Seven ways to create events with SWAG

SWAG has a few meanings, but for us it’s about strutting your stuff and making your mark. Events, big or small, need large doses of SWAG to be fun and memorable. 


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1. Location

“Location is everything…” ~ Rory Bremner


Booking a venue for a function or party should happen at least four to six months in advance, particularly as we approach the Festive Season. Yes, now is the time to get your SWAG on for your year-end par-tay. The more “standard” venues work out cheaper because they have all the chairs and tables, but if you want something a little edgier and different look beyond the norm, if you do your research there are some hidden gems out there. Or transform your garden and basement with some decor and lighting SWAG.

2. Theme

“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” ~ Phyllis Diller

Having a great theme takes a get-together to another level of fun. People love making an effort and an overall motif helps other elements flow, like food and music. Some theme ideas: A place (Rio de Janeiro for example), a recycled party where everyone wears something they’ve made from recycled goods or a Vision Boarding event with a facilitator helping people create their ultimate vision for the future. There are lots of ideas out there, if you’re still stuck, just ask Pinterest.

3. Food

“Food, for me, has always been an adventure.” ~ Anthony Bourdain

People struggle to get event food right. Planning and preparation is key – it’s all about timing. Do a test run with the meal. Plan what time guests will eat. Keep it fresh, cater for the general taste buds but always throw in one or two adventurous options for the foodies. It’s great to have a sense of abundance and variety. Cuisine can also be the theme, e.g. Mexican, plus always have a fabulous chocolate something on the menu – trust us.

4. Accessories and backdrop

“Photobomb me at your own risk!”  ~Ken Poirot

Supply wigs, sunglasses, hats – fun accessories which give guests a chance to put some extra SWAG in their step. Another necessity rather than a nice-to-have is a backdrop (or media wall) where people can take selfies or pics of each other. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – something colourful and well lit will do just fine. PS Having a designated photographer is also a good idea, we get upset when we leave a party or a set and there is no evidence of it on camera – just a bit of lonely confetti lying on the floor!

5. Music

“Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.” ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

No event or party will be memorable without great music. If you’re doing it yourself, have a very good and extensive playlist and moerse speakers. You have to mix it up and cater for everyone’s musical taste – Nkalakatha is not going to cut it anymore. We recommend investing in a DJ or live band, not as pricey as you think and delivers instant event SWAG… You could also go large by shooting a music video with your guests.

6. Digital detox

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” ~ Gertrude Stein

Another event idea, much needed for us in the corporate world, is doing a digital detox. This works as a day away or over a weekend at a serene venue. It is a healing gift for a team of people or friends who genuinely need to unwind and do lovely things like art lessons, swimming, yoga and meditation.

7. Fun day out

“Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” ~ Walt Disney

The options for a day-out event or Family Day event are amazing. From abseiling (also called a rappel after its French name) to the thrilling mechanical bull riding, water dunking and line dancing lessons – these are things you can organise through an event management company like theSQUAD. Or what about a chauffeur driven Harley Davidson ride out to the country to get those endorphins pumping? Unparalleled SWAG FUN which we love.

Kelly McGillivray is squad Leader, SQUAD Creative Event Management, a company that says incredible challenges are what take it to the moon and back. theSQUAD Creative Event Management in Johannesburg work to outdo themselves with bigger, more authentic, lump-in-your-throat, goose-bump-inducing, pulse-raising, smile-widening, can’t-believe-that-just-happened experiences. 


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