VEGAS IN SUMMERTIME
Working in this industry you get to see what this fabulous country has to offer… and in this particular case I got dragged, kicking and screaming, to Las Vegas. You know the place I am on about right? The one that doesn’t sleep, the one where there is something happening round every corner, where you’re always in arms reach of a slot machine, the place where you are surrounded by flashing lights and massive hotels… sounds horrible doesn’t it?
So Good Gracious! Events was doing the décor for a conference at Caesars Palace. There were two events and both were for 1000 guests, one was the welcome party down at the pool, and the other was the closing gala night in the Caesars Palace ballroom.
All four of us drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and I had the fortune of traveling in style… Next to Dennis Quintanilla in a small, compact, stuffy cabin of the Good Gracious cube truck. Luckily enough the journey was only 4 hours long so we didn’t have to suffer for too long!
One thing you have to realize is that I am a huge, huge, huge football (soccer) fan. We just so happened to be driving on the most watched sporting event in the history of athletics, the world cup final. Ok so we missed the first half and then half of the second, but we finally made it to Las Vegas… TIME TO FIND A TV!.... or… meet the others and start setting up for that nights event.
So I am there, in 100 + degree heat, after driving four hours, missing the world cup final, stinking to high heaven, in Las Vegas getting ready to work right off the bat. I love my job… don’t I?
Of course all you can do is get over it and work through it. Sadly Dan had the flu, so he was out of action for the day, and so stepped in Miguel Perez, another one of GG!’s trusted employees, who had in fact only just moved to Vegas! So it was nice to have the extra help.
The opening event by the pool was truly wonderful, with great, tall white flags, seaweed colored inflatable’s, a team of synchronized swimmers followed by live mermaids. The lighting and architectural surrounding really created the environment for this event.
Of course for it to be at this standard we had to bust our humps. Moving linens from point A to point B, giant white umbrellas, and floral arrangements in 100+ degree weather can take its toll.
The most challenging aspect of this had to be getting the hotel guests out the pool! Because everyone was too busy drinking in the sun, splashing around in the cool water it took a little longer than anticipated to clear the event space… can you blame them? Due to this delay it took us right up until two minutes before party time to set it up. But the old saying then comes into play… as long as the client is none the wiser then it doesn’t matter.
The following two days were all about preparation for the main event. Using the trusty Good Gracious cart we piled on napkins, floral arrangements, and various other bits needed for the event, and weaved our way through Caesars Palace, which I now have a new found respect for how big the place is!
Once separating all the equipment, we then had to make the napkin rings for the closing party… by hand.
This involved three people, their great attention to detail, patience, and ability to listen to Randy Mellons music for hours…
We first had to roll the napkins, then once they were the right size we had to cut a piece of silver floral wire, curl it into a spiral at one end, then with the excess wire wrap it around the napkin. This was for just one. We had to do 1000.
I don’t really have to explain how this was a test of strength, character and honor to the industry. I still have the scars from the blisters.
But all jokes aside this was a really nice personal touch on the event. Of course the guests aren’t going to care how they were made, as long as they were made. But they looked fantastic.
Seven hours later all the napkins were finished, then it was time to set up the event. Between a small group of us, we managed to do wonders with the room. Bring it to life with some fantastic floral arrangements, brighten up the room with some fantastic linens, and add class and style with the worlds most fantastic hand rolled napkins.
One thing which was defiantly interesting to see, was once we had placed all the floral arrangements down on the tables, out came about forty hotel staff, wearing their waistcoats and bow ties, carrying the worlds largest supply of china and flatware… it looked like such a well oiled machine, every member of staff knew where they had to be, and what they had to do, in order to get those tables laid and ready for party time. All you could hear was the clinging of china and cutlery going down on the table. Each person would only spend a few seconds on each table before moving onto the next. It really was impressive.
Needless to say, in true Good Gracious! fashion, the event was a huge success, running late into the night. The client had nothing but positive comments, and said that working with good gracious was a pleasure.
KEY LEARNING POINTS:
• Las Vegas truly does not sleep
• It's so hott in Vegas you can cook an egg on the pavement
• Randy Mellon has no taste in music
• Personal touches, no matter how painful, can always be beneficial to an event.