Should we fill the office space with balloons? What’s a good door gift? Is a live band necessary? These were some of the questions I did not think I would be asking, a month and a half into my new job at RICE. More than a regular event – I was tasked to plan one of the biggest parties ever organised in the company’s premise. It was a nerve-wrecking task, but at the same time, I was honoured be given such a big responsibility.
Thanks to my background in luxury lifestyle PR where I was often tasked with planning media lunches and cocktails at newly opened dining spaces, party planning was of familiar territory. Coming from a background in fashion design, I also have an appreciation for brand cohesion. This meant that every minute detail was taken into consideration and thought through – from the colour of the bins, to ensuring that we had company-branded golf umbrellas in case of a rainy day. As a company that prides itself on being eco-friendly, it was also my responsibility to ensure that everything at the party was reusable or recyclable.
With so many bits and pieces to manage, a list was put together, one that eventually became a full presentation for the wider team. It included budgets for the management team’s approval, a timeline, as well as a list of tasks that had to be delegated. Planning an event that would accommodate over 100 guests was no easy feat, at the same time, it was crucial that everything went smoothly. After all, it is not every day that you have VVIP guests flying in from overseas to attend a party.
There are a few key things that can either make or break an event, and food is certainly one of them. Beyond the taste and presentation, it was a deliberate effort on our end to ensure that our canapes were halal, shrimp and nut free, and had plenty of vegetarian options. We scoured high and low before finalising on a caterer that truly understood and could accommodate our needs. When some of the guests raved about the canapes (and the friendly butlers) to me that evening, I knew we had chosen the perfect catering company for the event.
The best part about organising an in-house party is having the opportunity to showcase the many talents that we have at RICE. Our Finance Manager, who is also a whisky expert came up with a unique whisky-based cocktail – The Trailblazer – for the party. A few of our colleagues also stepped up to the task of being photographers of the evening, capturing some of the most memorable moments.
Being tasked to plan such an important event was unnerving at times but I always had a team behind me, ready to jump in at any time to ensure that everything ran smoothly. It was truly a great experience and seeing the smiles on our guests’ faces that evening only makes me want to plan RICE’s future events.
Revisit the night through photos from the party, accessible on Facebook here.