Keeping up appearances

Theme Traders owner Kim Einhorn believes budgets are the stepping stones to any event, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality Firstly, you must analyse why an event is being held and what is needed to achieve these aims.

The difference between a good party and an amazing party is how and where you spend the money. Everything revolves around the brief and budgetary guidelines, which all too often are unclear.

Low budget
Even parties on low budgets can be amazing. The DIY method is excellent for creative folk who really want to add their design skills to the event and it can be a very rewarding way of having a party.

At Theme Traders we encourage clients to visit our showrooms. We also welcome event specialists who simply want to dry-hire, and production and party companies who have their own crews to set up the equipment. Even when our specialists are not involved they will give ideas on how to make the theme work to the budget, which can range from £125 upwards.

For example, a chill-out area for a 1970s-styled party can be simple but stunning. Massive bubble pyramids and lava lamps from £75 each, and the iconic oil projector at £125, can all be positioned to reflect off white sofas from £125 each and huge cushions at £20, giving the client a low-budget, high-impact theme.

Medium budget
The décor of any event will vary depending on the budgetary criteria, but James Bond - and Hollywood-style parties are popular for office Christmas parties, which can be very interactive and are normally tax deductable. The room can be transformed from about £5,000 upwards to look wonderful. It could be turned into a Bond fest, with large clapperboards showing little-known facts about the Bond portfolio, while guests could meet and greet the host at Moneypenny's office, have photos taken against a Bond backdrop and be served by Bond girls.

A central circular bar is normally the main focal point, dressed as a launch pad complete with imitation rocket, while guests could play games or visit Q in his laboratory for a quick go on the latest gizmos. And remember, customisation is worth a thousand words, especially if the company's logo is pasted on to it.

High budget
Many corporate clients want an exclusive event where money is no object. This type of party needs to be immaculately designed to reflect the desired atmosphere, suitable for a business environment, and often takes the form of a cocktail party. Attention to detail is of utmost importance though.

The service and champagne for this type of party must be first class. Canapé trays should be customised to reflect the company or the message that the host wishes to get across. Simple but effective ideas include perspex trays displaying newspaper cuttings and budget boxes to reflect the City. Using unusual and interesting decorations, such as live statues and ice sculptures, will also provide wonderful visual impact.

If you really want a memorable party, why not put a rhino or polar bear in your garden, glowing cubes in your drinks or wigwams in the conservatory. Alternatively, you could opt for a 1950s Chevrolet bar with all the trimmings, where guests can go and get margarita slush puppies to the sound of a huge Wurlitzer playing the inimitable Elvis – someone who really knew how to party.

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