April 13, 2018
By Mansi Soni

Tuxedos, lace, the swish of taffeta, and the clink of champagne glasses: these are the undisputable markers of galas and glamorous balls. But behind the glitz and glamour of every gala is tons of hard work put in by event organisers.

If you’re looking to pull out all the stops and design an unforgettable gala, keep these tips in mind. Even with budget constraints, you can still wow your guests with just the right touches.

1. Select a theme that conveys the purpose of the event in an interesting and appealing manner.

Selecting the perfect theme for your gala can really make or break the success of your event. Make sure your attendees have a night to remember by choosing a theme that will generate the right buzz.

2. Select a venue that is in harmony with your theme.

Greenhouses, glasshouses and crystal-furnished event venues will minimise the amount you have to spend for decoration. Remember that many universities, museums and art galleries have affordable spaces that are perfect for galas. Consider an outdoor venue if it’s appropriate for the destination and season.

3. Make an impact with your entrance.

This is the first area guests will see and it sets the tone for the rest of the event. It doesn’t take much. A red carpet, lush vegetation and the right lighting can add drama and excitement.

4. Use a few major decorative elements to add a touch of pizzazz…but don’t overdo it.

Strategically place an attractive backdrop, large cut-outs, ceiling hangings, branches, or plants.

5. Remember, a little music can go a long way to create the proper ambiance.

Music can enliven the atmosphere and make sure your guests have a great evening.

6. Create a sense of style with effective lighting.

A lighting designer could turn out to be one of your best investments for gala events.

7. Use a simple colour palette.

Bright white plus a vivid accent colour that reflects your theme makes a bold statement. Using too many colours will actually reduce the luxurious feel of the event.

8. Select table linen and chair covers that add a touch of elegance.

The right linen could inject some style into your event.

9. Never underestimate the impact of fine tableware and crystal.

High-quality tableware is a must if you want to make an impression.

10. Use interesting and appealing centrepieces in accordance with your theme.

Tasteful table decoration that are subtle and themed work really well at balls and galas.


Bonus: Add an element of surprise.

Depending on your theme or budget, Taiko drummers, ice sculptures, fireworks, a balloon drop, aerial acrobats, an unexpected celebrity appearance or dancers (e.g. belly dancers, Capoeira, lion dancers, fire limbo) all have proven crowd appeal.

Mansi Soni, Assistant Team Lead, Content Marketing, Cvent

Mansi Soni

Mansi is part of the content marketing team at Cvent. She has 7+ years of experience in developing content for the travel and hospitality industry and leads the content production team for the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. When not researching new topics for writing, she can be found making glass paintings, trying new ice cream flavours or playing family games.

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