The pictures above are from the event that I structured my internship final project on. The Fall Faculty Tenure and Promotion Dinner was a big event for me. This was the first event where I literally had to make a lot of the big decisions with little guidance. I was often given the “This is your event.” pep talk, though they didn’t leave me completely to myself. But we made it through this event.
First I’ll discuss the room layout. This event was in the Carlisle Suite in the University Cent at UTA. This suite includes the foyer, the club room, and the main room. So I’ll start at the foyer. After picking up their name tags from the registration table, where I was stationed with one of the staff workers, the guest and their families would enter into the foyer where they would see a book display. This book display contained the works that each professor felt represented them and their research and contribution to the university. In the picture to the left, you will note that the book display is marked to be in the main room, but that was later adjusted so that the book display was in front of the coat room in the foyer. From there you could move to the club room to get light appetizers and drinks from the bar window. The club room had five cocktail tables set up with ultra indigo rounds and a serp table set with black skirting for the light appetizers. On three of the cocktail tables we had tall leopard print vases with candles in them, battery operated because the university doesn’t allow real candles. We then directed the guest to the main room for the program.
During the dinner, we had a pianist from the university music program to offer the entertainment for the night. Our various speakers than did their parts and announced each guest so that they could come and receive their award (the eighth picture at the top). The tables had a beautiful blue damask round linens.
This event went over very well and I was extremely happy despite my being nervous. I even saw one of my professors from that semester who complemented us on a job well done.
This event taught me a lot about planning because in the setup stage and early part of the event a few things happened that we had to get fixed. I’ll name a few.
- The registration table was not set up when we arrived.
- The furniture that is normally in the foyer had not been moved to accommodate the book table.
- One of the light bulbs in one of the scones in the club room was broken.
- The carpet in the main room had not been vacuumed.
- Some of the chairs had visible spots on them.
- Some of the guests did not RSVP or as we told them, we misplaced their information.
- We had a mix up between a vegetarian and vegan meal.
- We had a gluten free guest come.
- We also had some guest bring family that we didn’t have marked.
But fortunately due to the special events team diligence, we were able to fix all the problems that popped up. It was an extremely valuable lesson that reinforced the need to be organized and actively involved in the set up as a planner.