedding.

PUBLISHED: July 20, 2017

You may have heard that it takes between 150-200 hours to organise a wedding from start to finish. If you […]

  • Share
Read More

Five tips for throwing an awesome staff party!

PUBLISHED: August 25, 2017

If you haven’t already started planning your end of year staff party, it’s time to get cracking! Are you running […]

  • Share
Read More

Here are a few of our top tips for saving money on your party budget.

Hire a party planner
A party planner will not only save you time in organising your event, but they will save you money by getting you access to industry rates. A good party planner will know how to get the best for your money, and will also know the tricks of the trade on how to spend less but get more! Usually the cost of hiring a planner is worth it in what they will save you.

Hit up your talented friends
You may have a friend who is a great amateur photographer, and would be willing to photograph your event for a fraction of the cost (or even free!). Perhaps you have an uncle who has a schmick car and would be willing to drive you, rather than hiring a limo. How about your talented neighbour who is a DJ, and would most likely love to be in control of the music all night! There is no shame in asking those around you to help out, and it usually makes them feel very special that you want them to be a part of your event!

Use online invitations
There are some great websites now that enable you to create gorgeous invites, keep track of your guest list and message guests in one go. Your invites could only end up costing you under $1 per guest, instead of spending hundreds on printing and postage costs! Our favourite is paperlesspost.com.

Choose your venue wisely
You could choose a themed or beautifully designed venue that requires no decoration, saving you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on room décor. When you are looking for a venue, give extra points to any amazing Moroccan themed bars, chic French inspired venues, or any other styled venues that have put a lot of effort into providing a beautifully furnished room. That way, you will only need to provide minimal décor, if any at all. We love Mon Bijou in Melbourne’s CBD (pictured), and Spice Market for luxurious and lavishly furnished venues that require minimal to no decor.

Ditch the drinks package
There is no doubt about it, venues put together drinks packages with the intention of making money. So, it is usually cheaper to pay on consumption rather than getting an hourly beverage package. Check with your venue whether they offer drinks on consumption, and if they do you should probably take them up on it.

Need more help? Contact us today for a free event consultation!

Dani McEwin

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Dani McEwin is the owner and Head Event Manager and Stylist at Evviva Events.

I started Evviva after deciding to follow my passion for entertaining and creating beautiful celebrations. I bring years of industry experience and knowledge to Evviva, thanks to my background in corporate event planning and project management, and a passion for design and styling.

Coming from a large Italian family, you could say I have the celebratory blood coursing through my veins!

I’m really obsessed with event styling and interior design. Growing up around an Interior Designer (my mum), I developed an appreciation for beautiful things, and now I’m so happy that I can use this when creating looks for events. I love coming up with styles that really speak to the personality of the hosts and guests, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else, that makes them say “Wow, that looks amazing!!”.

The main thing I love about my job (I hate using that word as it’s not just a ‘job’, it’s a passion) is the people. I work with amazing clients and suppliers and we often end up forming friendships and really bonding over the process of organising their event. I strive to create a happy and wonderful experience, not just for the event but during the planning process itself. My aim is to deliver event perfection with passion and a flair that my clients won’t see elsewhere. The joy I get when I see the amazed expressions on my client’s faces when they walk in the door to their event really gives me satisfaction!

Recent Articles

by Dani McEwin

Top Party Venues in Melbourne With a View

PUBLISHED: July 15, 2017

Can you imagine your next event overlooking the sparkling Melbourne city skyline by night, or glistening Port Phillip Bay by […]

  • Share
Read More

The First Three Things You Need To Do When Planning Your Wedding.

PUBLISHED: July 20, 2017

You may have heard that it takes between 150-200 hours to organise a wedding from start to finish. If you […]

  • Share
Read More

Five tips for throwing an awesome staff party!

PUBLISHED: August 25, 2017

If you haven’t already started planning your end of year staff party, it’s time to get cracking! Are you running […]

  • Share
Read More

If you haven’t already started planning your end of year staff party, it’s time to get cracking! Are you running out of ideas for your party (one more year of having it at the pub next door…. Yawn!) and do you keep putting on the same old party year after year? Do your attendance numbers drop every year? You would think that the promise of free drinks and a night of hanging out with their workmates would be enough to entice staff to attend. Unfortunately that’s not the case, and if staff don’t feel that any effort is being put in to throwing a great party, they WILL stop coming. It’s time that you gave your staff party an overhaul, and shook things up a bit to create some excitement and get your people back in the mood for celebration! I’ve put together some tips on how to get greater interest from your staff, and put on a party that they actually want to come to.

1. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT

I make it sound so easy, right? Well it is that easy. Don’t overthink it. You should be doing something different each year, whether that be the location, the time, the type of event – for example a winery trip one year, followed by a sit down dinner the next, followed by a Karaoke party the year after. Or a disco party theme one year, followed by a fancy ball the next, followed by a Jungle Safari the year after. You get my drift?

2. GET OUT OF THE OFFICE

Please please PLEASE do not have your staff party at the office! The purpose of a party is to stop thinking about work and have fun! This is impossible to do while you are in the same space you work in. You might be tempted to think ‘Oh, we have a bbq on the roof so we will just do it up there’. Don’t. Hire the park across the road instead and use their bbq.

3. LISTEN TO YOUR EMPLOYEES

If your numbers are dropping each year, this is a huge sign that the staff aren’t happy with the parties you’ve been putting on, or that they don’t suit their lifestyle. Find out why they haven’t been coming. Ask people, do a survey, or speak to the managers and ask them why people in their teams didn’t come (they should know why). You may find that most of them have children, so doing a Friday night drinking session may not suit them. Perhaps try doing a family day out on a Sunday where they can bring their kids instead. Or you may find that doing a sit-down dinner every year bores the younger staff to tears, so try doing a fun Karaoke party the year after. Listen to your staff and if you have a wide demographic, mix it up every year so that at least every 2 years there is something that suits everybody.

4. SURPRISE PEOPLE

Do something fun that’s been kept a secret, in order to surprise everyone. It can be something small, or extravagant, just use your imagination! For example, one year at a staff party I organised, a group of staff got together, learned a dance routine, and then on the night jumped on the stage with the actual hired dancers and joined in the routine! It was lots of fun and everyone was thoroughly entertained.

5. HAVE SOME FUN!

Don’t make it too serious. Instead of boring thank-you speeches, the management team could get up and do a funny skit to create a partying mood. Hire a karaoke machine, or do a themed lolly bar. Hire some dancers and get the crowd involved. Get some funny singing waiters. You only need to do one thing and it makes the world of difference!

The key to all of this is thought and effort. People know that you’ve put effort into throwing them a fun party, and really do appreciate it. In the end, isn’t the whole point to thank your staff for their great work throughout the year? So put your thinking cap on and come up with some fun ways you can actually show them that you appreciate their hard work and loyalty!

If you need some help coming up with ideas, or just don’t have the time or resources to plan your staff party, let us do the work for you. We guarantee a fun experience that your staff will love! Contact us now for a free event consultation.

Dani McEwin

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Dani McEwin is the owner and Head Event Manager and Stylist at Evviva Events.

I started Evviva after deciding to follow my passion for entertaining and creating beautiful celebrations. I bring years of industry experience and knowledge to Evviva, thanks to my background in corporate event planning and project management, and a passion for design and styling.

Coming from a large Italian family, you could say I have the celebratory blood coursing through my veins!

I’m really obsessed with event styling and interior design. Growing up around an Interior Designer (my mum), I developed an appreciation for beautiful things, and now I’m so happy that I can use this when creating looks for events. I love coming up with styles that really speak to the personality of the hosts and guests, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else, that makes them say “Wow, that looks amazing!!”.

The main thing I love about my job (I hate using that word as it’s not just a ‘job’, it’s a passion) is the people. I work with amazing clients and suppliers and we often end up forming friendships and really bonding over the process of organising their event. I strive to create a happy and wonderful experience, not just for the event but during the planning process itself. My aim is to deliver event perfection with passion and a flair that my clients won’t see elsewhere. The joy I get when I see the amazed expressions on my client’s faces when they walk in the door to their event really gives me satisfaction!

Recent Articles

by Dani McEwin

Top Party Venues in Melbourne With a View

PUBLISHED: July 15, 2017

Can you imagine your next event overlooking the sparkling Melbourne city skyline by night, or glistening Port Phillip Bay by […]

  • Share
Read More

The First Three Things You Need To Do When Planning Your Wedding.

PUBLISHED: July 20, 2017

You may have heard that it takes between 150-200 hours to organise a wedding from start to finish. If you […]

  • Share
Read More

Five tips for throwing an awesome staff party!

PUBLISHED: August 25, 2017

If you haven’t already started planning your end of year staff party, it’s time to get cracking! Are you running […]

  • Share
Read More

You may have heard that it takes between 150-200 hours to organise a wedding from start to finish. If you have this much time spare, and you know what you are doing, then it can be a really fun process. But there is a LOT of information out there for you to sift through, and it can be really hard to find your way. All of the couples I have worked with have found out pretty quickly that the wedding industry is a hugely daunting and overwhelming beast, and it is very stressful if you don’t know how to navigate it. In order to help you get started, I’ve outlined the first three things you need to do in planning your wedding.

1. WRITE YOUR GUEST LIST
You need to know how many guests (approximately) you are going to have. It’s important to do this now for a couple of reasons.

a) The first reason is, that you and your partner need to be on the same page as far as size and extravagance of the wedding goes. You might THINK you are on the same page, but it’s a good idea to make this your first discussion about the wedding as it really dictates everything else from here. Hopefully you are your partner’s thoughts align, but if not this is a great way to open the discussion. So sit down and write you guest list; if your parents are going to be involved then make sure they have input as well. I’d recommend having a ‘Definitely’, ‘Maybe’, and ‘Nice to Have’ list. So if your venue is restrictive on numbers you know how to cut down the list.

b) The second reason that you need to have a general idea of your guest numbers is so that you know what size venue to look for. It is very important that you get a venue that is appropriately sized. There is nothing worse than a venue that is packed so tightly that you can’t move, and vice versa, if you don’t have enough people then you need to fill the space with other things and it becomes unnecessarily expensive. Also if the venue is too large, you may not meet their minimum guest requirements. And if it’s too small you may have to cut out guests that you really want there. Try and pick a venue where full capacity is at least 10% over your guest numbers so there is room to move. Some venues are renowned for packing in too many guests, to the point where there is almost no room to walk between the tables.

2. WORK OUT YOUR BUDGET
Unless you have unlimited money, or a hefty trust fund, you need to work out now what you will be able to afford. Then you will know how much money you will need to save before the big day! You can do this two ways.

a) Start with a budget figure, then work backwards. Work out your overall figure first – so look at how much you can save per month, then work out what you will have by your wedding date. Then add in any money you might receive from family to put towards your wedding (say a contribution from parents). Also, whether you have access to credit cards you may want to use and pay off after the wedding. Once you know your absolute final budget figure, you can then work backwards from that and figure out how much you need for everything OTHER than venue food and drink costs, then with the rest split it by the number of guests and you have the per head figure you can afford for food and drink.

b) Build the budget from bottom up. This means working out each component and building it up to give you the budget you will need for your dream wedding. You might be shocked by the figure, so I would recommend working it out using both methods – to see how closely they match.

It’s also good to have a general idea of how many people you will have in your bridal party, as this can sometimes significantly impact your budget (but the time you pay for dresses, suits, flowers, and other bits and pieces, it really adds up).

If you have a wedding planner, they will have an intimate knowledge of how much things cost and will make the process much quicker for you so you are not having to do research on every single item (they’ll know most of them off the top of their head)! So I suggest hitting them up for some budget time (a good wedding planner will have already booked this in with you!).

I’ve shared my budget template, to make this process easier for you.

DOWNLOAD MY BUDGET TEMPLATE HERE

3. BOOK YOUR VENUE
Most venues are booked out at least 12 months in advance. If you have a date set for your wedding, the sooner you decide on your venue the better, so that your date is available. Obviously the longer you take, the less chance you have of getting your date at your chosen venue. If you are after a Saturday wedding, you need to book the venue a minimum of 12 months in advance. If you are after a Sunday or Friday, 10-11months is generally ok. Just keep in mind that choosing a venue can take a lot of time, you might end up spending every weekend for a month looking at potential venues before you make your decision! If you have a wedding planner, they will save you a lot of time by giving you a shortlist of suitable venues, so that you don’t waste time looking at unsuitable places. I will soon be publishing an article on how to choose your perfect wedding venue, which should help you in this process.

Lastly, if this all sounds too overwhelming, I’d strongly recommend hiring a wedding planner who will do all of the hard work for you, and will guide you through the process so you can just enjoy your engagement rather than being stressed out and overworked! We offer free wedding consultations, just contact us to book yours in.

Dani McEwin

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Dani McEwin is the owner and Head Event Manager and Stylist at Evviva Events.

I started Evviva after deciding to follow my passion for entertaining and creating beautiful celebrations. I bring years of industry experience and knowledge to Evviva, thanks to my background in corporate event planning and project management, and a passion for design and styling.

Coming from a large Italian family, you could say I have the celebratory blood coursing through my veins!

I’m really obsessed with event styling and interior design. Growing up around an Interior Designer (my mum), I developed an appreciation for beautiful things, and now I’m so happy that I can use this when creating looks for events. I love coming up with styles that really speak to the personality of the hosts and guests, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else, that makes them say “Wow, that looks amazing!!”.

The main thing I love about my job (I hate using that word as it’s not just a ‘job’, it’s a passion) is the people. I work with amazing clients and suppliers and we often end up forming friendships and really bonding over the process of organising their event. I strive to create a happy and wonderful experience, not just for the event but during the planning process itself. My aim is to deliver event perfection with passion and a flair that my clients won’t see elsewhere. The joy I get when I see the amazed expressions on my client’s faces when they walk in the door to their event really gives me satisfaction!

Recent Articles

by Dani McEwin

Top Party Venues in Melbourne With a View

PUBLISHED: July 15, 2017

Can you imagine your next event overlooking the sparkling Melbourne city skyline by night, or glistening Port Phillip Bay by […]

  • Share
Read More

The First Three Things You Need To Do When Planning Your Wedding.

PUBLISHED: July 20, 2017

You may have heard that it takes between 150-200 hours to organise a wedding from start to finish. If you […]

  • Share
Read More

Five tips for throwing an awesome staff party!

PUBLISHED: August 25, 2017

If you haven’t already started planning your end of year staff party, it’s time to get cracking! Are you running […]

  • Share
Read More

Can you imagine your next event overlooking the sparkling Melbourne city skyline by night, or glistening Port Phillip Bay by sunset? There are literally thousands of venues in Melbourne, some of them with amazing views, and some of them overlooking the brick wall to the building next door (possibly not the look you are going for!). In this article, We’ve trawled through our list of Melbourne venues to give you our top picks for spaces with fabulous views.

Sails on the Bay, Brighton
Nothing says romance like a beach wedding, yes? And you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars travelling to Bali to get those lovely ocean shots you were hoping for. Just a few minutes from St. Kilda, but just far enough so that it’s not in the midst of the St Kilda beach bathing territory, is Sails on the Bay. This beautiful room, with floor to ceiling windows is practically ON the sand, so you can be sitting metres from the water while sipping champagne and eating their award winning food. The room was designed to make the most of the breathtaking sun setting over the water, and I don’t exaggerate when I say this makes for an exquisite backdrop. Mix in some excellent food and service, this place is at the top of the list when it comes to choosing a wedding or party venue.

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The Olsen Penthouse
So I can say I’ve visited pretty much every single type of hotel room in Melbourne. This room, is BY FAR my favourite. Yes it can be booked out just as any normal hotel room can be (if you’ve got the budget!) but it also makes for a fantastic party venue. More suited to smaller intimate parties due to it’s size, the Olsen penthouse will not disappoint. Decorated in a luxurious modern style and featuring artwork by John Olsen, it makes for a perfect venue for lots of different types of functions; from birthday parties, to product launches, to cocktail parties and even small intimate weddings. The best feature of this penthouse is the huge decked balcony, which hosts an 8 person outdoor spa! Could this place get any cooler? Oh wait, there’s one more thing… when the party’s over there is no need to go home, just walk into the bedroom and fall asleep on the huge and lusciously comfortable king sized bed! zzzzz…

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Mon Bijou
Mon Bijou is set in the penthouse of the Adelphi Hotel. Most well known as the house of the famous Ezard’s restaurant, the standard is what you would expect from the owners. They have truly raised the bar it comes to unique, and luxurious Melbourne venues. Set over two levels, this function space is spectacular and glorious, with 270 degree views of the Melbourne city skyline. The bottom level of the penthouse is stunning, with glamorous and chic French décor, complete with geometric mirrored ceiling and a fully stocked bar. Go upstairs to the rooftop pool, with a retractable roof and drinks offering that will leave the most discerning alcohol lovers satisfied and impressed.

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Eureka 89
Ok, so this one might seem obvious, but if you’ve ever set foot on level 89 you will know why I just had to put this on the list. As soon as you step out onto the 89th floor of the Eureka Tower, you are greeted with jaw droppingly good views of the entire city all the way out to the distant ‘burbs. I’m talking about completely uninterrupted views, as far as the eye can see. Now the room in itself is also pretty damn cool. The interior décor is very moody and dark, with black walls and red strip lights throughout the ceiling. It gives off a contemporary and masculine appeal that is perfectly suited to corporate events, product launches, and cocktail style weddings.
One more tip… if you’re scared of heights you can just hang out at the bar all night enjoying their awesome cocktails!

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Need help booking a venue or just don’t have the time to search through the thousands of venues around? Let us organise your party for you.. We will do all the hard work so you can just rock up to the party and enjoy yourself! Contact us for a no obligation, free event consultation, by clicking on the enquire now button..

Dani McEwin

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Dani McEwin is the owner and Head Event Manager and Stylist at Evviva Events.

I started Evviva after deciding to follow my passion for entertaining and creating beautiful celebrations. I bring years of industry experience and knowledge to Evviva, thanks to my background in corporate event planning and project management, and a passion for design and styling.

Coming from a large Italian family, you could say I have the celebratory blood coursing through my veins!

I’m really obsessed with event styling and interior design. Growing up around an Interior Designer (my mum), I developed an appreciation for beautiful things, and now I’m so happy that I can use this when creating looks for events. I love coming up with styles that really speak to the personality of the hosts and guests, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else, that makes them say “Wow, that looks amazing!!”.

The main thing I love about my job (I hate using that word as it’s not just a ‘job’, it’s a passion) is the people. I work with amazing clients and suppliers and we often end up forming friendships and really bonding over the process of organising their event. I strive to create a happy and wonderful experience, not just for the event but during the planning process itself. My aim is to deliver event perfection with passion and a flair that my clients won’t see elsewhere. The joy I get when I see the amazed expressions on my client’s faces when they walk in the door to their event really gives me satisfaction!

Recent Articles

by Dani McEwin

Top Party Venues in Melbourne With a View

PUBLISHED: July 15, 2017

Can you imagine your next event overlooking the sparkling Melbourne city skyline by night, or glistening Port Phillip Bay by […]

  • Share
Read More

The First Three Things You Need To Do When Planning Your Wedding.

PUBLISHED: July 20, 2017

You may have heard that it takes between 150-200 hours to organise a wedding from start to finish. If you […]

  • Share
Read More

Five tips for throwing an awesome staff party!

PUBLISHED: August 25, 2017

If you haven’t already started planning your end of year staff party, it’s time to get cracking! Are you running […]

  • Share
Read More