With January almost behind us, hosting dinner and private events for friends and family is heating up ahead of the winter months! Former Durbanite, Amanda Rabinowitz and founding owner of Experiential Events company, Jellybean Concept Events, shares her top hosting tips.
With more than 20 years experience in hosting countless private and corporate events, Amanda and her team specialise in concept design and creating experiences that ooze the talk of the town! She says, when you are playing host:
● Music music music: an ambiance is so important at any event! Use music
streaming services such as Deezer, Spotify or JOOX to keep a constant
flow of music, with the type of mood you’re after.
● Re-think seating: keep the amount of people in mind when you lay out
your furniture, people like to sit. If it is hot – splash out some blankets and
beanbags on the lawn for a more relaxed feel. Amanda suggests offering
more options than just sitting around the dining room table.
● Themed evenings: themed evenings are so much fun and everyone wants
an excuse to be transported to another country of food, music and
dress-up. Good ones are Mexican, Spanish tapas, Italian and Greek.
● Food DIY evenings are so great for large groups: things like
make-your-own-burger, tacos or pizza. You can now get affordable
portable pizza ovens or even a normal oven works well. Make various
combos and share them around the table.
● Fun interactive entertainment: people love to engage with one another, it
also keeps the energy up! A good one, which we personally love at
home, is to do a blind wine tastings for wine lovers. Everyone brings a
bottle of wine they haven’t tasted before, then covers it in socks so you
cannot see the label. Everyone needs to guess the wine and rate it. You
are sure to learn a thing or two! This can also be done with Gin and
Whisky. It all depends on your crowd! Do make sure your fridge is stocked
with beers and other drinks.
● Another fun tip is to get pens and write everyone’s names on their glasses
– so no-one loses theirs.
● To add to the ambiance and mood, strategically place candles in and
around the venue – it’s simple and cost effective. A fireplace or a
Chimenea ( a charming, hand-decorated terracotta outdoor fireplace) –
which is a personal favourite of Amanda and her fiancé, is the perfect
ending to an amazing evening.
● Games are super trendy at the moment, try and include this: cards of
humanity, speak out, 30 seconds, heads up are all good options.
● Dessert: keep it simple with amazing small sweet treats or even alcohol
soaked sour worms for a bit of a cheeky twist.