Emceeing an Event?

Emceeing an Event?

So, you’ve been asked to Emcee an event? Perhaps it’s been quite some time since you took the stage or maybe even it’s your first time, so naturally, you might be feeling a tad anxious. But don’t be! If you follow these tips, you’re sure to do a great job and deliver an exceptional performance.

Prepare Well in Advance

Don’t go in unprepared and expect it to turn out well. You should have the whole event planned from when you first step on the stage to when it’s over. To get an idea of how often you will need to speak on stage, talk to the event planner first regarding the schedule. Once you have the program, you can then organize every speech, introduction, and wrap up down to the second.

Create an Impressive Kick-Off and Closing

You only get a few seconds to impress the audience and to set the tone for the entire event. So make sure you plan an elaborate and impressive kick off for the event opener. The closing should also wow the audience with a detailed closing that gives thanks to the audience and recaps the key points.

Practice and Rehearse

The more you can familiarize yourself with your script, the more likely you will deliver your presentation with ease. You should also talk to the event staff to see if you can get some time before the event to practice on the same stage. This will allow you to get a better idea of how your voice will fill the room, as well as try out different speaking volumes and pitches to perfect your delivery.

Dress to Impress

Know the dress code in advance and dress appropriately for the event. You should look sharp without standing out like a sore thumb.

Be Positive and Energetic

As mentioned before, you are setting the tone of the event, so if you come out dull and expressionless, everyone else will follow suit. From the minute you step out on stage, smile and continue to be enthusiastic throughout the program to keep everyone upbeat and engaged.

Be In Charge

The event planner will be in charge of the event, but once you step on stage, the power flips over to you. That means you need to control the schedule and what happens. So make sure you have the timing down to a tee, and stay on top of your time management to ensure that each segment starts and ends exactly on time.

Don’t Forget to Introduce the Speakers

When you introduce the speakers to the stage, don’t just give their name and hand over the mic. You should also give a short bio of who they are and what they do. That also includes yourself, especially if most people don’t know who you are.

Make Everyone Look Good

Emceeing an event also means your job is to make everyone look good on stage. If you’re going to crack a joke, make sure that it doesn’t embarrass anyone or make people look bad. You should know your audience and what is appropriate and what is not.

Talk Clearly and Loudly

It’s important that people can clearly hear and understand you. While shouting is never appreciated, make sure you talk just loud enough so that everyone can hear you from all areas of the room. Also, try not to rush through segments. Even if you’re nervous, remember to take a breath, slow down and speak clearly.

If you’re throwing an event, the Emcee is always an important component. Talk to our coordinator at the St. Elias Centre today to learn how we can help you plan out your event.

5 Tips to Make Sure Your Fundraising Gala Goes Smoothly

5 Tips to Make Sure Your Fundraising Gala Goes Smoothly

Orchestrating a fundraising gala is a big endeavour with many moving parts that you must plan out well in advance. Plus, they usually include some pretty important attendees, so it’s one event that really requires extensive planning in order to make it go off without a hitch. To help you streamline the process and make your fundraising gala go smoothly, here are some expert tips to remember.

Know Your Budget

Ensure that you know exactly what your budget is and be strict with it. Galas can quickly add up if you’re not constantly calculating the costs against your budget. So always be aware of that number before you begin planning.

Start With Nailing Down the Basics

With any fundraising gala, you first need to focus on mastering the planning and details of the fundamentals. That includes a smooth check-in and seating process. Start with these two essential elements. Map out the check-in and seating, and then practise with your volunteers, so they know exactly how to streamline it so you don’t have any guests waiting and frustrated right off the bat. You want that first impression to be a good one, and that means the arrival and seating must go smoothly.

Focus on the Food & Service

Next up is the food. It’s always one of the main events that guests look forward to, and often the main reason why many people attend, so the food has to be great. Go over the menu with your chef and catering team. Be sure to offer and a well-rounded menu with attractive options for vegetarians, and other potential dietary needs well ahead of time. Spend a good amount of time pinpointing when each dish will be served, and have your catering staff well informed about the timing. Don’t forget to practice! This may seem silly now, but this is always beneficial to ensure the service is exceptional and that the servers deliver the food and beverages according to your instructions and expectations.

Reflect Your Mission

Since this is a fundraising gala, it’s important to reflect the mission throughout your event. You can do this by inviting certain clients to speak or display some of the relevant work throughout the venue. This always a good way to give a refresher as to why your guests are donating.

Don’t Skimp on the Entertainment

Remember that your guests are coming for the food and to have a good time, so you don’t want to disappoint. This is an area that you should allot a good chunk of your budget to. Ask around for great recommendations and make sure that you choose something that is suitable for your audience and will get them up off their feet and having fun.

Having your fundraising gala go smoothly really comes down to planning well in advance, and nailing down your budget, your fundamentals, your food and, of course, the entertainment. So ask for volunteers, create a committee to help, and get planning nice and early! And for the perfect venue, check out the St. Elias Centre! We have everything you need to throw a smooth and successful gala. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer and how we can help.

The Proper Bar Mitzvah

The Proper Bar Mitzvah

The Bar Mitzvah is an exciting coming-of-age ceremony that all Jewish boys partake in as soon as they turn thirteen. At this age, boys officially become an adult in the Jewish Community and are awarded responsibilities, such as wearing the tefillin, participating in the synagogue services, and observing Jewish law. This important milestone is often celebrated with a synagogue ceremony, followed by a party where guests come to watch the boy reaffirm his faith and offer gifts to commemorate him for all the hard work. It’s a very important and respected celebration with many key steps to remember.

To understand how the proper Bar Mitzvah ceremony and party works, we outline the key parts below.

The Ceremony

After months of preparing, the child will participate in the Shabbat service. He will stand on his own in front of all his friends and family and read a passage from the Torah called the Aliyah. In many Jewish communities, the boy will also chant the Torah reading or a section called the Haftarah.

The Speech

It is also customary for the boy to deliver a speech on the day of the Bar Mitzvah. Some will perform the speech in the synagogue and others will do so at the reception. The purpose of the speech is to have the boy share what he has learned from the Torah with others. It’s also when the boy will thank family and friends for joining him in celebration and announce his Bar Mitzvah project.

The Party

After the ceremony, a party will be held to celebrate the Rite of Passage. Most parties will take place directly after the synagogue ceremony and include a large spread with music, dancing, and entertainment. At the introduction of the party, the family will walk in front, followed by the boy. The boy will call up each of his family members so they can light a candle to be placed on his cake. Before the meal starts, the oldest person recites the Ha-motzi – a traditional prayer and blessing on the boy and family, which is followed by the boy sharing bread with his closest relatives. After dinner, the boy will perform a special dance with his mother, an affectionate moment between the two.

The Hora

The main event is when everyone gets up to dance. Everyone will perform the Hora, where the boy will be raised up high on a chair as the guests surround him in a circle and dance around him. It’s an energetic and fast-paced dance that is very traditional.

The Parent Toast

Customarily, the parents will make a toast to honour the child, either before or after the Hora. At this time, they will thank the guests for coming and sharing this milestone with their child.

The Gifts

Gifts will also be given to the boy from all the guests. Typical gifts include gift certificates, money, and also religious items and books from the Jewish culture. And the grandparents or parents will purchase the first set of tefillin for the boy.

If you’re looking for the perfect event space or Bart Mitzvah planner in the Ottawa area contact us at St. Elias Centre today!

2018 Wedding Cake Trends

2018 Wedding Cake Trends

For some people, the wedding cake is really the star of the show, after the bride, of course! With hand-painted florals and other mind-blowing artistic elements, the options are really endless. But if you’re eager to learn what the upcoming 2018 wedding cake trends will be, get your sweet tooth ready for these drool-worthy designs.

Marble Cakes

Everyone loves the polished look of marble, so imagine just how elegant it would look infused into your wedding cake design. The combination of white, grey and even gold make this design clean, contemporary and charming.

Black Cakes

Who says your cake has to be white and bright? Today, with so many modern trends veering from tradition, you can add any personalized style you desire. And that includes the ever-popular black cake 2018 wedding cake trend. Blended with some dainty macaroons and drizzled with metallic accents such as gold, this is a definite, elegant showstopper.

3D Textured Cakes

3D is the name of the game these days, and with this advanced design element, it really can let you stretch your imagination! With 3D printed designs, cake artistry has reached a whole new level this year, creating eye-popping, contemporary cakes that are truly an art piece to savour.

Hand-Painted Cakes

For some couples, sticking with traditional, hand-made styles is the way to go. And with hand-painted cakes, you can blend your love of clean, modern designs with the classic look of beautiful, hand-painted flowers that can add bursts of colour throughout your cake to accent your décor perfectly.

Succulent Cakes

Succulents seem to be popping up just about everywhere when it comes to interior décor, and there’s no exception for wedding cakes this year. You can expect to see cakes topped with hand-made terrarium-inspired designs to create an earthy and chic look.

Geometric Accents

Another popular design that is gearing up to snag a leading spot this year is the geometric accents. This is the perfect style for the minimalistic couple that also enjoys a clean, contemporary design.

The wedding cake is meant to reflect the individual style of each couple, so don’t be afraid to get creative! If you’re looking for some ideas, let these top growing 2018 wedding cake trends inspire you to find the perfect showpiece that will wow your guests and taste scrumptious, too. And when you’re ready to lock in the perfect venue, reach out to us at the St. Elias Centre. We have the perfect venue that we guaranteed will impress both you and your guests. Contact us today, and our team will be more than happy to discuss all that we have to offer.

A Little Bit More About Us

A Little Bit More About Us

Whether it’s a family reunion, a wedding, or a professional event, we understand that when you need to host an important occasion, you want it to be flawless, successful and memorable for your guests. That’s why at St. Elias Centre, we go above and beyond to provide an impressive, elegant venue and top-tier services to help make your gathering one of the most enjoyable and memorable events of the year for both you and your guests. And, with a highly revered reputation, you can feel confident in the features and services that stand behind the St. Elias name.

To learn more about our venue, services, and special features, here’s a little bit more about us to help you make a decision when booking your next event.

Convenient Central Location

We understand how important the location is when you book a venue. You want something centrally located that’s easy enough for your guests to find and get to. Our recently renovated luxury event space is conveniently located in Central Ottawa, just off Riverside Drive, across from the beautiful Mooney’s Bay Park, and close to a variety of amenities and hotels. Our grounds also offer 400 onsite parking spots to accommodate all your guests, and over 11,000 square feet of elegant, modern multi-purpose space that is perfect for any size event.

Exquisite Design Features

If you’re looking for an impressive event space, our venue won’t disappoint! Our lavish lobby will greet you and your guests upon your arrival, along with intricate architecture, chic furniture, candles, and captivating ceilings throughout the space. Our shimmering chandeliers and newly refreshed modern decor provide a sophisticated and inviting ambiance for all your guests.

Premium Catering and Banquet Services

St. Elias Centre also comes complete with premium catering and banquet services. Let our Executive Chef and professionally trained staff create memorable culinary experiences for all your guests. We offer nothing but the best in ingredients and presentation to wow and impress. Our catering and banquet staff can tailor to all your culinary needs with impeccable service.

Professional Client Services

We also offer professional client services to assist you in organizing your event. We can also recommend service providers for entertainment, audiovisual equipment and decorations to ensure your event goes off without a hitch. Whatever you need, we can help!

Multi-purpose Venue

No matter what type of event you’re planning, our venue can accommodate. Our 11,500 square foot hall can be used entirely or split up into smaller rooms to suit your individual needs. Our stage is perfect for featuring public speakers, live entertainment, or for special guest seating. The generous space ensures that you can accommodate as many as 1000 guests or as little as 50 without sacrificing any of the amenities or floor space for your required design. You can create any event layout that you can imagine, and if you need design ideas, we are more than happy to help.

Now that you know a little bit more about us feel free to contact us anytime so we can help create your dream event here at St. Elias Centre.

5 Perks of Winter Weddings

5 Perks of Winter Weddings

Looking for a unique wedding idea? Something that will “wow” your guests and provide a truly memorable experience? A winter wedding can do exactly that! Sure, it may be a little colder outside, but there are some truly big perks of having your wedding in the winter, especially if you want to get the venue you want and save on expenses. Just check out the following 5 perks of winter weddings, and how it can make for an unforgettable event.

More Options Available

With all the wedding competition in the warmer months, it can be difficult to get the venue you desire and even the preferred date. When you plan a winter wedding, you will have more available venue options, which means you don’t have to wait for your dream venue. You can have the wedding on your terms, exactly how you want it.

Special Discounts

If you plan for a winter wedding, you may be eligible for special off-season discounts from wedding planners and vendors. Discounts may also mean you can get an even better venue than you had originally planned for or be able to invite more friends.

Perfect Hair Condition

When it’s hot and humid in the summer months, your beautiful wedding hair can turn into a sweaty, frizzy mess before you’ve even walked down the aisle. But with a winter wedding, you can maintain perfect hair thanks to the cooler outdoor conditions and zero humidity.

Unique Photos

The winter backdrop of white snow and grey skies can create the perfect winter wonderland. With snow-covered trees and twinkling lights everywhere, it’s easy to impress your guests with a truly magical evening.

More RSVP’s

It’s not uncommon for people to have two to four wedding invites to attend during the busiest wedding months. If your wedding falls on the same date as another, you might not end up with all the RSVP’s you were hoping for. The spring and summer months are also busy months in general for people. Some of your favourite friends and family may have already committed to another event. Booking a winter wedding means you will get more of your friends and family there, and will likely be the event that everyone looks forward to!

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? when you’ve decided on a winter wedding, contact us at St. Elias Centre. We have the perfect venue for your winter wedding –  a stunning hall, elegant décor, on-site catering and bar, ample parking, and professional services designed to make your dream wedding a reality!

How to Slim Down Your Guest List

How to Slim Down Your Guest List

When you’re organizing a holiday party – or any party – and are limited on resources, funds or space, slimming down your guest list is a must. Of course, this can be much easier said than done, but with these tips, you can reach your preferred number and avoid hurting anyone’s feelings during the process.

First Round List

First, you should start creating your “must invite” list or, better known as your “first-round” list. If it’s a personal occasion, then this will often include your immediate family followed by closest friends. If it’s a client-business occasion, then start with senior employees plus one, valuable clients plus one and so one. Make your invite list based on priority and work your way down.

Second Round List

The “would like to invite” list is simply a list of all the people you would like to invite that are not on your first-round list. This is your second-round  of people you want at the event if you have space, the budget, or if any first round people are unable to attend. To make this easier for you to decide, try asking yourself how close are you with this person, when was the last time you saw this person, and will this person be upset if not invited? These questions will make it much easier to pinpoint who to invite and who you can exclude, hopefully without offending.

Third Round List

Then, finally, the third-round list is a list of people that you can invite only if someone from your second-round list cancels. This is often second-cousins, old college friends, your friends and parent’s extras, and past business connections. The majority of these people will not be offended if they are not invited.

Breaking The News

If you can’t invite people whom you know will be offended it’s best to talk to them personally if you believe they will find out. Let them know the reasons you cannot invite them at this time – such as spacial or budget requirements. Most people will understand the circumstances once you explain and sincerely apologize for being unable to have them there to celebrate with you.

Knowing how to slim down your guest list can be more of an art than anything. But by separating your lists into these three categories, you can make it easier on yourself and be one step closer to hosting an amazing event.

5 Tips for a Great Staff Christmas Party

5 Tips for a Great Staff Christmas Party

With Christmas on its way, it’s time to get excited about all the events and parties that the holiday season brings. And this includes your staff Christmas Party. If you’re the one who has been chosen to plan it this year, you’ll be under pressure to deliver an even better event than the years before. But don’t fret, there are lots of great ideas you can incorporate to make it the best party your company has ever seen. Just follow these 7 tips to help organize a great staff Christmas party this year.

Find An Impressive Venue

You want your colleagues to be impressed by the venue you’ve selected. For that to happen, you need a space that has gorgeous décor like grand chandeliers, a full-size theatre stage, a spacious lobby, on-site professional staff, and amenities. Plus, you need the space to be large enough to fit all the staff comfortably, and one that can be easily adjusted if needed.

Get On-Site Catering

You want the night to go off without a hitch, and to do that you need on-site catering. Having a chef who can come up with some holiday culinary masterpieces for your staff Christmas party will make all the difference. By having on-site catering, you can feel rest assured that the food will be made hot and served fresh right out of the kitchen. And if there are any last-minute additions or changes you need to make, you have the chef right at your fingertips.

Offer A Variety Of Festive Drinks

The on-site bar needs to be stocked with all the most popular spirits and beers, but you also should add some holiday touches to keep it exciting. That includes spiked egg nog, holiday punch, and mulled wine.

Offer Parking & Have Taxis Arranged

You want everyone to have the most amazing night, but you also want the night to end safely. Your venue should include enough parking for all the designated drivers, but also have taxis ready for those who plan to let loose. Have the venue staff arrange some taxis to arrive throughout the night, or set up a desk where you can have someone arrange taxis for those who need one.

Crank Up Holiday Tunes And Old-Time Favourites

Nothing is worse than a party without good music. What you need is a mix of upbeat holiday classics and some classic favourites that everyone will enjoy. Hire a DJ who can put together an amazing mix of music to keep the party going. The venue you choose should also offer an amazing sound system in the main room, along with an outside area and side rooms for more quieter conversation.

When you need to host the best Christmas party of the decade for your fellow staff, we have you covered at St. Elias Centre. We not only have a stunning event hall for hosting, but we also have free onsite parking that can accommodate over 400 vehicles. In addition, you can enjoy on-site catering with a top-rated chef, on-site bar, professional event staff, and a team that will ensure your needs are met and that you have support every step along the way. Book now to reserve your Christmas party!

Pros and Cons of a Wedding Gift Registry

Pros and Cons of a Wedding Gift Registry

Part of the wedding preparation involves making some decisions about the wedding gifts. You and your future spouse will need to give some serious thought as to whether you wish to receive gifts at the venue or sign up for a gift registry at a store. And while it’s often easier to sign up for a gift registry than having to worry about physical gifts during the night of your wedding, a registry isn’t for everyone. So, if you’re at this stage of your wedding planning and are unsure about how to proceed with the gift set up, check out these pros and cons of a wedding gift registry first before deciding.

The Pros

Ease of Use for Your Guests

Not everyone loves the idea of shopping for a gift – it can be frustrating and challenging just trying to figure out what to get. A gift registry makes it much easier for your guests – especially for those who have no idea what you would like.  They can simply login online, see what items you have suggested, and choose from the selection available. Guests can be satisfied knowing that they will be selecting a gift you love.

Saves Time

Not everyone has time to shop for themselves, never mind for others. Deciding on what to purchase and then shopping around for the item can take lots of time and can also mean having to endure hectic malls. You will be doing your guests a favour by saving them time and effort with a gift registry.

Avoid Duplicates

Having three toasters, five sets of wine glasses and four cutlery sets isn’t exactly practical, but it can happen when it comes to wedding gifts. When you receive duplicates of the same item, it can become awkward asking someone to provide a receipt to return their gift. A gift registry avoids this all together – once someone purchases an item, another person cannot go ahead and buy the same one.

Multiple Items

Some of your closer relatives might want to get you multiple items. A gift registry makes that easy since they can choose as many of the items they wish and make you a complete gift basket.

The Cons

Lack of Choices

Some couples don’t always take the right numbers into account, not selecting enough gifts in the registry. This can leave some people in the dark and out of luck, resorting to handing you money or buying you a gift that’s not on the registry.  Both could cause issues if you didn’t plan on collecting gifts or large sums of money at your wedding.

Some Prefer Different Options

Many wedding guests prefer to give money or heartfelt personalized gifts. If you only set up a registry, this can make it difficult for others to access – especially those who are not Internet savvy like your great-grandmother. So, if you do decide on a registry, consider also having a money box or gift table that one of your trustworthy bridesmaids or family members can take care of in case any surprise gifts arrive.

Decisions, Decisions

With a registry, you must decide what types of gifts you want and need. It can be a challenging and overwhelming process if you’re the type of person who has everything or doesn’t like receiving gifts in the first place.

Wedding registries are not for everyone, and each couple should take careful consideration to determine whether it’s the right option for them.

5 Party Decoration Tips

5 Party Decoration Tips

Need some decoration ideas for a big venue? We have you covered! These 5 party decoration tips will make the largest venue feel more intimate while impressing your guests for any celebration.

Tall Table Centres

Large event spaces often come with tall ceilings. To make the area feel more intimate, you can introduce tall table centres. Think decorated tree branches, or even helium-filled balloons stemming off of a beautiful floral centerpiece. The more height you can add to the tables, the lower the ceiling will feel, providing a cozier environment.

Create Sections

You can use satin curtains or decorative screens to section off areas that will not be used to create more intimate areas. This allows you to create separate sections for dining, dancing, and mingling.

Test the Sound

Bigger spaces also may create different acoustics. Always test the sound a day or two before the event and make adjustments where necessary to best fit the theme of your party. This includes testing the DJ booth equipment and any microphones that will be used throughout the event.

Keep the Bar Flowing

Always plan ahead on how you would like the alcohol to be served. The last thing you want is for long lineups at the bar, so if you have an open bar or cash bar setting, make sure to staff accordingly. Also, you may want to opt to include table service if people will be sitting throughout the event. This can help keep the bar flowing and also provide your guests with some time to rest their legs after dancing.

Meet and Greet

When guests first arrive, you don’t want them lost outside of the property. Light the way with lanterns and provide signs and directions to the parking lot and into the venue. It’s also wise to have someone who can meet and greet guests and direct them to the coat check, bathroom and to the event area with a smile.

To have your party go off without a hitch, make sure to plan ahead. And when you need the perfect large venue space for any celebration – a wedding, family reunion, work function, or just holiday event, join us at the St. Elias Centre in Ottawa. We have a beautiful and elegant event hall that can be sectioned off as you need, along with onsite catering, bar staff, and stunning décor and grounds. Whatever your party needs, we’re here to help make it a memorable and enjoyable occasion for everyone.

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