How to Throw a Great Post-Event After-Party
Follow these simple tips to complete your event with an after-party guests will talk about for years to come
In pop culture, the “after-party” often conjures up images of wild nights out on the town. However, in the corporate space, a successful after-event party serves as the nightcap to a productive meeting. Reward your guests after a long day with an after-party that lets them relax and recharge, all while meeting new friends and making great memories.
Throwing a successful after-party relies on many factors, including location, entertainment and accommodations. Event planners should aim to create a laid-back, inviting mood that facilitates casual conversation among attendees. Try these simple tips for throwing an after-party worth skipping curfew for.
Pick a Theme
Deciding on an exciting theme is the first step to planning an engaging meeting, but you don’t have to end the theme along with the official agenda. Your after-party can help further communicate your meeting’s theme by incorporating its color and imagery. Use the colors of your official event to highlight key areas at the after-party, like the bar. Guide your guests through your floor plan by using creative directions or instructions that incorporate your client’s logo.
Book a Unique Venue
Sure, it might be tempting to throw your after-party in the conference hall, but that doesn’t give your guests a different experience. For impressive scenery, try holding a dinner in an extravagant ballroom or hosting a VIP cocktail party in a hotel penthouse suite. If the weather allows, a rooftop party can create a chic, elegant vibe with an open bar and plenty of tasty treats.
Consider your audience first when selecting the venue. Ensure that transportation is available to all attendees to and from the party location. Avoid obscure, unfamiliar or crowded locations where you’re likely to share space with other guests. For more intimate after-parties, trade the clubs or pool halls for quieter lounge or speak-easy venues like The Other Room in the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel.
Opt for a flexible venue. After-parties lean toward the casual, so attendees should feel comfortable arriving or departing at their leisure. If you don’t know how many attendees you’ll have throughout the night, choose a venue with extra floors or lounging options to easily accommodate crowds. Restaurants with additional rooms or conference spaces with expanding walls can be optimized for different configurations.
Offer Small, Catered Dishes
Depending on the type of after-party you’re hosting, your catering could offer a full meal or tinier treats. Corporate events sometimes offer a full meal to their guests, so your attendees may be full when they arrive. In these situations, plan for smaller plates or tasty tapas to pair with cocktails or an open bar.
If your guests are not served dinner at the official meeting, then you’ll need to provide their late-night meal. Hire on-site kitchen staff to prepare à la carte meals or a buffet that your guests can enjoy as they unwind.
Reach out to local farms, restaurants, breweries and catering companies for local sponsors. Local businesses are more likely to supply wares in exchange for brand promotion. Offer your guests a treat that will help fix the event’s location in their minds, like locally sourced baked goods, beers or regional dishes.
Hire Engaging Entertainment
After-parties usually round out a long day of networking, presentations and demos. Set the mood for more relaxing, natural interactions with unique entertainment. Live music, an event photo booth or a light show are easy ways to delight your crowd without requiring taxing interactions.
Tailor your entertainment options to your audience. Older professionals may not want to participate in a nightclub or bar scene and may not be familiar with trendy music. Opt instead for time-tested entertainment options that everyone can enjoy, like jazz music or string quartets. Alternatively, give your guests control over the music with a lively session of karaoke.
Certain cultural restrictions may make it difficult for some attendees to engage in events where alcohol is involved. In these cases, book entertainment that isn’t too distracting so guests can carry on conversations in the background.
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