Hope you find inspiration here about hosting events, throwing parties, cool venues, entrepreneurship, building a business from scratch, things internet and social media, plus a few laughs about things that go bump in daily life.

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    2017-11-23 11:46:47

    10 ways to party in Hawke's Bay

    Meadowwood House Party 10 ways to party in Hawke's Bay   ONE   There are beautiful stars in the Hawke's Bay summer sky. View them from a garden (like the one pictured above at Meadowwood House). TWO  Get outdoors and do some sporty stuff, then party in a barn. Outfoxed is a good place to start! THREE  Go wild. [...]
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    2017-10-16 16:58:32

    Quick icebreaker with selfies

    Icebreaker game I was asked for a really quick, no fuss icebreaker game for a team at an event - to fill the hour between the last event and drinks. This is a version of the Albanian treasure hunt party game. Pair people up. Give them a list of things they have to find - out in [...]
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    2017-09-27 10:19:52

    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 [...]
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    2017-08-23 16:22:12

    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 [...]
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    2017-08-08 17:30:58

    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 [...]
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    2017-04-27 17:19:17

    Party Games for adults on the cusp of a second childhood

    Party Games for Adults childish Party games (for adults on the cusp of a second childhood) We threw a pre-50th dinner party on Saturday for an old bloke and bunch of regular friends. We see a lot of these guys over dinner, so we decided, along with a good meal, we’d throw in some party games to liven up the [...]
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    2017-04-10 11:08:26

    10 Reasons for a Hawke's Bay Wedding

    Hawke's Bay Wedding 10 reasons for a Hawke’s Bay wedding One - lots of sunshine It’s sunny. Really. Hawke’s Bay has over 2,200 hours of sunshine every year and is sheltered and warm. The skies are mostly cloudless and a stunningly beautiful blue. If you want an outdoor wedding and a joyous weekend to go with it, it’s [...]
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    2017-02-13 11:54:13

    Wedding Reception Shoe Game

    Wedding reception Shoe Game I found this in the Bridal Guide magazine and, being a party game kind of person, thought it looked a lot of fun. Further research shows it's an oldie but a goodie - a great icebreaker for a wedding reception Here’s how it works: During your reception, after you’ve enjoyed some dinner, dancing, and drinks, [...]
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    2017-01-13 16:43:09

    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 [...]
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    2016-12-30 15:45:33

    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 [...]
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    2016-12-21 08:18:56

    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 [...]
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    2016-12-05 14:22:19

    Soundtrack for a NZ Summer party

    Kiwi music party playlist You put the music on long before the guests arrive, right? And pour the first wine and sample the olives. But for sure the music goes on first,  to get you in the mood, start your feet tapping, curl that smile so they're coming down the driveway and the party's on. For a kiwi summer, [...]
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    2016-11-30 11:43:56

    10 Hawke’s Bay Wines for a summer party

    Dan Brennan Decibel Winemaker I asked winemaker Daniel Brennan for his recommendations of the ten best Hawke's Bay wines for a summer party.  I decided long ago that his 2014 Decibel Viognier will be on my Christmas table. Dan lives and breathes wine - and music and friendship and family - and is passionate about the extraordinary variety of [...]
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    2016-11-28 11:13:53

    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 [...]
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    2016-10-12 17:36:13


    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 [...]
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    2016-07-25 09:37:01

    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 [...]
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    2016-07-12 19:42:55

    Be nudged into networking

    Nudged into networking I once took part in an astrology experiment where, along with 50 others, I was quizzed on my exact time and place of birth and was given a personality chart. Now, I am not a believer in mumbo jumbo but the uncanny thing was – they actually really nailed me. My co-participants were equally begrudgingly [...]
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    2016-05-31 12:41:44

    The value of face to face communication

    Face to Face communication Face to face. We don't value it enough. This last month, going around and talking to venue providers, event organisers and running several events myself, I have reinforced my opinion that face to face is so much better than any alternative. It's a human need, to get together and share space. Our ancestors did it [...]
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    2016-03-20 08:39:56

    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 [...]
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    2016-03-10 18:16:59

    First setback

    Snakes & ladders Back last year, I was talking to my 40 people. That's what you do when you have an idea for a start-up, you talk to 40 people. Can't remember where that magic number came from, but it's quite a good one. If you talk to 40 people about your start-up and you're still enthusiastic at [...]
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    2016-02-17 16:18:26

    in the beginning...

    logo   indieVenue is not even live and already I'm blogging! This will be a no-holds-barred, warts-and-all look at starting up a start up. All the things I get right, all the pitfalls, all the people who help along the way - and those who don't (yep, no-holds-barred). Jump into the indieVenue story anytime. I hope [...]
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