"An element of surprise is a way to engage guests and show that you’ve been thinking about them in advance. When I co-host Spring Street Social Society, we never tell guests where they are going until the morning of a gathering, and we often sprinkle surprise performances throughout the night."
Surprises, unexpected elements, creating an air of mystery...these are great ways to engage your guests and keep them riveted at your next event. It lets them know you’ve been thinking of them and planning a unique gathering that they’ll enjoy.
When I co-host Spring Street Social Society, we do a few things to add intrigue to the experience. First, we never tell guests where they are going until the morning of the gathering. Then we often sprinkle surprise performances throughout the night.
Here are a few other surprising things I’ve incorporated into Spring Street Social experiences. These will add an element of surprise—and unpredictable fun—for your guests.
Host your event in an unusual space like a raw loft, in a cozy apartment or in a an interesting outdoor location such as a field, a barn or a beach. Once you’ve chosen the location, choose unique furniture, like a low-to-the ground table with cushions as seats.
2. Serve exciting food your guests love, using unusual spices and ingredients. Keep Stella Artois on ice in a beautiful bowl, not in a typical container, and place Stella Artois chalices on a dining table with candles for a dramatic effect.
3. Write cryptic notes such as, “Don’t open until told to do so,” on stylish envelopes which you can place at table settings. You could also create a jar with mysterious notes for guests to open at a designated time.
4. Use ordinary materials as unordinary decorations. Details like newspaper used as a tablecloth plus melted wax, flower petals, or other textured items scattered on the tables stand out and will pleasantly surprise your guests. Set the table with dishes and flatware of different materials, and serve beer in the unique Stella Artois chalice.
These are some ways to add an element of surprise, but of course you can dream up your own creative ideas. Not only will your guests appreciate the air of mystery, but they’ll always remember the unexpected details.
PATRICK JANELLE integrates his passions of food and entertaining into his projects, including the Spring Street Social Society which he co-founded in NYC. Patrick was recently awarded “Instagrammer of the Year” by the CFDA.
Photo credit Daniel Seung Lee.
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