6 Tips for Creating a Tropical Event Ambiance

Tropical LoungeThe forecasts are in. Canada and the Northeast U.S. will continue to be in the deep freeze for the foreseeable future. Travel to the sun belt was not in the budget this year. Whether event planners want to create a tropical event or surprise guests with just a few tropical elements, here are 6  tips for creating the right ambiance without blowing the budget.

  1. Select a venue that fits your theme to save on decor and catering. Caribbean or West Indian nightclub or restaurant, indoor beach bar, green house, winter garden
  2. Remember with decor, a little can go a long way. Here are a few quick ideas to dress up just about any venue. Potted palms, lounge furniture, tropical flowers, tropical colors, and beach balls can give venues a tropical feel.

    Project photos and video footage to instantly transport attendees to a sun destination.

  • Use backdrops. Affordable backdrops can be rented or purchased. When budgets are tight, they can be used to transform the front of a room or a corner of the room.

Tropical Backdrop

  • Colored tablecloths deliver maximum impact for a minimal increase in budget. Select vibrant tropical colors and you won't need much more to bring your theme to life.

Tropical Tablecloths

  • The right centerpieces can go a long way. Just keep them colorful and simple.
  • If you can only afford to splurge on one item, let it be a tiki bar.

Tropical Tiki Bar

  1. Leverage dress codes. Invite guests to wear tropical cocktail attire. It will create the right mood without adding a penny to the budget.
  2. Let music work its magic. Music can be scaled up and down to fit just about any budget. Be sure that it fits your theme. Select from reggae, mento, calypso, soca, steel drums, Hawaiian, and Latin American music including salsa, merengue and bachata.
  3. Entertainment can be customized for any budget. If the budget is limited, play your own CDs or hire a DJ and throw a dance contest into the mix. With higher budgets, reggae band, hula dancers, or salsa dancers are possibilities.
  4. Customize your menu.
    Main Course: Jerk chicken, curry chicken, white rice, rice and peas, dark fruit cake or pudding
    Beverages: Rum punch, Ting, sorrel, fruit punch, tropical mocktails, or cocktails.

    Here is how the menu, decor and all elements come together to create a memorable tropical event.

Whether you decide to throw a reggae bash or beach party, create an Arabian Nights fantasy or Hawaiian Luau, or surprise meeting attendees with a themed break, these 6 tips will ensure that you hit the mark.

For more tropical event tips also consult  10 Tropical Event Themes to Beat the Winter Chill 10 Tips for Creating Caribbean Corporate Events Not Your Standard Chicken Dish, 16 Marvelous Mocktails for Corporate Events, and  10 Tips for Creating Child-Friendly Menus for Corporate Events.

Photo Credits: Festivities MNTom Curtis

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