Event Planning (March 2006)

A practical guide to Washington event planning

What can make the difference between “the event we had last year” and a memory people will be talking about all year? Location!

That’s right, the well-worn saying “Location, location, location” has real truth to it when it comes to making an extraordinary event.

Official visits: protocol and security in the Capitol

The Capitol Rotunda swarms with wrinkled amateur historians, women in dark knit sweaters and exuberant children. It hums with the familiar as word zips through BlackBerrys and cell phones, “He’s coming from the House side, and he’s being detailed.”

Washington's favorite event venues for every occasion

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill – Thornton Room

Marvel at the floor-to-ceiling windows and the dark wood, wool carpet and champagne-colored walls. Walk into a rotunda with marble floors and a chandelier, and to your left into a preset lounge area.

So you want to hold a public event

Your boss wants to put on a special event? Great idea! (Hey, it’s the boss’s idea. …)

But before you book the grand ballroom or reserve the local VFW hall, you’ll need to ask and answer some questions objectively.

The inside-the-Beltway uniform fashion code

If there is one place where fashion statements are definitely on the record, it is Washington, D.C.

Rising stars in politics and business want to be seen at the right events wearing the just-right thing. In our little town, a dubious fashion choice can have dramatic consequences.

Event chefs: Ringmasters of the culinary circus

It is 3 p.m. on Monday afternoon, and the entire private-events sales team, the private-event chef and yours truly, the executive chef, are sitting down to discuss the upcoming week’s private parties.

Taking your special event to a venue on embassy row

Margareta Ploder will likely never meet you, and yet she is mildly terrified at the thought of possibly getting a call from you or one of your relatives — and she has every reason to be. The last thing she would ever want to deal with is the onslaught of requests to have her embassy host a slew of spring and summer weddings — so just assume the answer to be no.

Planning for a big payoff at political fundraisers

Organizing a Washington-area fundraising gala is big-time work that, if done right, can lead to a big-time payoff.

With a large-scale fundraiser happening nearly every weekend, Washington is a highly competitive market. To make a big splash in the gala scene and an organizer’s bank account, an event has to be creative and well organized.