Lord of the Rings Themed Party

Brief: We organised a four day residential conference in New Zealand, and as part of the brief the client wanted a very relaxed party night in the middle of the programme where the delegates would be encouraged to relax and have fun. This was for 150 guests, and needed to be close to the conference hotel. 

Location: The Barn at Moonlight Country, Queenstown, New Zealand

Solution: We found a barn on a nearby farm which had been converted for events, and decided to use a Lord of the Rings theme for the evening. This had synergy with the location, as a lot of the filming was done around Queenstown, and the barn was surrounded by spectacular mountain views. The venue was decorated with black draping, hanging vines, green velvet tablecloths and rustic candelabra, and coloured lighting was used to create the right atmosphere. Tables were decked with ivy, and laid out in long trestles as if it were a medieval banquet. To add to this theme, the food was all served on large sharing platters which fitted well with the informal ambience.

Spectacular Event

Entertainment: As the coaches carrying the guests turned onto the dirt road to the farm, riders on black horses dressed as Dark Riders flanked them and accompanied them ceremonially to the doors of the venue, at which stage they were met by a character actor playing Gandalf the wizard who offered them protection.  Once inside, the guests spotted the printed menus, on the cover of which we had altered a poster from the film to show faces of some of the guests, and we held a competition to see if anyone could guess them all. A singer and pianist provided background music during the meal, and after dinner we had a terrific Party Band who got everyone on to the dance floor. 

Challenges: The venue was a twenty minute drive from the conference hotel, and this group doesn’t normally like to travel for evening events. However, the dramatic surprise of being greeted by Dark Riders and Gandalf completely counteracted any grumbles about the coach transfer. 

Favourite moments: The ‘Guess Who’ game on the menu cover worked brilliantly, and even led to some of the guests offering our staff bribes if we would tell them the answers! The Dark Riders were also amazing. They added a really mystical dimension to the event, and lots of people had their photos taken with them. 

Dark Rider     Middle Earth menu

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