Five Tips for Hosting a Gala in a Luxury Holiday Estate
If this year, you have decided to host your gala or benefit in a spectacular luxury rental estate, you have made a very savvy choice that is sure to give your guests a magical and memorable experience while raising vital funds for your cause. There are however, a few extra steps that you may have already found need to be attended to when hosting a large gala in a luxury estate. Oftentimes, a contributing factor to what makes a luxury estate such an exclusive and unique experience is the fact that is is located in a remote area. Therefore, when planning your gala, it is important to give yourself and your committee a little extra planning time. The following five tips for planning a gala in a luxury holiday rental estate will help you in making sure that your gala goes as smoothly as it would as if you were in the city.
1. Select a core group of on-site helpers from your committee
Normally, it is easy to delegate matters to committee members when you are in the city, as everyone is more or less within travelling distance of any venue you might choose. But with a luxury holiday rental, this is not the case. Plan well ahead for this. From your existing committee, get a commitment from a few members who are willing to serve as on-site liaisons when the date draws near. You will undoubtedly have things that arise at the last moment, and by already having someone designated to help handle those last-minute bumps in the road, you can avoid any serious crises on the day of the event. Ask the remaining committee members not involved with the on-site planning to spearhead the efforts in selling tables and handling the guest list for the event.
Accommodation is something that you normally wouldn’t have to think of for a gala in the city. But guests who take the effort to make the trip to a special gala in a luxury holiday rental will expect a certain level of accommodation. Depending on the size of the estate, you may be able to accommodate a fair amount of guests on the property itself. The best rooms should be reserved for special guests and keynote speakers, the master of ceremonies, and any other VIP guests that will be attending. It is also a good idea that you and a few members of your core on-site committee have accommodation on-site, to handle any of your guests’ needs that might arise during the event.
In the event that the estate cannot house all of the guests that will be attending, alternate accommodation must be arranged. Again, it is imperative that you begin planning the event well in advance; even more so that you would if you were planning the gala in the city. Once the date is set in stone, call the surrounding local hotels that are of a suitable standard, and reserve a block of rooms. Depending on the nature of your event, you may also wish to reserve a block of rooms at a second hotel that offers rooms at a slightly lower price point, so that your guests have a choice in where they stay.
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If your guests are indeed spread-out between the estate and one or more local hotels, it may be necessary for you to arrange a car service or a shuttle for them if they have not come to the event with their own drivers. The mode of transportation can be at your discretion, but should be suitable to both the theme of the event and the comfort expected by the guests who will be attending.
4. Gift Bags
If you are going to the trouble of planning a gala in a luxury estate, do not forget the gift bags. Gift bags not only add a personal touch to the event, it is a way of thanking your guests for taking the time to attend your event, and providing them with a lovely souvenir of the time they spent there. Appropriate gifts vary, depending on the purpose of your gala or benefit, and are generally chosen at the discretion of the committee. It is a good idea to have one committee member, ideally one that is not involved in the on-site preparations for the event, to take the lead in putting together the gift bags for the gala.
5. Save the Date Reminder Cards
Because you will have started planning your event so far in advance, it is even more important than usual to send out a reminder, or “save the date” card six months in advance. These cards should be sent not only to guests that have already indicated that they will attend the event, but also to guests that have not yet sent in their RSVP in order to try and finalise just how many guests you will be expecting. This will also help you in finalising the menus and accommodation, as well as allow you to let go of excess blocks of rooms that you may have reserved that may be in excess of what you may require as emergency backup accommodation.
Planning a gala in a luxury rental estate may seem like an overwhelming task at first, but advance planning is the key to success. Divide your committee, and delegate tasks appropriately. Spend extra time hashing out the details of logistics, transportation, and accommodation. You will find that taken individually, these preparatory tasks will soon be behind you, leaving you with plenty of time to manage the unavoidable unexpected issues that arise along the way. Once you have put the proper time and thought into the preparatory aspects of the planning phase, your gala is not only sure to be a success, but will likely be the talk of the town for months, if not years to come.