By Kristen Fraga & Brittany Rashkin
St. Patrick’s Day is a hallmark holiday known for being celebrated publicly and often through street parties, parades, festivals, and more. There are intricate components that go into planning and hosting a street party. For this St. Patrick’s Day, we are offering a guide on how to host a one-of-a-kind street party that will leave people toasting to this Irish phenomena. Here are some expert tips on how to pull it off:
1. Find the right space. When hosting a street party you want to find an area that is large enough for your group and is preferably located near your conference center or hotel. Once you have discovered the perfect street space for your party, contact the local special events/public works department to get started on the permitting process.
2. Secure the necessary permits. Applying for a permit can be a lengthy process that requires many documents to be submitted and almost always delivered physically by the applicant, so be sure to allocate enough time to secure the permit before your event date.
3. Hire security. As you are working through the process of obtaining your permit, you should also reach out to the local authorities – in order to secure police officers, EMT’s, security and waste management employees for your event. You will need this to ensure event logistics and keep your attendees as safe as possible.
4. Acquire insurance. Keeping your attendees, staff, and vendors safe should always be a number one priority. Here are a few steps to do so:
- Obtain general liability insurance
- Provide liquor liability insurance (if necessary)
- Secure a back-up space for bad weather conditions with a floor plan or propose a rain date
- Develop a crisis plan
5. Create a budget. A defined budget will help keep you on track while designing your event. Make sure to keep your budget updated for an accurate count on payment and expenses.
6. Choose a theme. Select a theme that aligns with the environment you are trying to create. Draw inspiration from the internet or local history, and the age and style of your attendee, to begin piecing together decor elements and touches.
7. Design your event. Once all details are in place, reach out to the local partners and rental vendors to start putting together a design. Be sure that when you are reaching out for quotes that you clearly define attendee numbers and quantities. Confirm your vendor can supply multiple quantities of the same item: linens, centerpieces, tables, bars, etc.
8. Focus on the food and beverage. One of the most remembered elements of an event is the food. Make sure when planning the menu you take into account the guests, atmosphere, timing, and theme. The menu can really elevate the experience and enhance the overall theme. Interactive action stations allow guests to customize their own meals while supporting your theme.
9. Be creative with entertainment. Spread out the entertainment throughout your venue with multiple stages and music styles. Make sure to know your noise ordinances before a noise complaint inhibits your event.
10. Finally – Look at your event from top to bottom. Be conscious of where all entrances, emergency exits and ticketed entrance areas are. You need to be aware of all of the ins and outs of your venue in its entirety.
Special thanks to our Meetings & Events Specialist, Kristen Fraga for sharing her insight and expertise from the street party Paragon Events hosted in Nashville, Tennessee for a technology user conference right outside of the Music City Center.