The simple answer for ‘What is a Gala Dinner?’ is that it’s a big party, a celebration. One that can be held to reward or engage an audience, to celebrate achievements or to raise money for charity.
Usually a Gala Dinner will feature a seated Dinner, Speakers, Entertainment and Music. It can also involve the presentation of Awards.
When planning, the key is to think about the type of evening that you would enjoy yourself, people want to be engaged and entertained, ultimately, they are there to have a good time.
Often, it’s the stand-out glamorous social event on a guest’s calendar so it’s important that it’s made to be a night to remember! To achieve this, you must plan early and keep your purpose in mind along the way.
A Gala Dinner can completely range in size so you must choose a venue that is suitable for your requirements, it is one of the biggest expenses and one of the most strategic aspects of the event after all. This is where DeSouza Associates can help – we work with venues across the board so can source you one that’s the perfect fit – all for free!
You must consider the location, sought after locations can sell out a year in advance so if you have your sights set on somewhere in particular you should have several dates in mind that could work.
The choice of venue should be guided by the proximity and convenience for attendees, you must consider how they will arrive at the venue; is there adequate car parking? Is there public transport nearby?
Whether it’s a Banquet Hall, a new Hotel or a unique space like a Museum or a historic Home that you’re after, consider the theme that you are going for when choosing your venue and think about whether the style of it suits your company ethos.
The chosen theme should be aligned with the mission and purpose of the event, everything from the venue to the food to the décor should be fitting with the theme. The styling, lighting, set and props can all be custom themed to tie everything together. Remember you will want access beforehand to set-up so ensure this time is considered when booking the venue.
Dress code is down to you, often a Gala Dinner will be a formal affair where guests can wear their best frock or their finest suit but if you want outfits to be in keeping with the theme you must make guests aware of this in advance so they have time to prepare.
Most Gala Dinners start with a Cocktail Reception and are then followed by Dinner and Wine, with respect to the food itself although you want to leave a lasting impression with it try not to over complicate the menu.
The food needs to be served hot to potentially hundreds of people so don’t get too fancy! Always remember to check dietary requirements, whether your guests are vegetarian/vegan/gluten free or have an allergy, this should be planned for in advance so that the offering of an alternative meal is seamless and doesn’t draw attention to make them feel singled out.
Entertainment and music are key. Whether you choose to have a Band/ a DJ/ a Speaker or Mix & Mingle Artistes, adding on some dynamic and fun evening entertainment can bring your staff together and make it a night they won’t forget!
Don’t hesitate to ask us about this as we pride ourselves on a matchless database of resources; working with entertainment suppliers who have the experience, equipment and enthusiasm to deliver an unforgettable experience.