Secret of my success

Partridge Design managing director Jacqui Partridge reveals to Jeremy King the key elements involved when creating a unique event

RSVP: I want to create a unique and exciting creative design for my event/party - where is the best place to start?
Jacqui Partridge: Think of a theme that is relevant to the event and the client or guest. Inspiration can come from movies, books, magazines and programmes such as 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here', which has proved popular. It is essential to consider the size of the venue, what it can accommodate and the set time allowed. Also note the age group of guests and the type of event required - is it a sit-down dinner or cocktail party? The key element is budget.

RSVP: What services do you,as a design company,offer?
JP We can design your entire event from concept to completion. This could be stage sets, lighting, draping, prop-building, table centres,floral d├ęcor and entertainment.

RSVP: Why is using your services better than going it alone?
JP: We have vast experience in designing and putting together successful events. We also have huge reserves of manpower and materials,we know the pitfalls that can occur and we know about the health and safety issues for venues.We also have experience ofwhat guests enjoy and what makes for a successful event.

RSVP: Any advice for an aspiring production designer?
JP: You need proper training in either theatre set design, event management or display design.You must also be practical and prepared to use common sense, possess the ability to think creatively and laterally, and have enough enthusiasm to be able to resolve unforeseen disasters. You also need a great deal of stamina for the long days,late nights and early mornings.

RSVP: How far in advance do I need to design my event?
JP: That depends on the size of the event. If it's for 1,000 people at the Grosvenor with an all-singing,all-dancing stage set, sound,audio-visual,entertainment and lots of committees, it can take six to nine months. If it's a cocktail party for 100 we can turn it around in a week.Ideally we would like a month for better planning.

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