Themed events are very popular, particularly at Christmas. They can be great fun, but it can also be difficult to make the right impact. Here are some tips to make sure that your themed event isn't a damp squib.
This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing to get right. The paper decorations that you buy in party shops may be okay for a party at home but they will look just horrible if you put them in a hotel for a high profile event. There are professional companies who will theme a room and it will look fantastic, but you'll need a budget of at least £5,000 to make the average room look good. James Bond is a popular theme but remember that people are very familiar with the films and have certain expectations. Skyfall had a budget of $200 million.
Instead of physical decorations use lighting. Low lighting creates an atmosphere and blue and red filters, used appropriately, create an air of excitement.
Casino tables, for example, are very useful for themes such as James Bond, Wild West and Las Vegas. You can also have indoor shooting games and various stalls set up around your room. Murder Mysteries are always effective for setting a scene, with the actors and clues themed to eras or subjects.
Dancers behind screens can create an impact when people come into the room if you're running a larger event. However, dancers at a smaller event might create the atmosphere of a lap dancing club, which would probably be best avoided.
Look-a-likes are a good idea, provided you choose the best ones. There are some very good ones and guests enjoy having their photo taken with them. Many are more than just a feature and will effectively host your event with a very charismatic presence.
Ask your DJ to bring along some music to suit the theme, but use it sparingly. You should have themed music as people arrive, around any presentations and some over dinner. However, too much and people will become weary. When the dancing starts people really want to hit the floor to Voulez-Vous and a bit of Kylie.
This is one of the best ways to achieve a theme atmosphere on a budget. Non-compulsory fancy dress gives people the chance to have a little fun and you can offer prizes for those who make the most effort. James Bond is a very easy theme and gives those who don't want to dress up the option of black tie or a cocktail dress. However, you should get a smattering of villains and other characters which is fun.
The key thing is to set your expectations realistically and to work with an event company who know what to do, and perhaps more importantly what not to do. With understanding and creativity you can have a themed party that people will talk about for ages on a reasonable budget.