by BOB DOERSCHUK
Why spend the evening of Sept. 1 on your own? ABC can help make it a night to remember; all you need to do is invite a few friends over to watch “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” and take these hints from Planit Nashville, the event planning and promotions company based in Music City, on how to make it a party to remember.
• Ask guests to dress in the fashion of their favorite artists. And since this is “Country’s Night to Rock,” layer your invitation with Country-inspired graphics, electric guitars and a little rock ‘n’ roll imagery to boot.
• Decorate your buffet table and gathering areas with pictures, CDs and any other items that say “Country” loud and clear.
• Go retro for your food and beverage centerpiece, with three different Western-style boots. Place a small vase inside the boot to fill with water. Add daisies, sunflowers or any flower of your choice.
• Use dollar frames to insert pictures of artists next to their song lyrics or classic quotes (i.e., “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!” – Dolly Parton).
• Take classic down-home food and give it an upscale twist (i.e., pulled pork BBQ in a filo tart shell topped with a sprig of cilantro or smoked gouda cheese grits, served in shot glasses).
• Choose a signature drink, such as Lynchburg lemonade or whiskey sweet tea. Serve them in martini glasses with a lemon twist. Or how about these options, courtesy of 8 Lavender Lane Catering (www.8lavenderlane.com)?
Firefly Iced Tea
1-1/2 oz Firefly Iced Tea flavored vodka
½ oz Peach Schnapps
Serve over ice w/ a twist of orange
Wild Wild West
1-1/2 oz Jack Daniel’s
1 oz Peach Schnapps
Be sure to offer festive non-alcoholic alternatives to the signature drinks – and encourage guests to drink responsibly and come with designated driver.
• Choose two or three easy-to-learn line dances to teach during pre-show or commercial breaks. Draw two or three artist names out of a hat. When they perform, guests have to jump up and perform one of the line dances.
• Create a playlist to play “Name That Tune.” Give the winner a CD by one of their favorite artists or an iTunes gift card.
• Create a glitzy Country-rock themed backdrop and take digital pictures of guests in front of it. Print pictures on photo paper and insert in a magnetic picture frame (decorated with the date and party theme, if you’re industrious) and send it home with each guest.
• Rent a big-screen TV for the backyard. (Ballpark estimated cost for 7.5 x 10 = $350)
• Rent a champagne fountain and run your specialty beverage through it for a bit more glam and wow factor ($50-$75), highboy tables ($10 each) and a few linens ($12-$14). Pick it up, set it up and plug it in!
• Call a caterer! It saves time and cost and is worth every penny on a weeknight. Have them drop food in disposables at your door – and you take all the credit!
For your party needs, as well as for events-based marketing and corporate events in the Nashville area, contact Planit Nashville, PlanitNashville.com, (615) 506-2876.