Not all events need to take place at a hotel.  Given the nature of the celebration or the audience, certain events require some creative thinking when choosing a venue. You might consider a street, a rooftop, a courtyard, an event venue, or even a parking lot to create the proverbial Wow factor you want.

Glendale Community College is celebrating its 90th Anniversary this year. To showcase the college and make the celebration of this special anniversary an event to remember, we decided to host our 400 guests to a seated dinner, on the campus outside under the stars. The reception was held in a space separate from the dining area and included a large silent auction.

Reaching for the Stars was the theme for the gala. The theme was carried out throughout the evening from the colors used to decorate the space, through the names of the menu items and the star shaped hors d’oeuvres. The expanding universe of stars was displayed on the blue carpet that led guests from the reception into the dining area and on one of the buildings surrounding dinner tables.

And the entertainment was provided by student stars—including a dance flash mob that signaled the end of the reception and enticed guests to follow the dancers to the dining area.

This event was both a financial success and a memorable event. But it did require the development of an extensive budget and timelines for the both the entire event, the days before and, of course, event day. Close inspection of rental orders, catering orders, staffing orders, volunteer responsibilities, and campus capabilities all come in to play. A kitchen was created for the caterer and coffee, water, and ice needed to be brought in. Bar service was provided by a catering company that specializes in providing alcohol. No hotel means no hotel staff.

Your Great Event can provide the expertise you need your own wow factor—even the out-of-the-box events you fantasize about.


Photo: Ken Allard/El Vaquero

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