Dean Pollak went to one of the fanciest parties in LA Saturday night, Sean Penn’s Help Haiti Home Gala and at first glance this evening had nothing to do with our simple east coast at home soiree’s. But upon second glance……
The Deans are always learning, and a good party is a good party no matter where it is. Great parties contain certain key elements that are the bedrock of successful entertaining, no matter if it’s four people at home or 300 at a public venue.
The most essential element for a fantastic party, tiny or huge, is timing. One person has organized every single detail, and in this case there was no detail too small for Sean Penn’s eagle eye. It was clear he did not hire an event planner for his party; perhaps to execute his ideas, but not to create them.
Because the party was big, Sean could not greet each guest individually, so he hired extra greeters: a coat was taken care of upon entering and a drink was provided, giving each guest an immediate sense that they were being taken care of for the evening.
Two or three surprise elements punctuated the evening. You might not be able to get Chris Martin or the Red Hot Chili Peppers to your party, or maybe you can, but a local musician to play two or three songs, (four or five is too many) can be unforgettable. Even Chris Martin only played two songs, remember, less is more! Other surprises you can interject - party favors, game of charades after dinner, an authentic spicy gumbo, or costume theme, beer place cards.
The Deans have said it before this, the end of the party needs to be in sight. At no time is this more important than at a large party. If your party has a chance of going too long or too short, err on the side of too short. Always leave people wanting more. If everyone gets up and stampedes to the door after dessert, you will know your event went on too long.
If you see someone you recognize at a party, not someone you see every day, do him/her the favor of re-introducing yourself, even if you are sure they know who you are. Be sure to put yourself in context when saying hello. People are distracted at a party, and a name, where you met them, and your connection to the person are polite and a huge help.
Even when the Deans are treated to a star studded evening, it is heart warming to notice what the Gala has in common with our entertainments. Just because movie stars are in attendance does not mean the party is a slam dunk. Timing is always the most important element. If something goes wrong, make necessary adjustments, but try not to let your timing get off track. Remember having fun yourself is the whole point of your party.