Category Archives: Blog

An Open Letter to the Benham Brothers: You Can De-Gay Me, Too!

I recently heard that you offered some guy tickets to a sports game, and that was enough to make him renounce his “homosexual lifestyle.” Rather than tell you how bat-shit cray cray you sound, I want you to know that I love you and I’m prepared to renounce my “homosexual lifestyle” too (no one really needs brunch), but I’m afraid I’m going to be a little harder to “save” than your easily-pleased gentleman friend (that’s what she said!).

So the following are my demands. Come on guys, God told me he wants you to help me out:

1.  A corkscrew–I’m starting off small, but I’ve got a bottle of Pinot Noir that Matthias gave me and it’s not going to open itself, so chop-chop.

2. The mauve and lavender-trim outfit worn by Deanna Troy in Star Trek Next Generation. This is very important to my heterosexuality because…er, shoulder-to-hip ratio?

3. A fan. Listen, I’m tired of Karl Lagerfeld lauding it over everyone with his huge-ass fans. So I want a massive one. One so large it needs a zoning-permit and you two are gonna have to lift it for me and follow me while I go to the gym cos that place gets me sticky. If you care about my soul, you’ll do this.

4. Joan Rivers resurrected. Look, this one I’m gonna admit is a bit of an ask, so here’s what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna say to you that this one can be a longterm goal and you can, you know, use your Christian prayer powers to, like, make her come back. Alternatively, you can channel your millions into recreating Joan as a replacement for Siri cause that bitch is working my last nerve. Besides, I think that Joan probably was a cyborg anyway, so she might come back on her own. (Are cyborgs against Jesus? Was Jesus a cyborg? Oh my God, was Jesus The Terminator?)

5. I recently saw that you are friends with Kevin Sorbo of Hercules fame. Yeah I don’t care for him, but I would like to know if he has (Xena) Lucy Lawless’ number?

6. Get me Lucy Lawless’ number. She and I would have a lot to talk about and I need to learn how to throw a chakram for… reasons.

7. I would like Kelly Clarkson to come to my house and sing to me. Now, she’s wicked-cool and super busy because she just spawned adorableness (called River Rose no less-and I don’t think she even knows the Whovian references!) and her new album is so good I have had to wear sanitary towels for the past week, but, like, if you know people who can get in touch with her people, that would be great. I’ll put on a fantastic spread and I’ll be super discreet. She won’t even notice the webcam(s).

8. Dog Zumba lessons. My dog Carmichael is, like, 0.5 and I’ve got to start tiger mumming him now if I ever want him to win even the regional competitive dog grooming championships. To have him looking his best (after all, a dog needs to exercise to maintain a healthy coat) I was thinking of getting him enrolled in Zumba, but this tanned turnip at the gym told me that they’re not equipped to have schnauzers, or dogs of any kind. Well, this just isn’t acceptable. So I need dog Zumba lessons. Or for you to kill that guy at the gym for me. I think it’s fine for your religion. God smites people all the time. You know, whatever’s easiest.

9. Surgery. I look good right now, but I’ve always thought I’d look better with a butt-lift and calf implants. Which is important for heterosexuals because… if I’m going to be wholly resurrected I want to make sure I’m coming back looking my best, you know?

10. And finally, Harry Styles. To… play backgammon with. I’m big on board games.

So if you could get right on that, I’ll totally renounce my homosexual ways. Like, you just say the word and I will absolutely throw out my original off-Broadway recording of Michael Arden doing the Bare soundtrack, I’ll unfollow Tom Daley and his trunks on Instagram, and I’ll absolutely stop typing “Zac Efron” into Google Maps.

Cheers and kisses… I mean, manly, not-at-all-gay, crotch rubbing hugs.

Simon x

Source: GROOP!Place Blogs
An Open Letter to the Benham Brothers: You Can De-Gay Me, Too!

5 Things to Avoid When Planning Your Event

Last week I shared the worst event I’ve ever managed.  It was quite a scene I have to admit.  So this week I’ve compiled the 5 things to keep in mind in order to avoid recreating the “Battle of Hotel Astrid” again.

1) Plan your Guest List in a manner to avoid conflict. As I mentioned in “5 Tips For Planning A Successful Event“, it’s important to invite the right people. The mum who was disinvited is the perfect example.  Even though she showed up, it was the right decision to not have her come.  It may be difficult, but when there’s a past record of misbehaviour it is best to not have them involved.  See the above link to read more.

2) Be prepared for the worst. Have a contingency plan in the event that the worst actually does happen. Keep a good stock of medical supplies, in case of injury. Invite a large mate to kick people out or to split up fights if needed. Know your guests allergies and medical conditions. Pepper spray and fog horns can come in handy.

 3) Avoid guest over-consumption! As a guest, I LOVE an open bar.  As a planner, I detest them. If you can avoid an open bar, do so at all costs.  If you are dead set on an open bar then here are ways to circumvent issues.  Make sure that you and your staff know the signs of intoxication.

  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Becoming louder
  • Increased use of profanity
  • Standing with feet wider apart for balance
  • Over excitement
  • Slow or deliberate movements
  • Closing one eye to avoid double vision

Have your bar staff monitor guests for signs of over consumption.  When one sees that a guest may be overserved employ some of these techniques

  • Slow down service by taking more time to prepare a drink or take other guests orders first.
  • Suggest a non-alcoholic alternative
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol in the drink. (Do this ONLY if a host is paying per bottle of alcohol. NOT if they’re paying by drink.)
  • Refuse service.  (Try to do this with finesse. Instruct your staff about ways to do this without making the situation worse)

4) FIRE! When I just started out I was obsessed with candles.  One of my clients was too. A match made in hell!  Her budget was low, so we went an untraditional route off using items that were questionable to hold the candles.  Needless to say, a few draperies, a few irreplaceable items and a few conversations with hunky firefighters cured me of my candle obsession.  Don’t skimp on your budget when it comes to fire safety.  Make sure to use proper holders or suitable alternatives, keep away from flammable items,  make sure they are placed on secure surfaces and out of childs reach. If you have any concerns about using fire, opt for the LED Candles.  Many appear just as lovely as a candle with flame.

5) Weather control! When throwing an event it’s very important to take the temperature and weather into consideration.  If guests are uncomfortable the will be blood. (That was extreme, however…) If you’re doing an outside event, make certain to have a contingency for rain, wind and such. Have a back up inside space. Make sure that your venue is temperature controlled. If it’s winter ensure that you have a coat check or a suitable space for coat storage.

I hope that this helps to keep your events from some very serious pitfalls. Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

Make life an event!

Delilah James

Source: GROOP!Place Blogs
5 Things to Avoid When Planning Your Event

Fiona in Sheffield Asks: What Has Been The Worst Event You’ve Ever Managed?

Fiona in Sheffield: “Dear Delilah,  I’ve always wanted to be an event planner and I love reading your blog.  I was wondering what was the worst thing that’s ever happened during one of your events and how did you handle it?”

Thank you for your email, Fiona. Being an event planner is one of the most rewarding and unpredictable jobs one could ever have. You never know what’s going to happen during any given event, so it’s best to always be prepared for the unthinkable–one time, a gentleman passed-on during an event I put on. At no fault of mine, I hasten to add!

He and his wife were in attendance, both of them in their late 80s.  All was going well until she motioned for me to come over, and softly and calmly whispered in my ear “I think me husband’s dead”. You can imagine what a downer that put on the evening.

As horrible as that was, though, it wasn’t the worst thing to have happened at one of my events. So, with that, let me explain the worst event I’ve ever been involved with, one that was actually a, pardon the expression, s**tstorm.

I was Director of Events and Chief Hospitality Co-ordinator for Hotel Astrid-London.  The staff of the hotel are incredible, the guests are top notch and the space is breathtaking. I was working for a client who held their wedding reception in the grand ballroom.  The couple were lovely and were keen to have an open bar.  We’d been working together for almost a year. However, six months prior, my assistant had quit so I’d been forced to bring in an intern. Her references were stellar, but I was soon to find out that her work ethic was… questionable.

The week before the event everything was great and seemed to be in order.  The first sign of an issue was when the bride’s mum came to the office and immediately began what can only be described as a tirade, which I assume was exacerbated by the huge amount of alcohol she had consumed.  She wanted to change everything that her daughter, the bride, and I had agreed upon. I contacted the bride and everything we had decided upon was still fine with her, so our plans went unchanged, much to her mother’s very vocal annoyance.

The day of the event everything seemed incredibly together. The decorations were gorgeous.  The food BEAUTIFUL! The lighting was perfect and my staff all prepared and professional. The bride’s mum had been asked not to attend, a very brave–and necessary–move on the bride’s part, I must say.

The event was to last for four hours. Ten minutes in, and all Hell started to break loose: one of the bridesmaids slipped on her own spilled drink and cut her head open. A trip to the hospital for her, and I hoped our troubles were over.

Dinner service continued without issue, thanks to the gods. During the dessert course, however, the bride’s mum showed up, furiously pounded several drinks, and began to yell at the groom’s mum.  She was shortly escorted off premises.

Unfortunately, this was only a rehearsal for what would happen next.

The bride’s brother and the groom’s sister were caught doing unmentionable things near a rather harassed looking DJ who seemed incredibly deep in thought about how to get bum cheek impressions off of his clear perspex booth.

Next, the bride’s uncle began shouting at one of my staff. When one of the groom’s mates decided to intervene a fight began. This lit a match to already leaking gas and what erupted was  an orgy of violence: several groups began beating on each other, pulling out hair and skull bashing with the hundred pound bottles of champagne. One woman even–possibly Sia, thus providing the inspiration for her hit song–swung down from a chandelier and pile drove one of my poor cater waiters. It was reminiscent of a battle scene from a fantasy movie and I expected a fire breathing dragon to descend upon the scene at any moment.

The next thing I knew my newly-hired intern, who unbeknownst to me had been indulging in the open bar, got on the stage and started yelling in an authoritative manner. At that moment, the bride’s mum launched across the stage to rugby tackle said intern. Her authority quickly disappeared as she began flailing her arms over the mum’s face, looking like a severely pissed off flounder.

Many of our staff were harmed in the battle and the vast majority of attendees were taken to hospital. Thanks to a riot-gear clad contingent of London’s finest, the scene was eventually brought under control but the resulting damage meant that the Grand Ballroom had to be closed for two weeks for cleaning and reconstruction. My intern was treated for minor scrapes and bruises. She was sacked shortly after, though for another, unrelated incident best left for another time–needless to say though, the drinking on the job had hardly given a good impression.

To say the least, it was a learning experience. But, lesson learned: we always meet the family before an event now, and I have 999 programmed for a 1 button call, and I have a taser gun and pepper spray on me at all times in case any of my staff are in harms way.

I hope that this was illuminating, Fiona, and do stay tuned as next week I will have a post on how to avoid situations like this from unfolding–because prevention is always better than cure.

Please let us know if you have any questions that you’d like answered at:

Delilah James –

Source: GROOP!Place Blogs
Fiona in Sheffield Asks: What Has Been The Worst Event You’ve Ever Managed?