How To Plan For Business Entertaining Success

By Whitney Twede, El Gaucho Bellevue Event Director

In both our personal lives and the realm of business, the cultivation of strong relationships is paramount to long-term success. Business entertaining, whether a client dinner, networking event, or corporate party, plays a significant role in fostering these relationships.

For over twenty years, El Gaucho has been creating unforgettable experiences for valued guests, from intimate gatherings of two to grand galas hosting 800, spanning from crucial business meetings to heartwarming 60th wedding anniversaries. Our team of event professionals has meticulously orchestrated thousands of events in our restaurants, in the comfort of our guests’ homes, and in exclusive venues all over the Pacific Northwest.

To assist you in leaving a lasting impression on your guests and help in planning impactful events that bolster these relationships, our team of experts has compiled a list of invaluable tips and tricks.

Define Your Objectives
At the onset of planning any business event, it’s important to establish your objectives clearly. Are you aiming to secure a new client, strengthen existing relationships, or celebrate a milestone with your team? Your goals will determine the type of event, guest list, and budget. These objectives will also provide you with insights into areas where flexibility is required.

Create a Comfortable Atmosphere

It may seem elementary, but taking the guesswork out of the two moments that can be most awkward are guest arrival and departure.

Seamless Arrival: Pre-order appetizers and wine for guests’ arrival. Make sure that the variety offers something for everyone, is easy to enjoy, and presented in a way that promotes mingling.

Flawless Departure: Predetermine ahead of time how the check will be paid and provide payment information in advance. This will alleviate any struggle over who pays (or who doesn’t!) and avoid a potentially uncomfortable moment at the end of the evening.

Do your Homework

Familiarize yourself with your guests’ preferences, interests, and dietary restrictions to craft a personalized experience.

  • Determine any likes, dislikes or allergies.
  • Research a preferred wine for key executives in the group.
  • Identify any special celebrations within the group, such as birthdays.
  • Acknowledge and honor any cultural traditions.
  • Confirm transportation arrangements.
  • Share relevant allergy information with the chef.

Small details, such as a personalized birthday cake, culturally appropriate gifts, customized menus, a professional photographer, or a selection of beverages tailored to the group’s tastes, can make a significant impact. Knowing your audience ensures that your event resonates with them, leaving a memorable impression.

Communicate with Your Venue

Effective collaboration with your chosen venue and event professionals is pivotal for a seamless and stress-free event. Provide comprehensive information, including special service requests, timelines, gift needs, interpreter requirements, floral arrangements, and more. Trust that the venue, like El Gaucho, has the expertise and resources to fulfill your demands, no matter how challenging they may seem.

Have Fun
Ultimately, the enjoyment and engagement of both you and your guests are key. People do business with those they like and feel at ease around. Whether you are recruiting, closing a significant deal, or showing appreciation to current clients, be personable, engaging, relaxed, and, most importantly, have fun.

By following these invaluable tips and tricks, you’ll quickly establish yourself as an event professional. And if time constraints are a concern, consider enlisting one of our event directors to handle the details of your next event. Remember, every event presents an opportunity to leave a lasting impression, so invest the time and effort needed to plan for success. Cheers!

El Gaucho Hospitality Event Directors

Aerlume – Caitlynd Davison, cdavison@aerlumeseattle.com
AQUA by El Gaucho – Kristina Thorne, kthorne@elgaucho.com
El Gaucho Bellevue – Whitney Twede, wtwede@elgaucho.com
El Gaucho Portland – Greg Dills, gdills@elgaucho.com
El Gaucho Seattle – Kristina Thorne, kthorne@elgaucho.com
El Gaucho Tacoma – Merica Oscan, mocsan@elgaucho.com
El Gaucho Vancouver – Kate Carr, kcarr@elgaucho.com
Witness Tree – Kate Carr, kcarr@elgaucho.com