New York Rooftop Party with Kirsten Newlands

On today’s episode, host Narmeen Kamran talks to Kirsten Newlands, a recent BA Events Management graduate from Queen Margaret University Edinburgh – and one of the four fabulous Social Media Marketing interns here at Desert Island Events Podcast! Kirsten recalls her entry into the events industry as a “fluke”, as one of her friends recommended the events management programme to her, stating that she would be a good fit for it and her friend was right! Kirsten has loved her course and is so glad she decided to take the advice and go into the industry. 

Kirsten had two dream event ideas, with the first being a mindful and relaxing yoga retreat on a hot Greek island, however she decided to talk more about her idea for a rooftop bar event. As she’s obsessed with New York it would have to take the top spot, specifically taking place in a bar with the beautiful New York City skyline serving as the backdrop. Having been to New York twice, Kirsten would want the event to take place in any hotel that has an excellent view of the skyscrapers. While there would be no occasion in particular to celebrate, as Kirsten just would love to host the party for the fun of it, there would be a semi-black tie dress code. Guests would be encouraged to wear nice dresses and suits, but nothing too over-the-top, rather just staying more casual and classy.

With an event size that would be both small and intimate, while having enough guests to mingle and keep things fun, around 300 of New York’s socialites would be invited. Inspired by TV shows and films she recently rewatched during lockdown, such as Gossip Girl, Sex and the City and How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days, Kirsten would want a similar vibe as she finds the events they put on as “unbelievable”. The VIP guests Kirsten would most love to have in attendance include the inspirational New York native Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, famously known as AOC, who serves as a US representative. Second would be singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks, as Kirsten is a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac, followed by Scottish Youtuber and make up artist Jamie Genevive. Kirsten believes that Stevie and Jamie would get on really well together and have fun stories to share. Lastly is rapper Stomzy, who Kirsten says would “scrub up quite well in a suit”. Alongside these famous guests, Kirsten would love to have her family and friends flown over to attend and stay over in the hotel that the party is hosted at.

The event would take place in the early evening just before sunset, so the guests could enjoy the view, take photos before the sun goes down and they would then party late into the night. Ornate signs would direct the guests where to go once they enter the hotel lobby and reception, into a lift. When guests arrive up in the lift with a fancy liftman, they would be greeted with trays of champagne and snacks to nibble on as they mingle and watch the sun set. The event decor would stick to a theme of classy and rustic, with candles and flowers placed around the event. A canopy of string and fairy lights would help make the event feel natural, and everything would follow a green, white and brown colour scheme. 

In terms of drinks, endless champagne and wine would be available, alongside the signature cocktail of the event – spicy margaritas, that Kirsten came across on TikTok! There would be a main food table filled with various charcuterie and grazing boards that guests could help themselves to as they please, including breads, cheeses and meats, with canapé trays being carried around by waiters. Kirsten’s top three charcuterie board foods that would have to be featured on the main food table are crusty breads, creamy Brie cheese and cold means, such as salami.

Entertainment taking place throughout the event would be a jazz band playing background music, with the main performers being Adele, who would sing at the beginning of the event as the sun sets, and the band HAIM at the end of the night to close the event. A magician would also be performing magic tricks to liven up the atmosphere, inspired by a previous event that Kirsten attended that had a magician entertaining. Kirsten prefers a professional photographer rather than a photobooth, who would both go around the event taking candid photos and a flower wall and candle backdrop set that guests could pose in front of. All the photos of each guest would be turned into a photo album and put inside a goodie bag given to all attendees, that are also filled with personalised momentos of the evening. 

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