Best Practices for Small Scale Events
SOMETIMES YOU'RE NOT INVITING EVERYONE. PARING DOWN AN ENORMOUS GUEST LIST TO THE ESSENTIAL ATTENDEES CAN BE ALMOST AS TRICKY AS PLANNING AN EVENT WITH A THOUSAND SEATS. MANY OF THE EVENTS WE PLAN ARE GRAND, BUT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY BE LOOKING TO USE BLACKSTONE PRODUCTIONS FOR YOUR NEXT SMALL-SCALE EVENT, DON'T WORRY, WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED THERE, TOO. HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR NEXT SMALL(ER) EVENT UNFORGETTABLE.
1. EXPLORE UNUSUAL VENUES YOU CAN'T USUALLY USE
In larger-scale events, many unique venues would be prohibitive due to larger guest lists. Think of all the places you could stage your event that normally wouldn't be available to you: smaller art galleries, special boats, restaurant private dining rooms, secret gardens, vineyard or brewery tasting rooms and intimate bars could all be ultra-special places to host your gathering.
2. MAKE EACH ATTENDEE FEEL SPECIAL
The limited size of your audience allows you to know and treat them well. Create swag bags that surprise and delight your guests. Give larger scale gifts than you could if you had a longer guest list. Bring in acts or entertainment that wouldn't be suited to a larger space, like a local acoustic musician or a photographer to take personal portraits of each guest.
3. KEEP THE BUDGET IN PROPORTION TO THE GUEST LIST
A smaller event may be an opportunity to save some money but don't sacrifice too many details that make an event memorable in favor of frugality unless it's an absolute must. Be mindful of your budget, of course, but use the smaller scale to allow you to enhance the experience with things that make a big impression: better food, quality entertainment and personal touches.
4. FIND ULTRA-SPECIAL SPONSORS / EVENT PARTNERS
Having a small-scale event often means you're inviting a very specific, focused audience. Which means your options for sponsors and event partners can also be very specific, focused—and unique!
Say you have a gathering of makeup artists, for example. Perhaps partnering with a hot, new skincare brand (who would love a PR boost in exchange for some free product-filled gift bags) would be a great way to add a little "WOW" without spending extra cash.
5. DO SOME GOOD
Just as with event sponsors, charitable opportunities exist in spades when you have a small, clearly-intentioned gathering. Use your event to raise money for a local womens' or homeless shelter, as a coat or used clothing drive, or benefit dinner with donated auction items. This can also help boost your attendance as people like to do good at the same time that they are enjoying themselves.
6. provide "size-appropriate" social INTERACTION
A more intimate setting calls for intimate interactions.
Instead of a generic registration station, consider having a "Hotel Concierge"-style experience for your guests. If you have a lounge or cocktail area separate from your dining space, be sure the host(ess) introduces people who may not know one another. If your guests are from different geographic locations you could create a map with pins for each person to note their hometown or make a chalkboard wall for people to sign a message.
Smaller events can also incorporate more unique ideas like group learning, focus groups, or athletic or artistic activities.
SIZE DOESN'T MATTER TO US. LET US SHOW YOU WHAT WE CAN DO WITH YOUR EVENT, BE IT 10 PEOPLE OR 1000. WE'D LOVE TO HELP.