How the Italians do venues

Italian Wedding Party Venue

Glamorously, obviously. I’ve been in southern Italian, walking mostly, but often putting my head into venues and admiring the style with which the Italians engage in formal entertaining. In New Zealand casual chic is the norm, even for weddings. We do a good line in rustic charm. Prettily decorated barns are desirable venues. Our Bride […]


How (and why) to remember names

How to remember names

Photo: Bronwen Evans Tricks to help remember names “Let’s start by going around the room and introducing ourselves. Haha  – don’t worry, we wont test you!” But what if they did? I was at a writers’ meeting last night. The guest speaker was author and blogger Kristen Lamb from Texas. My hat goes off to […]


Six Sure Ways to Fancy Dress Success

Fancy dress Steam Punk Themed party

Photo credit: John Miles Six Sure Ways to Fancy Dress Success (and why the Steam Punk Traitor’s Ball worked so well) We went to a Steam Punk Ball last week, to launch local author Gareth Ward’s book: The Traitor & The Thief. Dressing up in Steam Punk costume was optional, but the town came to […]


Summer vibe with talented local musicians

Hawkes Bay Party Band Verdant Blue

Nothing adds instant class to your party better than live music, and in Hawke’s Bay we are so lucky to have incredibly talented musicians whose sound  – smooth or jumpy – enhances the sunshine mood and trips off the fairy lights sparkling on the grape vines. Here are some of my favourites.  Give them a […]


Icebreakers & Party Games – Would I lie to you?

Would I lie to you Questions

Here’s an ice breaker for a big party – it gets people (aarrggh!) talking to strangers and sparks some interesting, if not always honest, conversations. It’s based on the BBC panel show with the hilarious David Mitchell, Rob Brydon and Lee Mack, but you don’t need to call in the professionals, the game works equally […]


How to photograph a party

How to photograph fancy dress party

At the end of the day (or maybe late the next morning after coffee), you want gorgeous, glossy bright party photographs like something out of a magazine – smiling happy people all in focus, naturally in off-the-cuff poses doubling over with spontaneous laughter or posed groups, formally casual  – every shot well framed and lit […]


Turn party anxiety into party anticipation

Ice Breakers Retro Cocktail Party

Here’s the thing. It’s Christmas, the end of year and it’s party season.  There are work dos, partner’s work dos, club social events, school prize givings, awards events and holiday parties. Some people love a party. Any party. They’re the ones responsible for noise control turning up in the wee hours long after most guests […]



scoop news

indieVenue leaps to Wellington and event hosting gets easier   Hawke’s Bay start up indieVenue, a community of independent venues and their suppliers, opens its services to the Wellington events’ scene well ahead of schedule. The timing couldn’t be better for the capital, as businesses look for Christmas parties with a point of difference, and […]


6 Event Ideas for an Albanian Hostel

Ice breaker ideas

My son emailed me this week asking for event ideas for an Albanian Youth Hostel. (Who knows where a gap year will take you?) First thing when you’re planning events is to define the purpose. I’m guessing the hostel wanted him to raise their profile and get more travellers staying more nights. So the events […]


Before you start a start up

Talk to 40 people

and here are mine. MY FABULOUS 40: Alexandra, Allan, Andy, Angela, Anna, Anne, Annie, Briony, Dale, Dan, Daphne, Darren, Dave, David, Debbie, Elham, Fraser, Guy, Helen, Herman, Ian, Jane, Kerry, Lance, Lucinda, Lynette, Mara, Matt, Michelle, Mike, Milton, Nathalie, Paul, Philippa, Rhys, Sandy, Shaun, Silke, Tim, Viv. I wish I could remember who it was […]