Be Your Fabulous Self: A Guide to Surviving Cocktail Parties

pouring cocktail

Cocktail events are a staple in New York and other cities. It’s chic, easy to plan, and can take place in galleries, ballrooms, or upscale bars.

Word of warning: there’s nothing casual or laid back about cocktail events. If you don’t know what to do at these social gatherings, read on.

  • Dress Up for the Occasion – Cocktail parties still follow a dress code. While it isn’t a black tie affair, men are still expected to wear a coat or at least a dinner jacket. Women, on the other hand, should wear cocktail dresses and matching heels. Cocktail dresses usually have hemlines ranging from mid-thigh to just above the knees. It’s not a requirement to wear black, but dark colors are better than pastel ones. Keep accessories to a minimum; and remember, less is always tasteful.
  • Know Why You’re There and Arrive on Time – It could be a corporate event, a product launch, a charity ball, or a fund raiser. The point is to be aware of what event you are attending and what time it starts. Arriving fashionably late can be very awkward, especially if you make a dramatic entrance with all eyes on you. To be on the safe side, arrive at the venue 5-10 minutes early.
  • Drink, Don’t Guzzle – The phrase “open bar” sounds extremely appealing, but there’s no need to be greedy. Whether you’re attending a business function or a wedding reception, it’s considered polite to have only one drink at a time. Sip each drink slowly. After you’ve finished, politely ask the bartender for another one – never two.
  • Mingle and Socialize – Cocktail parties are social gatherings. When attending one, try to talk to people other than your circle of friends or coworkers. Go around and mingle. If it’s a corporate function, be sure to bring plenty of business cards. When accepting business cards from someone you’ve just met, make sure to read the name and title before keeping it inside a card case. It’s not polite to shove a business card inside your bag, or tuck it inside a book.
  • Don’t Take Photos of the Buffet – It’s a fun thing to do at weddings, but not during formal functions. It’s also considered crass to take pictures of your plate. If possible, keep the selfies and groufies to a minimum.
  • Don’t Hang Out at the Bar – Even if you aren’t enjoying the party, make an effort to socialize and talk to people. Hanging out by the bar and starting a long conversation with the bartender doesn’t look too good. You can take a stroll around the event venue with a drink in hand, or go out for some fresh air.
  • Don’t Overstay Your Welcome – Cocktail events normally don’t last all night, so make sure you aren’t the last one to leave. Before you go, look for the host and thank them for the invite. Being courteous and polite will ensure that you’ll get invited to more events in the future.

Following these unwritten social rules can help save you from embarrassing situations. These are just general guidelines, though. It should never take precedence over being yourself and having fun at an event.

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Make cocktail events and corporate functions more memorable with the sultry vocals and upbeat tunes of Acute Inflections. Contact us at 800-610-0704 for booking information!

Sail Away at Your Next Corporate Event

The Yacht Party Difference

Convention halls, ballrooms, and the office rooftop are the most used venues for corporate events. While posh restaurants serve the purpose, the crowd and noise makes it lose its air of exclusivity. Since corporate events are important in the New York City lifestyle, it’s no surprise that event planners have become creative.

Holding a corporate event on a private yacht is a great alternative to conference hall events and black-tie affairs. A private yacht will send a message of exclusivity and elegance to partners, shareholders, and employees. It’s a great venue to toast the success of a new partnership or a record-breaking campaign.

Charter a Yacht and Relax

A luxury yacht offers a wonderful environment far from the stresses and distractions of the workplace. How often have employees dashed back into their offices in the middle of a party to attend to a pressing matter? Sailing away ensures that their attention is on this intimate gathering or celebration.

Hosting a party on a yacht is not as complicated as people think it to be. For one, a private yacht is already an elegant and sophisticated venue, so you only need to add minimal décor. The yacht also has its own dining area, sound system, and other amenities.

Best of all, you can have your party with the yacht either moored, anchored, or cruising.

Corporate yacht charters are available in New York and other cities. They can be for small, intimate groups or an actual corporate event. The rates are  reasonable compared to land-based venues. Organizers may also extend the hours depending on their discretion.

The A-List Treatment

Corporate event planners can choose to host a cocktail party or a sit-down dinner on a chartered yacht. Most of the charter services already offer packages that cover food and drinks. Of course, given the upscale venue, it goes without saying that the food and drinks must be luxurious as well.

For cocktail parties, you can never go wrong with platters of hors d’ oeuvres and champagne. At the same time, the charter services have chefs who can prepare sumptuous dinners for VIP guests.

When you’re at a corporate event on a luxury yacht, it’s important to cover your bases. Elegant music can set the tone for the evening. It could make a big difference on how your guests decide on an important business matter.

Instead of a violin player or pianist, why not take things up a notch with some classy jazz, R&B, or Top 40 tunes? Hire musicians for your event for a tasteful and sophisticated playlist that mirrors your guests’ preferences. It will surely make your event more memorable.

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Feel alive with the pulse of an upright bass and enchanting silky-smooth vocals as only Acute Inflections can deliver. For weddings, parties, or corporate events, contact us at 800-610-0704 for booking information!

Top 5 Favorite Jazz Clubs in NYC

Blues and jazz have an extensive history in this town, which used to host defining establishments like the Lenox Lounge, Cotton Club, and the first Birdland. Even though most of the classic venues are no longer around — some of which have been turned into tourist attractions and museums of sorts — there are still an abundance of clubs around the city where you can indulge in live music. Check out some of our favourite jazz clubs in NYC, and let us know what yours are in the comments below.

Knowble 2VILLAGE VANGUARD: The underground jazz club in the West Village is almost 80 years old, and some musicians consider it an honor to play there. Regarded by many as the jazz equivalent of Carnegie Hall, this modest place is known for its superior acoustics and flawlessly controlled mood lighting, both of which sync with the performances on stage. However, the seating areas can be quite narrow. That aside, the Village Vanguard is all about the music, not the visual performance. In fact, several critically acclaimed artists, such as Bill Evans and Miles Davis, have performed here while patrons listened to their act with their eyes closed. You can actually feel the vibration of sound when certain musicians practice their craft. The Village Vanguard generally charges $25 to get in with a one-drink minimum. There is no reserved seating, so it pays to arrive early.

JAZZ STANDARD: This affluent Flatiron venue is a cross between the gaudiness of Time Square and the intimacy of some of the West Village clubs. You’ll often find barbecue being served while patrons listen to blues and jazz in this roomy-yet-plush space. The club has played host to infamous jazz musicians, such as Jimmy Cobb and Bill Frisell, as well as the sensational 10-piece Mingus Big Band (sometimes playing as the Mingus Dynasty or Mingus Orchestra). Because the Jazz Standard is situated under the Blue Smoke restaurant, patrons of the club feast on items from the eatery’s menu during a performance.

BLUE NOTE: Calling itself the “the jazz capital of the world”, the Blue Note has featured live performances by Charlie Haden, Cecil Taylor, and other known artists, as well as newer talent, like the Bad Plus. Inside the narrow venue, tables are situated inches away from one another. Regular guests don’t seem to mind though. In fact, such closeness at the Blue Note has become synonymous with Sunday brunches, as well as the Late Night Groove series.

IRIDIUM: The upper-class crowds who frequent Iridium come to see a mix of established blues artists and obscure jazz players. The views and acoustics are what keep bringing those crowds back. The Iridium was the place to visit guitarist Les Paul on Monday nights, and in his absence, various recognizable jazz musicians pay musical tribute to him on those same weeknights.

BIRDLAND: Birdland is where Midtown’s resurgence of jazz took place. Great jazz artists, such as Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano, Aaron Neville and John Pizzarelli are the attractions that drew in patrons. In-house bands are also beloved at the venue, particularly the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, who is a mainstay of Sunday evenings.