EVENT UPCLOSE: THE OSCARS PARTIES
THERE IS NO BIGGER EVENT IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY THAN THE ACADEMY AWARDS. THIS YEAR, ON FEBRUARY 26 AT 7PM EST/ 4PM PST, THE OSCARS WILL BE TELEVISED ON ABC AND HOSTED BY JIMMY KIMMEL. THE NOMINEES HAVE BEEN CHOSEN, THE GOWNS AND TUXEDOS ARE BEING FITTED AS WE SPEAK, AND FINAL TOUCHES ARE BEING PUT TO HUGE, PRESTIGIOUS PARTIES THAT HAPPEN EACH YEAR. THERE ARE GATHERINGS FOR MAKEUP ARTISTS, PRODUCERS, ACTORS, WOMEN, CANADIANS, COSTUME DESIGNERS, TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT OSCARS, PRE-LUNCHES, GIFTING SUITES--YOU NAME IT. THERE ARE SO MANY OSCARS PARTIES IN AND AROUND LOS ANGELES THIS WEEK, IT'S POSSIBLE TO WONDER WHETHER THERE IS A VENUE OR RENTAL CHAIR AVAILABLE IN THE ENTIRE METROPOLIS. BELOW IS OUR TOP 5 LIST OF THE BEST BIG OSCARS EVENTS AND A FEW TIPS YOU CAN TAKE FROM EACH TO APPLY TO YOUR OWN EVENTS.
1. OSCARS SISTAH'S SOIREE
There are two notable events exclusively to celebrate women in the industry, one is the Women in Film pre-party and the other is the annual Oscars Sistah's Soiree, hosted by veteran actress Alfre Woodard. The Sistah's Soiree brings together a select group of black women who have made notable achievements in the film industry. The event is about celebrating the excellence and achievements of the attendees and a unique setting for connection. This gathering is a night for the most powerful black women in film to enjoy a night of support, sisterhood, and celebration. Unlike many Oscars events, journalists aren't allowed in--it's a thespian only event except for a brief cocktail pre-party. By all accounts once the real party starts the stilettos come off for some serious bonding time. Unlike most events we've read about, researched or been to ourselves, this event sounds incredibly stylish, authentic, and genuinely fun.
EVENT TIP: Sometimes exclusivity is the best way to be inclusive. Creating events where people feel validated, uplifted, and connected can be an amazing way to create a truly meaningful and unforgettable experience.
2. THE GOVERNOR'S BALL
On the flip side of the connected intimacy of the Sistah's Soiree is the Governor's Ball--the official sit-down dinner and crazy big-time party after the Oscars telecast. This is easily the most elaborate, luxurious gala in Los Angeles each year. Only the nominees, presenters, families and select guests are invited. Unlike the Golden Globes where there is food to eat and ample alcohol flowing during the awards show itself, during the Oscars everyone is stuck in a big auditorium with no snacks and carefully managed bathroom breaks in elaborate gowns. By the time everyone gets to the Governor's Ball, they are incredibly hungry and either ecstatic with joy over a golden statuette or salving their wounds with some very expensive champagne. What's impressive is the scale, the lavishness and design of this masterfully orchestrated event.
EVENT TIP: In this case, you can learn a lot from the adage, "Go big or go home." Study aspects of past Oscar's Governor's balls if you're yearning to throw the fete of your life. No doubt you'll find ample inspiration here.
3. OSCARS GREENROOM
Some might argue that this is not an "event" per se, but we beg to differ. The Oscars Green room has its own dedicated event planner, its own special design each year, snacks to tide over weary winners, presenters, and other backstage wanderers. Should you be lucky enough to find yourself there you would find: gifting suites (several), makeup artists and hair experts to primp and perfect before you head to the step-and-repeat for your triumphant post-Oscar win photos. It's where you get your Oscar engraved and where you sit and have a little mid-show bubbly before you head back to your seat. There is catering and gorgeous seating and photographers on hand to document the excitement. It's like a little mini-Oz behind the curtain of the big show most of us see. It's carefully curated to be as comforting and beautiful as possible so it simultaneously calms and celebrates the A-listers inside.
EVENT TIP: Don't overlook the "staging" areas of your event as special opportunities for micro-events within your celebration.
4. VANITY FAIR OSCARS PARTY
This event is widely acknowledged to be the "hottest ticket in town" where the A-listers among A-listers gather from not just the film industry but music, technology, and business. Each year this amazing soiree creates buzz, whether it's nominees who are now toting an Oscar or some starlet on the arm of a different sweetheart than last year. It's always wild, it's always fun, and by all accounts it's always totally amazing. Many celebs even save a second more adventurous ensemble to change into between the awards show and the VF party to be free of long, limiting gowns. The main goal here is to look incredible, be fabulous and PARTY.
EVENT TIP: If you're having a formal event, sometimes having an after party is the best idea. Those who want to head home early can do so (or go have In-N-Out burger with their statuette as Hilary Swank famously did). Those who want to stay and continue to celebrate can do so until the sun comes up.
5. VIEWING PARTIES
Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Weinstein Company, InStyle Magazine, and Mercedes-Benz are just a few of the big-big names that host viewing parties for the glitterati who weren't nominated, presenting or attending the Academy Awards and Governor's Ball or Vanity Fair party. Lavish dinners, dancing, cocktails, and of course, big screens and huge speakers broadcast the event live to attendees. Celebs, many of them past Oscar nominees and winners, mixed with other famous faces and notable individuals, have the opportunity to watch the show together while they feast and imbibe. Many are fundraisers (as Elton John's is for his AIDS Foundation) and so there are some good-doing themes here among the indulgences. Each party has its own amazing decor, food, and drinks--all carefully curated by the best event planners in the world.
It's also worth noting that many thousands of people hold less luxurious affairs in their own homes, complete with decor, betting pools, and sometimes fancy attire. Who's to say you must be A-list to hold an Oscar viewing party? Certainly not us!
EVENT TIP: Just because you're not the main event, doesn't mean you can't hold a worthy gathering of your own. Sometimes a smaller budget allows for more creativity (see our Free Cheatsheet HERE) or opens the invitee field to a wider, sometimes even more interesting group of people. Widen your horizons and get inventive. And if you need us, we are here for you.
P.S. IF YOU'RE FEELING THE SQUEEZE OF AN IMPENDING EVENT--DON'T PANIC. DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE: 5 Steps To Pulling Off An AMAZING Big Event—Without Hitting the Panic Button.