On this week’s episode, host Narmeen, talks to Priya Narain about her dream event. Priya is Co-Founder of Event First Steps and General Manager at EMA. Event First Steps is an industry initiative which was started around four years ago. The organisation was created to help those taking their first steps into the industry through providing useful resources. The resources included live panel events which covered roots to the industry, different paths you can take and diversity in the industry.
Although Priya works in the events industry, she had not given much thought to her dream event as she is usually the one talking to clients and getting their brief for their dream events. However, she wanted her dream event to have a “giving back” element to it as Event First Steps is all about assisting and helping people. The event Priya landed on was a charity gala ball to raise money for multiple charities that deal with children, especially those who are in need.
Priya didn’t have a specific location or venue in mind, as ideally, she would like to travel abroad to do some venue scouting in different countries and cities to find the perfect venue. The main focus was on mansions and stepping away from hotels as event venues to create a “money can’t buy” experience. The event wouldn’t really need a theme due to the character of the mansion. This would preferably be in a warm country, up in the hills with a cool breeze overlooking the sea, giving it a very calm and secluded feel – formal with a casual vibe.
Guest would arrive and would be greeted by ushers, then taken to a champagne reception. Once guests have arrived, they would also have to hand in their phone, as Priya would like them to be in the present and there for the charity. A supplier Priya would use is Exquisite Cocktails who specialist in a strawberry and balsamic vinegar cocktail. Bouvard Events was also mentioned to provide canapés at the welcome reception. Priya describes a chicken and truffle croquet which she loved when working with Bouvard Events previously. The food would be nice, clean, easy to eat canapés which would become a talking point for the guests at the event.
The type of person that would attend this event are those with money and those who are willing to spend it. This event could be compared to the Met Gala with the outfits and the effort that many attendees make for this go-to event.
Priya wants at least five courses which include; a soup, starter, main course, desert and cheese board. Priya raves about her mum’s corn soup and insists that would be the soup course which then moves onto hot salmon and avocado starter. The main would be lamb with a herb crust and dauphinoise potatoes, which is then followed by Bouvard Event’s famous 00 Heaven desert, which is described as chocolate delice, Baisley’s mouse, strawberries, honey comb and chocolate soil. Finally, a cheeseboard, where there would be a variety of choice; cheddar, brie, blue cheese and a goat’s cheese. Along with this, there would be an array of chutneys, grapes, figs and biscuits.
Paired with the meal would be wines that match the flavours of each course. At the end of the meal you would be served tea and coffee and the offer of an Espresso Martini to those who fancy it. Drinks would be flowing with an open bar with cocktail and premier spirits, as well as flare bartenders providing some bar entertainment.
The event would have a sustainable attribute to it, for example a flower wall which would then be deconstructed and donated to local hospitals or anywhere that fresh flowers help brighten up the environment. Through her event experience, Priya has come across Petal to the Metal, who make floral arches or structures out of flowers for events. However, there would also be an undertone of a black and gold colour scheme which the waiters would be dressed in or table settings, which would create a classy combination and appeal to guests.
The guests that would be targeted are ones with big pockets and people that are willing to give, as the aim of the event is to raise as much as possible. Priya would really love to host an event where the Obama’s turn up, as they are her dream people to meet. Michelle Obama would do a welcome speak to say thank you to those that are attending the event. In addition to that, there would be tables set aside for the charities involved, including the children involved in the charity. For Priya, it is very important they are represented at the event and get to experience it.
The host and MC of the night would be the master of everything, Idris Elba. In terms of the entertainment Adele would perform, as she is iconic but also a great comedian and fun guest to be around.
Auction prizes would include holidays, flights and branded goods such as diamond necklaces. However, prizes would also include a date with Idris Elba. There would be no swag bags for the adult guests, but they would be provided for the children attending with the charities.
To contact Priya and Event First Steps, she is available on social media platforms; Twitter, Instagram or Event First Steps.com.