A good party is all about planning. Whether it’s a Christmas cocktail bash, a glamorous fundraiser or a large-scale dinner party, planning is everything.

Most of us have been to our fair share of events, so how can you make yours stand out from the rest?

Here are some ideas to get the creative juices (and Prosecco) flowing…

Everyone loves a theme, if it’s done right!

While most dinner parties opt for a classic black-tie approach, a twist on a theme is never a bad approach.

Whether it’s Casino Royale, 1920s Great Gatsby, Murder Mystery, Masquerade or Arabian Nights, the possibilities are endless. A theme helps you decide food, décor and entertainment, and allows your guests to get glammed up a little differently.

Food for thought

Everyone knows that if the food is bad, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth (pun intended). While most people think a gala dinner needs to be traditional, it’s worth getting creative with your catering, especially if you’re hosting a themed event.

With a big event, you want to create talking points- and the food will always be one of them. Working closely with your venue and caterer, you can make sure the food leaves a lasting impression by looking at current food trends such as marbled cakes and doughnuts, watermelon infused drinks, or hero vegetable main dishes.

For dessert, why not see if your venue will allow a food truck to provide sweet treats? Or have a dessert station set up, making the event more casual. Let them eat cake!

A change of scenery

Your venue matters, and the right venue choice can kickstart the excitement before the event has even begun. While many corporate events take place in hotels and stadiums (there’s nothing wrong with that), many event organisers are opting for a change of scenery, and taking their events into museums, music halls or bars.

At Techniquest, our events are held in our beloved exhibition space, where guests can get hands on with over 120 exhibits. Set against the backdrop of Cardiff Bay, our architecturally celebrated building is a venue capable of adding the fun back into corporate events, dinner parties or award ceremonies.

Gala Dinner at Techniquest

Don’t leave them to entertain themselves

While you want people using their phones to capture their memories, you don’t want them to be glued to the screen all night. Entertainment is key, and make sure you have something in store, whether that’s a magician, dancers or a live musical act.

Don’t underestimate the power of the element of surprise, so if you have multiple acts on the night, try to keep at least one of them a secret.

Participatory entertainment is also a winner, as guests love to get involved with something different and it has the ability of bringing the fun out in people at events. This could be writing on a bespoke event wall, a photo booth/selfie mirror, casino tables or board games. Who doesn’t love a bit of healthy competition?

Social media

Start the conversation using social media, that’s what it’s there for after all. Make sure you have someone on hand designated to live tweeting, sharing photos and highlights from the event. If you have entertainers, make sure they’re also aware of the hashtag and social media channels so they can also get involved.

Social media should be used on the run up to the event, counting down the days to the party and interacting with guests. Tease out photos and other visual media of the preparations to get people talking.

One last thing…

While the job might be done by the time your guests parade through the velvet ropes, make the evening memorable by making sure people feel comfortable with each other. Who doesn’t like leaving an event with a new friend in tow?

Think of yourself a friendly matchmaker and introduce people to each other so that they have someone to talk to – especially if there are few people they actually know on their table. This kind of social engineering will make sure that everyone feels happy and relaxed, even if they’re complete strangers.

For more information on holding events at Techniquest, head over here