Whether you’re planning a thousand-person corporate event or a celebratory family birthday party, there’s always a reason to host a pre-event cocktail hour. Cocktail hours are great mingling and networking opportunities, allowing for guests to arrive prior to the main event. It’s also a great perk to promote as a premier access experience. But you have to make it stunning, with all the upscale touches and extras, to make it work. And these are the tips and suggestions for curating a brilliant cocktail hour and prelude to your New York events.
Signature Cocktails and Mocktails
Start by crafting a custom cocktail menu with signature drinks that commemorate your event. Include mocktail versions, too. Coordinate with your venue’s bar service or bring in talented mixologists to keep the glasses full and lines moving throughout the duration of the stunning cocktail hour. Variety is key – so make sure you have plenty of exciting options.
Consider Cocktail Hour Themes
Your New York event might already have a theme. But your cocktail hour can also be unique with its own theme or atmosphere. From speakeasy vibes to Hollywood red carpet, get creative and design stunning cocktail hours that feel like their own private events.
Offer Upscale Appetizers
Work with your catering partners to devise an upscale cocktail hour appetizer menu. Your guests will have their signature drinks in hand but will also appreciate a delectable morsel or two before the main event meal service. Make these snacks and hors d’oeuvres as artistic in presentation as they are scrumptious, too, for incredible guest impressions.
Set the Cocktail Hour Mood with Music and Lighting
Create an ambiance for your pre-event cocktail hour with appropriate mood lighting and music. Guests are more at ease in dimly lit spaces. And you can use these cocktail gatherings to display LED imagery or dazzling light aesthetics. Treat your cocktail hour as if it were its own stand-alone event, complete with all the ambiance-boosting extras to make it magical.
Provide Pre-Event Activations and Experiences
Involve your event sponsors or entertainers and provide cocktail hour activations and experiences. Give your cocktail party guests something to do or enjoy while they’re mingling. From chamber musicians and pianists to games and drawings, create memorable experiences for cocktail hour attendees to enjoy.
Make your cocktail hour brilliant with these ideas and suggestions. And when you get your tickets for The Event Planner Expo 2023, be sure to get on the Opening Party cocktail hour! You won’t want to miss this high-energy networking opportunity and prelude to the premier events industry conference in NYC!