A Professional Guide to Hosting a Cocktail Party

One of the most fashionable parties for adults these days to have are cocktail parties. Even thought their popularity has fallen off over the last few decades, cocktail parties have reappeared on the party scene and are now even more fashionable than they ever were before.

While many adults in the United States today enjoy beer and wines, the mixed drinks of the past are really starting to become more and more in vogue again. Now days when you walk into a typical bar, you will see many more people ordering mixed drinks than they have in the last decade or two. Some of the most popular today is the apple martini, chocolate martini, dirty martini, and the cosmopolitan.

One of the best things about planning a cocktail party is that they generally only last a few hours. In addition, your guests will be wandering around mingling and snacking rather than sitting around a table eating a full meal with each other. This makes the cocktail party perfect for inviting people who may or may not already know each other.

One of the easiest things about planning a cocktail party is the fact that you can have just about any menu your want, as long as the food is complementary to the most popular mixed drinks that is. Guests who come to a cocktail party know that they are only there to snack, have a drink or two, and mingle. Because of this, you can supply a wide variety of finger foods and be confident that everyone present will find something agreeable to them.

Here are some professional party planner’s tips on hosting an amazing cocktail party that everyone will remember and be talking about.

Tip #1 – You will need way more ice for your cocktail party than you think you will. The standard rule of thumb is to have about a pound of ice per guest who will be in attendance. However, I believe even a bit more is advisable.

Tip #2 – Different beverages are consumed from different glass styles. Make sure that you have a large assortment of the appropriate glasses for your guests. And, it is always a good idea to have many extras. If you will be serving wine, it is a good idea to use wine glass charms so people will stick to using their same glass throughout the night.

Tip #3 – The most important part of your cocktail party planning is making sure you have enough supplies on hand. The most important of these supplies is your alcoholic beverages. A good bar should be stocked with the ingredients for each of your friend’s favorite drinks, or as a basic level at least those used to make the most popular drinks of the day, plus beer and wine.

Tip #4 – If you do not know anything about mixing drinks, you can always enlist the skills of one of your friends or relatives to play bartender for the evening; however, if you will be having a very large cocktail party then you might want to consider hiring a professional bartender for the night. Many local catering services will have bartenders who can work for you at your party. They are not terribly expensive and do a wonderful job.

Tip #5 – When you are hosting a party where alcohol is consumed, you should always offer food and coffee to your guests as well as make sure they have a designated driver to get them home safely. Please do not ever let your guests drink and drive. It’s not safe for them and the other people on the road. And, it can also land you in jail if they get in an accident after drinking at your home. It simply isn’t worth it!

As you can clearly see, hosting a cocktail party is not complicated and can offer you a wonderful excuse to have your friends and family over for an evening of adult fun.

Choosing an Intimate Conference Venue

So you’re looking for a conference venue? Not the size of the Taj Mahal, but something just as impressive. A venue with the right amount of space, flexible catering, including accommodation and the right facilities.

This is where the elegance, style and the intimate nature of an independently owned hotel works well as a conference venue. These venues add their unique character and extraordinary service to your event. Finding the perfect environment sets the necessary tone, playing an important part in achieving your desired outcome.

Whether you’re hosting a meeting, conference, workshop, training course or social occasion here are a few things to look for in a hotel venue.

Space
Does the hotel have the space you require? Whether the focus of your event is a meeting, banquet or an exhibit, space can be the a factor that is usually underestimated.

Avoid hiring a venue that is big enough to seat 200 when you’re only hosting a 20-person meeting. You only want to consider venues that can handle the event you’re planning. It is advisable to schedule a visit with your potential host prior to the event ensuring the venue meets your space requirements.

In the case of an event where the number of guests is uncertain, make sure there are sufficient break-away rooms to avoid congestion.
Catering
Bear in mind that catering needs to meet the special dietary requirements of your guests. Hotels have a flexible menu and unlike a catering company, the kitchen is at hand when you need it.

Conference Styles
Check to see if the hotel can host various conference styles including a theater for presentations, a classroom with a blackboard, a reception area and of course a boardroom.

Location
Find a centrally located venue, close to stations and some of the areas main attractions as well as being within easy reach of the airport. With easy access by rail, tube or road, your guests will arrive for your event in good time and ready for the day you have planned.

Equipment
Small details like air-conditioning make a huge difference. It helps a great deal if the hotel is equipped with latest audio-visual facilities, this way you can avoid lugging around your own equipment or having to rent from a supplier.

Another thing to check for is high-speed Internet or wireless Internet.

Accommodation
The one drawback with venues like convention or conference centers, is that you would need to use a nearby hotel for accommodation. If your event is extended by more than one day, a hotel becomes rather convenient. Depending on the number of guests, most hotels will provide a discount on accommodation.

The hallmark of an independently owned hotel is the unique ambiance provided by the venue. Staging an event in the right setting is conducive to a receptive audience. The wrong venue, whether inappropriately large, under serviced or under equipped, can have undesirable results.

Consider one of your local hotels the next time you host an event.

Is It Good To Hire A Personal Chef?

You may misunderstand that hiring a personal chef will cost you a lot and it is not worth it to spend such huge money on this! This is a wrong idea. Personal chefs are now helping couples and families to present fabulous home cooked dinners to their guests. And it’s not as expensive as you think!

The reasons of hiring a personal chef: A personal chef will bring the food, create a nutritious and balanced meal, figure out the servings needed (so you don’t need to deal with leftovers) and most of all give you the freedom to focus on other aspects of entertaining while still providing the best food for your guests. Are you hosting a business lunch? An intimate wedding reception? Or even an intimate dinner for two that just has to be the best? A personal chef can handle any order. You can usually choose from a selection of courses they provide or arrange for a customized menu.

The cost: Prices will vary but you can expect a weeks worth of meals (containers, food and cooking included) to be about $350 for a family of 4 (20 meals of entrees and side dishes) or $175 for a couple (10 meals of entrees and side dishes). Some services will prepare all the meals at once while others will deliver or prepare the meal in your home throughout the week.

Place to hire a personal chef: Finding a chef is easy by using the USPCA (United States Personal Chef Association) or the CPCA (Canadian Personal Chef Alliance). Here you will find information on personal chefs as well as a directory of members in your area.

Don’t view a personal chef as a catering service. They are more professional. For busy professionals who are looking for quality meals and more time with their family, a personal chef will prepare several entrees and side dishes, store them and clean the kitchen. For the rest of the week all you have to do is take them out of the fridge or freezer and reheat to enjoy gourmet meals all week. For families who turn to fast foods and restaurants the cost may actually be less than what they are currently paying. Some personal chefs also can be booked for private or group cooking lessons. Invite a group of your friends to learn the art of creating delectable pasties or sumptuous seafood from an expert!

If you want to have a wonderful time at home, relax all day, no need to wake up in the morning to do a cookery, a personal chef is the best solution for you.