May 14th 2019

Future of Event Design

As we look back to the 10th Anniversary of the CHS Show in Leeds, our MD Liz Taylor wanted to share the highlights of her presentation, The Future of Event Design, delivered to a packed audience in the Leeds First Direct Arena.

Focussing around the Future of Event Design, Liz shared stories, anecdotes and advice to newly appointed event planners, and the more established event professionals who attended the event.

Entertaining. Inspiring. Motivational. The three essential ingredients to any successful event.

 

The transformation of Victoria Warehouse into a wedding overflowing with canopies of floral fabulousness and a sea of candle lit warmth. Credit: www.thelastword.tv

As you can see from the video clip, TLC work at a breakneck pace with a team of trusted suppliers to deliver productions that fulfil these three key elements…… and more. Creating the biggest showcases for a company brand or private individual , the TLC team work tirelessly to design and produce the very best. From large to small, the input of ideas and passion are the same. And the devil is very much in the detail. Let me explain…..

As MD of the Taylor Lynn Corporation I have been planning and producing corporate and private events for over 30 years – during which time the industry has obviously changed significantly! In the next 10 minutes I will give you the whistle stop tour of where I feel we have seen the biggest developments, and what to expect for the future of event design.

The TLC approach to event design is, in a word, holistic. When it comes to design plans, we look at the whole event and how individual aspects can work in synergy together. We see every individual element as an opportunity to reflect our uniquely creative design touch. Every detail, no matter how small, is thoughtfully crafted to reflect the theme and goal of the party. Venue to entertainment. Catering to décor. Each element being an integral part of the guest’s journey into our imagination. This combined with theatrical production and a keen eye for detail. From brand launch, to private celebration, a well curated design can reflect a business or personal message in a unique and, more importantly, eclectic way. Its what we do. And with an 85% repeat business rate and an order book stretching into 2025, I feel we do well.

But this is my time to share some of that experience and knowledge, which I hope you will find helpful in planning your events. For the sake of time today, let’s break this down a little and focus on just three of the key elements in designing an event; theming, entertainment and catering. And look at how this has evolved and what the future holds…….

Raise the Curtain

30 years ago, party décor was more literal. We took our inspiration and made incredible designs completely reflective of the idea. It was more, obvious, in its interpretation perhaps. Now, it’s is subtler and more styled. We focus less on themes and more on creating a stylish ‘journey’ for guests. Immersing them in the experience of the event; whether it be influenced by a corporate brand or lifestyle. And this is set to continue.

Let me Entertain You

From the DJ of the 70s, tribute acts of the 80s, Pop Idol contestants of the 90s to party bands of the 00s, the future certainly holds a more diverse range of entertainment. Artists immersed within the audience. Surprise elements that place the spotlight on talented artists of all kinds. Bespoke bands that blend international artists and musicians; for one night only.

Tempting the Taste Buds

The trend for less formal catering forges ahead. Catering is merging with theatre. Over the next few years, planners will be finding new ways to make food and drink more than just aspect of the design for your event – it delivers a creative message with drama and WOW factor. An example is:

There is one underpinning factor for all these elements, and indeed the future of event design; delivering a feeling of excited anticipation. If you take one thing home from my message today, remember this…. the future of event design will very much be focussed on delivering the unexpected.

Tales of the Unexpected

As an event planner, when you hear those gasps of excitement and mumblings of ‘wow – look at that’…. you know you have achieved something special. This is about generating a sense of engagement with the attendees from the beginning, to curtain call. Creating an eagerness to attend. And an excited anticipation of what is to come. Fulfilling their expectations on the night…. yet, leaving them contently wanting more.

Bespoke invitations that give a hint to the event design is akin to the opening chapter of a book. Room dressing. Lighting, Catering. Drinks. Entertainment. All elements to delivering a unique experience. And at the end of the event, a branded paper bag with carb filled savouries, fish and chips or kebab vans in situ in the car park to soak up the night.

Catering, entertainment and décor will certainly embrace the next 20 years and all it offers, but it is in this sense of anticipation that I can see the biggest development. Planners will be turning the cogs to develop bigger and bolder ideas to whet the appetite of delegates and revellers. As for TLC, well we are already working with the latest technology to look at holographic walls that separate reception and party – ready to explode as the band strikes up – yes, it’s not just in Star Trek!

After 30 years I get up event morning, decide what diet I am on that day, and then embrace the madness. I love it. And if you are in any doubt, the party is most definitely not over

For more TLC event inspiration, take a look at this ‘high octane’ idea!

Continue reading  
 May 7th 2019

Five of the Best English Wines

Five of the Best English Wines

Food to feast on, the best in live entertainment and innovative drinks are at the heart of a successful TLC party. Theatrical, imaginative presentation of your party cocktails and wines is a hallmark of our events. But what is in the glass certainly counts too. For those looking for a more sustainable event drinks idea, a smaller dinner with wine buffs in attendance or to honour the English summer, we have some great wine advice with five of the best English wines.

So, just in time to celebrate English wine week (25 May – 1 June), the TLC team has chosen their favourite five of the best English wines for you to try. Glasses at the ready …..

Winbirri Bacchus

First of all in our selection, and dubbed the Sauvignon Blanc of England, is the Bacchus grape. This has caught the imagination of wine connoisseurs across the globe. The Winbirri Bacchus became a much sought-after still white wine when the family-run vineyard in Norfolk won the Platinum Decanter Award ‘Best in Show: Best White Single-Varietal Wine in the World’ 2017, ahead of more than 17,200 entries.

The longer, drier summers in East Anglia have consequently made for excellent growing conditions for this 34-acre country winery in Surlingham. Made from 100% Bacchus grapes this wine has an elegant nose of grapefruit, passion fruit and floral characters. On the palate the wine gives the subtle flavours of ripe tropical fruits backed with a clean crisp finish.

The 2018 vintage is now available to pre-order. Interest is expected to be high, as it is expected to be among the best English wines.

Cost: £19.50

Five of the Best English Wines

Hattingley Valley’s 2014 Rosé

Hattingley Valley is a family-run business which has been working 60 acres of vineyard to produce premium English sparkling wines in Hampshire for just over a decade. It’s first wines were released in 2013 and have since won numerous awards.

Its 2014 Rosé is clearly among the best English wines having won no fewer than 8 awards. This includes a Gold Medal in 2018 from the Independent English Wine Awards. It is produced from hand-picked Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes,. These were gently pressed before fermentation in white Burgundy barrels. The wine then spent at least 2 years ageing on lees in the bottle, and a further 2 months ageing on cork before release.

And so the result is a subtle and delicate Rosé with an abundance of redcurrant and strawberry aromas. This is supported by fine toasty notes. Winemaker Will Perkins recommends enjoying this Rosé with Cherrystone Clam Chowder served with freshly baked bread.

Cost: £36.00 bottle

Related Topic: Five Gorgeous Cocktails with a Romantic Twist

Late Harvest 2017

Late Harvest 2017 is a rare, sweet wine produced by Astley Vineyard in Worcestershire. The vineyard is one of the oldest in England, established by the Bache family in 1971. Since then its founders have retired. New owners, the Haywood family, have maintained its boutique focus, producing approximately 9,000 bottles of high-quality a year. Alongside the vineyards Old Vine Kerner and Vintage Sparkling Kerner, Astley’s Late Harvest is one of its most celebrated wines.

Late Harvest is a deliciously light, aromatic and refreshing wine. It offers flavours of candied orange, fig, and a touch of Seville orange marmalade. Its relatively light body and medium low acidity, therefore makes it an unusually palatable desert wine, that isn’t overwhelmingly sweet.

At dinner it is an excellent choice to accompany cheeseboards.

Cost: £19.50

Five of the Best English Wines

Balfour Blanc de Blancs 2014

A gold medallist at the International Wine Challenge in 2017, Balfour Blanc de Blanc 2014, produced at the Hush Heath Estate in Kent, is one to savour, with an ageing potential of 8 years plus.

The deep Wealden clay soil which underlies the 50-acre vineyard is unique to this corner of Ken and provides the dense structure for the wines’ vibrant, lively acidity.

The Chardonnay grapes for this Cuvée came entirely from Hush Heath’s Old 8 Acre Vineyard, and were hand-harvested in October 2014, before being fermented in specially designed stainless-steel tanks kept at a cool 16°C to ensure clean, pure characters and complexity. Secondary fermentation in bottle, followed by a minimum 30 months ageing on the lees.

The result is a brilliant white gold colour wine with a vibrant, dry taste, and fine mousse, citrus, and mineral characters. It is an excellent choice to accompany seafood or chicken dishes.

Cost: £45.00 bottle

Sharpham whole berry rosé

Lastly on our list of the five of the best English wines is a true taste of English summer. Look no further than this off-dry, fruity rosé, which bursts with the delicate flavours of strawberries and rhubarb. This 2017 vintage is produced from Pinor Noir/Dornfelder grapes handpicked on the thousand-year-old South Devon farm. The estate, owned by the Sharpham Trust. It is made up of 500 acres of land on sheltered slopes above the River Dart, just two miles downstream of the ancient market town of Totnes.

Sharpham has been producing some of the best English wines for almost 25 years. They combine traditional and modern-day techniques to produce wines offering intense fruit flavours and aromas.

Our choice of whole berry rose has been aged 6 months under controlled conditions in stainless steel. Furthermore, it won the trophy for the best Rose at the South West Vineyards Association 2017. For that reason, the wine is an excellent choice to complement summer salads, cold meats or slightly spicy food.

Cost: £17.50 bottle

Try one of these fabulous wines from our collection of five of the best English wines available, and start the English summer off in style!

Continue reading  
 May 3rd 2019

Five ideas for a football inspired party

Five ideas for a football inspired party

Whether you are heading to Wembley on 18 May or watching on TV, the Emirates FA Cup final is always a good excuse for a party. This year Manchester City and Watford will battle it out to bring home the iconic silverware. To get you in the mood, here are our favourite five ideas for a football inspired party.

1. Play with your hero

For true fans, if you can’t see your team win the FA Cup the next best thing is playing on a pitch side-by-side with your sporting heroes. During May and June many Premiership stadiums offers access to their pitches for people looking for an extra special birthday or corporate football inspired party. Play with a Legend. It offers three-hour party packages that include playing time and socialising with the footballing icon after the match. The birthday party package includes full kit hire, a qualified referee, and a footballing legend to play in your game of 7 or 11 a-side. They will also join you for post-match drinks in the bar to share stories from their career. Footballers available for hire include Ian Rush, Emile Heskey and Teddy Sheringham.

2. Soccer Superstars

For the little football lovers in your life there are lots of indoor and outdoor pitches you can hire by the hour and set up your own mini-tournament. Some sessions are run by professional coaches and can include a wide variety of football inspired party games. Think keepie-up competitions and shoot-outs. For youngsters, a winner’s trophy is a nice touch to have, and medals for every competitor to take away as party favours. After all that activity, the young sportsmen and women and their parents will no doubt have worked-up an appetite. Find a pitch that offers an adjacent party room for hire. Decorate it with a football pitch dancefloor. Tables suspended on giant floral footballs. Linens in the colours of your favourite teams. A cascade of flowers blooming for football boots as creative table displays. Ideas are endless.

Five ideas for a football inspired party Five ideas for a football inspired party Five ideas for a football inspired party

Related Topic: See our Penny Dreadful Inspired Party

3. FIFA champions

Third on our list of five ideas for a football inspired party, set up your own championship experience. Use technology such as X Box FIFA 19 for a football inspired game party. Unlike individual video game play, a party experience heightens the drama as players compete against each other in the same space. You can choose whatever the prize will be – even having knock-out rounds to take home your own party silverware. The best bit is that players can choose their own team, so no matter who you support there is a chance of seeing your colours in the final.

4. Penalty Shoot-Out

Nothing beats the drama of a final penalty shoot-out. And you can recreate the excitement by hiring an inflatable penalty shoot-out for your football inspired party. There are inflatable goals with either Velcro target areas or a series of holes to shoot through with a backdrop to collect the balls. They work well for outdoor parties or in a large indoor space and appeal to both young and old footie fans alike. Simple but fun for a smaller venue….add a Sabbuteo football table and watch grown men battle it out on the pitch! Let the tournament begin!

5. Hear from the best

Last on our collection of five ideas for a football inspired party is for a larger celebration. If you’re planning a more formal football inspired party such as a sportsman’s dinner, as well as football themed décor and entertainment, nothing beats the authenticity of hearing from one of the sport’s well-known greats. Combine with a dinner of match day foods – posh pie and peas, bottled beers chilled to arctic temperatures, piping hot cones of fish and chips and maybe a decadent Mars Bar (the staple of the terraces) inspired dessert. Footballing after dinner speakers for hire include Andy Cole, Ron Atkinson, Michael Owen, Kevin Keegan, John Barnes and Bryan Robson.

Engagement events by the Taylor Lynn Corporation

Continue reading