Amina Al Zadjali, General Manager of Tiara Events, talks about the growing social media influence in parties, both private and corporate, while highlighting the different facets of event management and party planning in the country
To begin, tell us about your event management company…
Tiara Events is a fully fledged event management company, based in Muscat. At Tiara, our slogan is ‘Just wear your smile’, in which we mean for the clients to be stress-free wearing their smile while we take on the hard work in making their event a unique and memorable experience. We offer our clients a strategic approach with meticulous attention to production and details, so that we make their special event elegant, stylish, and glamorous with their input and our creativity put together.
We also have our rentals division, which gives on hire chairs, tables, décor items, kids play areas, table décor, party accessories, etc.
What are the new trends for the forthcoming party season?
The season is here and everyone is looking at something unique for their party. From the latest movie themes to glamorous colour schemes, the clients love to have them all. Weddings have taken a new turn, where some couples love to create a fairytale white wedding or flower garden, while keeping their traditional activities and ceremonial acts alive.
Locally, do you see the party season capturing these trends?
Almost all locals and expatriates are online and most of them are heavily into social media. Hence, they discover a lot of things online, especially on Pinterest and Instagram. Some of them like us to create the exact the same thing for their event as well. We would say most of our clients will always have their theme in mind with some inspirational images to start with. This helps us to deliver what they require to a greater extend.
Are more people relying on professionals to organise their party/event?
When it comes to a basic small party, some prefer to organise it themselves and rely on our rental section. But when it comes to creating a whole new experience from an empty space, garden or a living room, they need professionals to handle it for them. We always give them few options when it comes to venue décor, inspired from our meetings and discussion with the clients. We try to dig deep into concepts to create something unique and different that is tailor-made for the client.
As an event manager, what has been your biggest challenge?
It has always the last-minute calls. In this field, as any other creative field, we often find ourselves in a situation where last-minute inquiries come from our clients. We have some long-lasting relations with our clients that were built on support in these kinds of situations. As an events agency, we love to undertake challenges, as we feel accomplished when that particular task is delivered to the satisfaction of the client.
Are there ready materials/resources to help plan big events or parties?
Our business model depends in a large-scale on customisation, adding uniqueness to each event; hence we don’t depend on supplies from the market, though the market is more open than ever before, providing quite a variety of supplies.
What, according to you, is an ideal office party concept?
It really depends on the values that each brand we work with stands for. The best ideas are the one derived from our client’s brand values and concepts. Fun team activities are always a great way to bring office employees together and bring out the fun side in them.
With most people preferring to organise open house parties rather than elaborate dinners, would you say the party trend is moving towards more casual affairs?
Most of the people like informal gathering to formal ones, as it’s easy and there are no hard and fast rules on dress code. Of course, it all depends on what exactly they like their event to be. Many corporate firms still prefer the formal dinners for their important annual functions, than casual.
What are the dos and don’ts to follow while organising a formal party?
- Select a right venue
- Select a theme
- Prepare a final guest list/number of guests
- Put up a budget for the event
- Have options for entertainment and choose the correct entertainment
- Have a seating plan
- Venue decor and other elements like stage, backdrop and AV requirement list
- Draw up an agenda for the event
- Logistics for the event set up and removal after the event
- Have a pre-event calendar with set dates for each of the tasks
- Get late – for the event set up and on the event date
- Wait for the last-minute to prepare the items for the event
- Panic for any last-minute mishaps; instead, find and be geared for immediate alternative solutions
- Propose any new item to the event if it’s not available on the required date.
- In general do not promise anything to the client, if you cannot deliver it.
Any tips/guidelines to ensure that the party begins and ends smoothly?
We always like to make sure that the set up and the venue preparations are done at least 2 to 3 hours before the event starts. At the same time, we have a formal agenda of the event with precise timings and another with the full flow of the event for our internal support staff to see what comes next and who does what for each item of the agenda/programme, so that they will prepare the particular performers or items well ahead and keep them ready. Sometimes, the bigger events and shows get rehearsed few times before the event start time.