Thoughts in mind for that once in a lifetime event? Business launch ahead? Going as a guest? Parties and events aren’t what they used to be. Doing it right is more important than ever. And, more than ever, doing it right invariably means doing it with the right people. Right?
Pick the best organiser, and your evening is going to go with a swing and, critically, shine the right light on you. The best organisers make the whole thing look easy, and the best that we know is Kuwait’s Bibi Hayat. In business for more than a dozen years, she’s also launched a carefully curated portfolio of niche companies under her umbrella – each setting the highest of benchmarks in its own arena.
At the top of the tree sits Bibi Hayat Events. And that’s the reason we’re here today, to learn what truth lays behind making the creation of finest bespoke events appear so easy…
A bespoke event is, for some, the very pinnacle of luxury. It’s your role to make it look easy! We know it isn’t. What’s the secret behind a smoothly run and finely-tuned event? Years of experience, an educated and well-rounded team… and of course planning, checking, rechecking, addressing every single detail of the event, as well as working with reputable vendors.
But the most important factor is clients trust in our company. I always say… “with trust from our clients… we excel”.
How far in advance does the planning (typically) begin? It’s never too early to plan for an event. The more time allocated for planning and design the better the outcome. As I pride myself on not copying and not repeating designs; I allocate ample time for research and development. I research, I look for inspiration, I collaborate with my team then I design – and that all takes time.
Are social events the core of your business – or corporate as well? Perhaps, increasingly, the two converge. What can you tell us about this? I plan and design both social and luxury corporate events. Naturally, most of my business comes from social events, however, over the years I have worked on numerous high-end luxury brand events ranging from Net-A-Porter, DeBeers, Bentley, Chopard, McLaren, and others.
Hosting the ‘right’ event can be an important launch-pad for a successful business. What’s key? The selection of venue, menu, entertainment, guest list? How do you approach the balance? All the above-mentioned elements are crucial to a successful event and they all have to work together seamlessly and harmoniously. Hence, what distinguishes my business is the strong relationships and trust I built with catering companies, sound and lighting companies, photographers, hotels, restaurants, chocolatiers, etc. We work closely with third-party vendors and a very important aspect of my services is overlooking and managing the other vendors associated with the event apart from design and decor.
These days the smaller and more exclusive and curated the event is, I find has a better impact on the event, if documented well with a great videographer and photographer, the clients can then push out the imagery on social media for everyone.
So, ‘bigger’ isn’t always ‘better’. I always mention that I would rather have a few luxurious pieces, accent decor items than an overflow of artificial flowers and design elements.
The guest experience is the final 20% of a successful event, most of the time if the event is too large, it loses its fun vibe and warmth, the feeling of leaving a happy and great energy-filled space resonates with the guests for weeks after – we must acknowledge the importance of this – and then it’s all about the design and the details. I care about the details from the coffee tables to the bowls to the accessories… they all complete the big picture.
What’s on-trend for social events today? Where is Kuwait on the global ‘trending’ scene? Followers, early-adopters, or leaders? I march to the beat of my own drum. Of course, I am very much aware of the global trends from pantone colors to themes to patterns, but I am very committed to my own design process. We always ask our brides to present us with 5 -7 inspirational pics to understand her better and get to know her. We usually present one design based on her mood board and one that is “outside the box”. My goal is to continuously be innovative and creative. Kuwaiti brides are very well rounded, they’ve travelled a lot, they’ve seen a lot… the majority of brides worldwide still go for the romantic feminine theme… that will never be out of style. Generation Z brides are a little more daring and are not followers…they are individualist in every sense of the word.
We have to be aware of the trends, and test them in our own way… but trends fade out really fast… and no one wants their event to be “so last year” or “out of style” adding 30% of trend-based design to the mix is the best recipe.
What are the key elements of a successful event? More than ‘fun’, are clients looking to offer great networking opportunities? Each and every client looks for comfort and service first. Do they have a place to sit? Is the service reaching them in time? Are they able to manoeuvre around the venue easily? That’s why I have a team of architects and designers that study every single aspect of the venue… the seating allocation, circulation, service doors, safety rails, etc.
The key to a successful event is when the host is taking care of their guests and enjoying their time, allowing us to do our job, in addition to a wonderful vibe. and energy, a few wow factors throughout the night, and excellent entertainment and the best quality light and sound technology.
Toughest challenge you’ve been asked to complete? A customized tent structure during the heaviest rain season to ever come across Kuwait. Kuwait was flooding, our warehouse was 60cm deep in water, but we had to just push on and finish the project… it was a challenge, but we managed to make it happen. I couldn’t have done it without amazing team members, contractors and vendors though!
Find out more for yourself, at bibihayat.com