Charity Gala Dinner

A charity gala dinner that wowed guests and made them dig deep…

The brief

We were approached to organise a charity gala dinner in an iconic London Venue, all in aid of raising money for a well-known children’s charity. The client holds this annually, often in the same venue for a number of years, but came to us looking for something to freshen up the event and offer something high end and memorable.

The client knew exactly what they wanted (our favourite type of client!), but needed guidance on how they can make the event different to any other they have done before.

Planning stages

As with any gala dinner; AV and technical requirements were a focal point throughout the planning process. The venue had very tight set up times due to being open to the public in the daytime so we had to always have this at the front of our mind. The client dreamed big and we had to set up the main event space for a presentation dinner dance for 290 guests in the space of 1 hour, so managing expectations was key! We suggested incorporating entertainment on arrival, canapes during the drinks reception before dinner (80% of guests were male), and using lighting to transform the venue and show the charity’s brand.

Arrival

The external building and stunning entrance to the venue were flooded in blue lighting (the charities colour), to cement the cause of the evening in everyone’s mind from the word ‘go’. Guests arrived to a classic red carpet welcome before being whisked off on a ride through London’s history in a black taxi, which took them to the drinks reception. Champagne and cocktails were flowing, as well as Grey Goose vodka or Hendricks gin with tonic (our favourite!). Guests enjoyed stomach lining canapes such as sea bass with creamed leeks and spiced potato cakes with coriander chutney. Charity volunteers networked with guests during the reception informing them of how they can join in with fundraising throughout the evening.

The main event

After successfully setting up 29 tables, 290 chairs, 6 presentation screens, 2 lecterns, one 7-piece band, and one DJ in the space of 1 hour and 10 minutes… we announced the opening of the main event space and guests made their way to sit for dinner. Guests were served cod cheek with chorizo, pea puree and tomato petals to start, followed by a Suffolk chicken breast with leek cassoulet and crispy pancetta, and a classic raspberry cheesecake mousse tartlet for dessert. The evening consisted of a charity auction, raffle and a live band to get everyone straight on the dancefloor once the fundraising had come to an end.

The event was a success, with the client raising more than they had ever raised for this fantastic charity! Guests did not want to leave the venue (always the sign of a good night), and there were lots of ‘best night ever’ remarks on their way home!

The client: “Thank you for a fantastic night. It was so smooth, well organised and managed. You are so incredibly professional and I felt confident leaving you in control. You were there from day 1 through to the night itself and I actually managed to enjoy the night without having to worry. I would have no hesitation recommending you or the venue to anyone.”