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Theatre and Film Red Carpets | Event Planning Tips

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When we think of the red carpet, most of us think of fancy events that require total elegance and class. We think of the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Tonys; we think of our favorite celebrities dressed in high-end designer gowns, having their picture taken and chatting with reporters.

However, a red carpet event doesn’t always have to be star-studded. In fact, you can host one on your own, to celebrate a local film premiere, theatre production, or even a banquet for the local sports team! Proper red carpet event planning just takes a little ingenuity and know-how.

Whether you’re planning a red carpet event for local heroes or international stars, the same planning rules apply. We’re here to help you through the whole process, from the day you write the guest list until the moment the theatre confetti rains down! Here’s what you have to do:

Decide On Your Budget

The first step in red carpet event planning (or any event planning, really) is to determine how much you’re willing to spend. After all, a red carpet event can be a lot of fun – but it shouldn’t bankrupt you in the process! Make sure you set a realistic budget.

Start by making a list of all your expenses – and we mean all of them. The cost of printing your invitations, the cost of theatre confetti, and (of course) the cost per yard of lush red carpet. Call different vendors in your area to get several cost estimates, too!

Once you have an idea of what everything will cost (and how much you can spend on the event), you can start planning in earnest. Remember, while a red carpet event should be elegant and luxurious, you can achieve that fancy look without spending an arm and a leg!

Find The Right Venue

Think about the last red carpet event you attended (or watched on tv): what did you notice about the event? Cars were lined up around the block. The carpet was long and narrow, lined with fans and news reporters. The long walk up the carpet leads to the theater.

Whether you’re watching the Academy Awards or the ESPYs, you’ll find that these elements are part and parcel with every red carpet event. This means that you need to consider them in your red carpet event planning – particularly when you’re looking for the perfect venue to hold your event.

If you’re hosting a red carpet event for a film or theatre production, you’ll want to have your event at a cinema or theater (obviously). However, try and find a place that has plenty of space for a red carpet, like a long entryway or a long sidewalk nearby.

Invite Your Guests

What does everyone look for on every single red carpet? Our favorite stars all dressed up! A red carpet is just no fun without someone walking on it. So once you’ve found and booked the perfect venue for your premiere, it’s time to start filling up your guest list!

This is a small, but important part of red carpet event planning. For a formal red carpet event, you’ll want to send paper invitations to the homes of all your guests. Make sure to invite everyone that worked on your production, from the leading lady to the lighting designer.

Also, make sure to specify the dress code on your invitation. After all, different red carpets call for different looks (remember when the Grammys asked stars to show less skin in 2013?). Giving people clear guidelines will help them dress properly and create the particular party atmosphere you want.

Invite The Press

The morning after an award show or premiere, most people check out photos of the event online, admiring the fashion, hair, and makeup of their favorite celebs. But how do we get all those photos to begin with? The answer is very simple: photographers and members of the press.

Another aspect of red carpet event planning is ensuring that the press is there to document the event. Of course, the press credentials you invite should be relevant to your event (for example, a college paper would be more appropriate for a student film premiere than the NY Times).

What should you do if your event doesn’t grab press interest (say, a production at your local children’s theater)? Ask parents, friends, and other family members to play the part, snapping pictures of their favorite “stars” as they make their way up the carpet. Trust us, they’ll love it!

Roll Out The Carpet

 The big night is finally here. You’re guests of honor are with their “glam squads,” the press and fans will arrive any minute. You might think that your job is done – but red carpet event planning means working until the last minute to be sure that everything goes perfectly.

For example, it’s important that the red carpet lays just right. The carpet should take guests right up to the entrance of the building, without any visible breaks or bumps. It should also be long enough to give your guests time to walk, take photos, and chat with reporters.

You’ll also want to add some pizzazz to your red carpet experience. Play upbeat and exciting music throughout the walk. Have theatre confetti floating through the air. Feel free to get creative and make your event extra special – after all, a red carpet event is a night of celebration!

Hang a Step and Repeat Banner

There are other elements you can use to dress up your red carpet event. You can place velvet ropes around the carpet for an authentic and classy look. You can hire a Ryan Seacrest look alike for some fun interviews. And you can hang a step and repeat banner.

What is a step and repeat banner? It’s that long backdrop that sits behind celebrities at press conferences and red carpets (the one usually covered in logos for the TV network or film studio). Having a banner of your own will add an extra special touch to your event.

There are many companies that will print customized step and repeat banners, so remember to look into this early on in your red carpet event planning. This particular step is an optional one, but it can really make your red carpet event look extra professional (if your budget allows).

Entertain Everyone

If you’re planning a red carpet event for a theatre or film premiere, you may think that the entertainment is covered. After all, the people are coming to see a movie or watch a play, right? Well, this is true, but that doesn’t mean they won’t need more entertainment.

Think for a minute about the Oscars. That red carpet pre-show always starts hours before the main event! If you don’t want your stars getting hungry and cranky before it’s time to start the premiere in earnest, you’ll need to find a way to keep everybody occupied until showtime.

Hire a few performers for the lobby of your theatre. An a capella group, a juggler, anything that suits your event (for example, at the Broadway premiere of Waitress, pastry chefs baked pies in the lobby). This will keep your crowd’s interest until it’s time to start the show.

Provide Refreshments and Swag

As we just mentioned, sometimes a red carpet event can take a while – and sometimes your stars and guests can get a little peckish. This is why one of the final elements of red carpet event planning is to provide snacks, drinks, and other refreshments for all your attendees.

What kind of food should you provide? Well, that answer is really up to you (and your budget). Some events only offer hors d'oeuvres and champagne, while others serve their guests a full dinner. Decide what you’re going to do early on (and please, specify it on your invitation).

The very last element of a red carpet event you need to consider is the “swag bag.” This is similar to a goodie bag from a kid’s birthday party: a little collection of gifts to thank your attendees for coming to the premiere you’ve spent so many months planning.

And what should be in a swag bag? Again, the answer rests with you. You can include fancy chocolate, trinkets that suit the theme of your film or play, maybe a CD of the score or soundtrack (if your show was a musical). Just let your creative juices flow!

If you have the budget for it, you can also go for high-end swag bags filled with luxury items. For example, the stars at the 2017 Oscars received free spa days, vouchers for vacations in Hawaii and Italy, and many other fancy goods (the whole bag was valued at $200,000)!

Whether you’re hosting a local red carpet event or you’re working for the big dogs in Hollywood, you can create an elegant evening for your guests by following our guidelines. And you can add some extra extravagance by including theatre confetti at your event – visit Flutter FETTI’s online store to learn more!



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