Election Day Events Checklist
Well, it's finally almost here. After months of this exhausting slog through election season, we will finally get to cast our votes on Tuesday. Both candidates have planned big events in New York City as the end point of their hopeful path to victory--Clinton at the Javits Center, and a dozen or so blocks away, Trump will be having his event at the New York Hilton Midtown. So, in honor of election night and the many attendant events, we wanted to offer a few helpful tips to help you celebrate (or accept defeat) in the most democratic, civil, and savvy way possible.
#1 PLEASE VOTE
Maybe this goes without saying but we think it's of paramount importance, so we're going to say it anyway. Please go vote. Of 192 countries in the world, 123 have free and fair elections, including the USA. Lots of people fought and died for your right to say who you would like to have in the White House. So, get your darling self to your nearest polling place and cast your ballot on Tuesday, November 8. You get to help decide who becomes our next President. This is amazing! Is it a perfect system? No, it's not. We are working on it. So, whatever your feelings, whomever you support--please go vote! Whatever you do, don't squander the chance to pull that lever and make your voice heard. Now, go vote. We'll wait right here....
#2 SET THE MOOD
Great! You're back! Hope you had fun and got a sticker. Now, on to your event.
Honor the democratic process by setting a respectful, open-minded mood at your event. Whether your attendees are all about Trump or are #withher (or a rogue third-party candidate with no chance whatsoever of winning) you want to be sure that everyone feels comfortable. Arguably, this is a good night to be among your own so that you can mourn in solidarity or loudly gloat without fear of upsetting the opposition. However, if your event ground is neutral territory, just do your best to keep it together. If they go low, you go high. Even if your event is a totally partisan celebration, keeping it light is still a good thing. Events that are politically focused can get incendiary quickly when people feel passionate about their position. So, no matter what choice someone made (your boss, your client, your co-worker, the random dude over there by the bar drinking too much and droning loudly about his preferred candidate), keep calm and celebrate on!
#3 A PATRIOTIC THEME & DECORATIONS
No matter how much you align or disagree with the winning candidate, one thing we can all agree on is how awesome America is. It's all about our colors: the red, white, and blue. Fly your flags, swags and banners. Patriotic decor is de rigeur in this case. If your party is a Democratic event, you could have a donkey theme and likewise, a Republican event would benefit from a little elephant motif. According to our sources, both candidates probably have a little (or huge) stash of fireworks in their event plan just in case they are the one who wins, so, if it's safe and legal, you could even give your guests a little mini-4th of July show. P.S. Don't forget to decorate the dog!
#4 DON'T FORGET THE FOOD & DRINKS
There is a lot of great patriotic-themed food and drink out there (like that red, white, and blue potato salad Aunt Mildred brought to your last 4th of July barbecue) but food doesn't have to be patriotic colors to be American (because blue food). You've probably already covered this with your caterer, but just in case you're still undecided (ha,ha) you could make an America-themed buffet with regionally-focused dishes like lobster and clams from the Northeast, barbecue and slaw from the South, corn and beef from the Plains states and fresh fish and fruit from the West coast. With everyone feasting, you can't forget the drinks! We were sure many a mixologist has made a custom cocktail to suit an election night soiree, so we combed the interwebs for you to find a few special recipes. Most guests will probably want to swill whatever you happen to have on hand, just to tame their election night jitters, but we want you to have something special for them, if you feel so inclined. Here are a few of our (bi-partisan) favorites:
and if you're still wishing Bernie was in the race, you can drown your sorrows in a Bernie's Bee's Knees.
#5 HAVE A LITTLE FUN
I think we can all agree we go into Tuesday feeling a little battered and bruised. It's been kinda brutal. We hope your friendships and family relationships are all still intact. Either way, once you've cast your vote, it's time to relax and let the chips fall where they may. So, in our opinion, even if your event is on the formal side, there's still room for some levity and good-old-fashioned fun. Get your confetti cannon ready, suck up a little helium from your balloons and have a good time. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for filling the many long hours you will wait for the returns to come in:
- Hand out Trump and/or Clinton masks Everyone can pretend to be their favorite (or most despised) candidate. Or try these paper props for an election night photo booth or Instagram pics.
- If technology is more your speed, hop on Snapchat, Periscope or Facebook Live from your event and use one of their custom augmented selfie masks to pretend you are the candidate her (or him)self. Have some of each candidate's best quotes at the ready.
- Have an election night all-American karaoke party. This cool device, the iRig, turns your smartphone into a mini-machine or you can rent one locally. We even found this Spotify playlist for you. You're welcome.
- You don't have to extend your fun just to this election cycle: Play presidential trivia and learn some fun facts about the 44 who came before.
- Print out this map for all of your guests, along with red and blue crayons. Color in the map as the returns are announced. You can even have people fill them in before the returns and make it a contest to see who could get the most states correct. You can also use those printables for election night BINGO.
- It was pretty fun on debate night, so if your party is just for grownups, try again tonight: an election night drinking game.*
REST ASSURED, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS ON ELECTION NIGHT, ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, ALL OF US HERE AT BLACKSTONE PRODUCTIONS WILL STILL BE HERE TO HELP YOU. WE WILL BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS TO A GREAT EVENT AND HELP YOU GET AHEAD AND STAY AHEAD. WE WANT TO MAKE YOUR EVENT HUGE--A HUGE SUCCESS. WE WILL MAKE YOUR EVENT GREAT. NOBODY BUILDS BETTER EVENTS THAN US. WE WILL DO WHAT'S BEST FOR YOUR EVENT. GET READY. BLACKSTONE PRODUCTIONS: MAKE YOUR EVENTS GREAT AGAIN. #WE'VEGOTYOURBACK.**
*Please be safe, have a designated driver, know your limits and drink responsibly.
**Yes, we shamelessly plagiarized phrases from both candidates and jammed the word "events" in where appropriate. "We've got your back" is our motto. And we mean it.