Super Party for the SuperVet;
A circus themed christmas party to remember.
If you read last weeks episode (blog post) you’ll know that Team Bigtopmania spent a Saturday afternoon busy in Surrey providing circus entertainment to a company christmas fun day. But the show doesn’t end there. Oh no! You’ve merely made it to the interval. It’s SuperVet Christmas Party time; So get your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the rest of this roller coaster ride of circus & event supplier rambling!
Can we supply a marquee for 300+ guests at tables?
Let’s set the scene before we get into the actual event. Our client Fitzpatrick Referrals, made contact with us at just the right time, way back in May 2014.
Honoured to be asked and from what I now know these Supervets and their amazing team do outstanding work.
Plan early! That’s a 6 month Christmas event planning lead in.. just right!
Good timing too. They were able to visit a nearby event we were doing for Farnham Lions “Indian Spectacular” for 400 guests.
Next Tip! Its really good to be able to see the tent and we like to let clients know if this is possible.
Here’s a picture of the set up on that occasion in May 2015
and there are even more tents behind. We look forward to working join their next big event in 2017 for 600 table seated guests!! That was a big event and it gave the present clients a good sample. So why not go bigger!
Tent for 300 guests + Large Foyer Bar Tent + Service tent + Stage + Dance floor + loos and lots of entertainment too! In Mid December!
The challenge was on and we produced a few plans and worked with the organiser Stuart (who also runs a therapy centre in Guildford. ) Stuart is a friend of Noel Fitzpatrick and event planned as a favour. I think he likes parties too!
One of the draft plans!
Next Tip; Don’t do it all yourself!
A production collaboration was in order as it was a huge job.
Cirque Noel ( Supervet Christmas Party) suppliers included;
- Bigtopmania; Main big tent 12 x 34.5m . Foyer Tent 9 x 14.5m Linking tents, Ambient lighting, Circus Entertainment.
- Carron Marquees; solid floor and carpeting, dance floor, service tent, stage and generators.
- Catering; Caper and Berry.. handy for them as they have onsite offices!
- Sound and Stage lighting; Puxley Sound, from Exeter.
- Event support; Surrey University International Event Management Students.
- Entertainment; Bigtopmania Circus, Wandering musicians The London Essentials, World Champion Sports Pole Dancer and The Stage Band.
- Bars; Blue Frog Bars massive mobile bar from Tadley.
- Balloons; dozens of them.. Stuart and his wife.. You have to do something…
The Event Build; Production phase.
It was a very windy site during site visits so we were well prepared with huge amounts of extra ropes, ratchets , and mega stakes. There was no way we were going to have any wind issues!
In the build week leading up to the big day we spent a couple of chilly days fighting the winter weather rigging the rather enormous 6 pole Red & White ‘Squirty Cream‘. This marquee served as the main function space giving 383 square metres of party space.
As soon as this tent was ready we informed Carron marquees that their work could begin!
We had delivered some kit and made some ground preparations in advance so we ended up a day ahead of schedule!
The space was lit with a combination of our fairy light systems, festoon lighting and globe lanterns to light the tent. Later Puxley Sound installed the stage lighting, projectors and battery operated up-lighters.
Tents were linked with a 4×4 chinese hat pagoda to a 9x15m candy-striped marquee that acted as the grand entrance tent.
Equipped with a well stocked bar and champagne to welcome guests.
The set up looked colourful and exciting when we left it, but by the time we returned with all the finishing touches; tables & chairs, decor, dance floor, a carpet and uplighters.
The venue looked quite stunning.
It’ll all be alright on the night.
When so much attention to detail has gone into the planning of a colourful vibrant event, it’s nice when the guests do it justice with an equally fantastic fancy dress effort.
Next Tip; Dress up!
Team Supervet did not disappoint. As well as gorgeous formal wear, there were plenty of leopard skin body suits, groups of strong ‘men’, a pantomime horse with both ends, all manner of clowns and ringmasters. It adds so much fun to the atmosphere from the start, it takes the fear out of atmos-fear!
Next tip; Book some great entertainment.
So after an already long day of performing circus shows down the road. The Bigtopmania team jumped straight into action. We provided mingling circus entertainment to give onlookers something to watch whilst they sipped champagne. Breaking the ice!
Emmanuel was keeping things simple with just a little bit of African bowl spinning and charismatic funny faces which always amuse me even after all these years.
Aerial Els was up high on stilts as a beautiful christmas fairy.
Lucas Jet and Moses did some walkabout juggling to the sounds of the wandering band.
After the guests found their tables,
The London Essentials then kicked things off with an en-mass rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody . . every-one joined in of course.
Then BANG! Generator fail. Smoke and Steam.. just like a car engine failure!
Next tip; at a big event, have at least a back up generator, some onsite electricians and ring for a replacement!
Back stage, people were madly running around trying to sort things out. For a while it was going to be a choice between power for catering or power for marquee.. but in the end Carron marquees brought a new generator. Only setting the schedule back by only 40mins or so. USE A LOCAL GENERATOR CO!
Next tip; Use an opportunity!
This unplanned power fail created a highlight for us and whilst we were having a break before the main show, word got back to the dressing room that the generator had failed (nothing to do with any of our kit thankfully). So the tent was in relative darkness apart from some battery powered LED uplighters round the edge and a small amount of lighting. Elanor had thankfully brought her glow clubs and they went straight in to action.
Next Tip; Battery up lighters. None of the guests noticed the power failure!
Making use of the lower lighting and making it look like it was all part of the plan; Glow juggling and acoustic wondering band to the rescue!
The guests remained in high spirits and danced and sang and watched our juggling apparently with some of them not realising this wasn’t planned. Below shows a badly-filmed clip of the nice moment the lights came back on.
When the event power comes back on!
microphone handed to Supervet Noel to do his CEO speech; striking, stirring and thanking his huge team.
Dressed as gothic ring master and full of encouragement and wicked sense of fun!
A great and sexy start to the shows in store.. but not quite as sexy when colleague vets got to have a go!
After the pole dancing it was meal time and during this the London Essentials continued to serenade table by table. A VERY recommended band.
I’m afraid i didn’t want to intrude on tables and meal with a camera so no pictures of that and apologies for the I phone unedited images. Lets move on to the
Post-Meal, Pre-Dancing Circus Show Time.
It wouldn’t be a Supervet Christmas Party without some circus!
We had previously installed a 5m high portable, mobile trapeze rig over the dance floor and the action packed show to follow was in front of the stage. We aimed for an action packed show full of skills and comedy of about 25mins long.
The SuperVet Christmas Party Entertainers were;
Lucas Jet who did his jumping over guests on a unicycle routine. He really shouldn’t have picked on our bookers; Noel and Stuart! The Uk African Acrobat Company provided tumbling, human pyramids, contortion and bowl spinning.
Aerial Els swung high on silks.
Moses Opiyo presented his sexy hand balancing act.
Straight after the show we dismantled the trapeze rig in just a few minutes and were ready for the first set by The Stage Band.
They got the dance floor full and it basically carried on that way into the night. After their second set, James ( who works with Chris Tarrant no less) took over as DJ to a very full dance floor.
The Supervet Christmas Party went on well into the night.
We cleared up over the next few days.
Field back to normal!
And we were told…
“In case I miss you during your pack down I just want to thank you and your brilliant team for their performances at what has been universally accepted by Fitzpatrick’s as the best party ever!!
The Big Top looked fantastic and your guys were all amazing.
I’m sure we will be in contact about future events and look forward to working with you again.”
I think between us we made this supervet christmas party into a very memorable affair!