A gala is a glitzy, social event usually hosted for glamorous, festive, charitable, sociable, or fundraising activities. Some galas are also meant for dance performances, music, and other entertainment purposes. Galas are planned social events that help bring people together for a common cause. They can be large or small-scaled and range from anywhere between 50 people to over 1500 people.
Most event organizers, sponsors, and hosts usually have a challenging time organizing a grand gala affair since there is so much to manage. There are things like venue planning and finalizing, catering, décor, seating, event security, publicity, and more. So why do people still have galas? The answer is simple. Galas help bring people together for a common reason, usually surrounding philanthropic work.
Fundraising, charity, fine arts, and more are usually the reasons for hosting memorable gala events. Some of these grand galas are held in awe-inspiring venues that add glamor, meaning, and purpose to the event. The more unique the event, the more interesting the gala. When finalizing a venue for the gala, the location must be easy to find, accessible, and large enough for everyone attending.
The Best Gala Venues
There are no right and wrong venues when choosing the best gala spaces for your event. In fact, the sky's the limit! There are some fantastic venues that you can choose from for the gala.
- Hotel Banquets
Hotels and banquet halls are popular choices for hosting small- and large-scale gala events. Many gala events see guests traveling from out of town, and hotels provide ample rooms for stay and comfort. While having most of the guests staying at the venue is an added benefit, what is lacking is the uniqueness in the venue, like this gorgeous rustic yet elegant commerce room, with an original Coca-Cola mural from 1945 to add history to the place.
- Historic Buildings
Historic Buildings have unique characteristics like architectural style, detailing, viewing rooms, and more. Since most guests look for something different and special, organizing a venue that speaks more for itself is good. Having the venue do the work is a great way to get the gala started on the right note.
- Outdoor Setting
Outdoor settings are incredibly versatile. There are many options like lakeside chalets, stately homes, resorts, gardens, vineyards, and more. The décor and lighting can reflect the purpose of the gala, with ample space for guests to mingle, dance, set up props and other decorative items, and have separate dining and buffet areas. Some guests also enjoy live music, appreciate the cause for the gala, and take an avid interest in attending the event because of the stunning venue.
What to Look for in Gala Spaces
Finding the right gala space could turn out to be challenging despite having plenty of options at hand. Speak to the venue, visit the site, and look at reviews from earlier guests and organizers. However, while hosting galas, knowing which factors will make the event a success is necessary.
Galas can range from 50 people to a massive crowd of more than 1500 people attending. The selection of the gala venue should depend wholly on the final guest list count. While you may be unsure how many visitors to expect, an estimate can also be critical while finalizing the event venue. The capacity of the gala space should be calculated, keeping in mind that some guests may be seated while some may prefer standing. Either way, it is ideal to ensure the seating is comfortable, people have ample space to move around and mingle, and there are no hindrances.
While hosting a gala event, it is essential that apart from the guests and just the space, the venue should also offer excellent amenities. HVAC systems, access to Wi-Fi, disability access, safety exits, fire compliance, furniture, kitchen, and service access, and more are some of the things to account for when searching for the perfect gala venue. Some venues also allow caterers access to the kitchens for fresh prep, plating, and service. If you have a screening during the gala, having a screening area with dimmer lights, seating, and drinks could also be a fabulous idea.
The layout should depend on the activities planned throughout the night. The structure should be considered depending on activities like an art show, food degustation, entertainment, dances, or performances. Some gala events also need additional washrooms, powder rooms, changing areas, holding/ storage rooms, coat closets, interim wait areas, and more. The layout should depend on the theme of the gala, the itinerary of the evening, and the purpose of hosting the event.
- Decor and Additions
Some galas may also need a unique backdrop and area for paparazzi and VIP guests or a walk of fame for celebrities. If you have several areas that need demarcation, opt fora gala venue like a warehouse loft in a manufacturing building, giving you the freedom to design and decorate as you wish. A large space is ideal for several entertainment options, separations, and a vast number of guests.
Galas are meant to be inspiring! It is best to create a memorable gala event by selecting a dramatic, awe-inspiring venue.
- Galas at Museums
Museums are classy, have historical value, and are well-known. Selecting a museum for a gala event could create a magnificent, unique vibe for the evening. However, if the gala is related to charitable events, it is best not to host it in a science museum and instead opt for a history or art museum to set the tone for the event.
- Rooftop Gala
Rooftop galas are lovely. Become the trendsetter and make your glitzy event a starry surprise. Rooftops have gorgeous views, look extremely elegant, and are well-lit to make the evening a beautiful affair. While selecting rooftop venues, you should check with the lighting team for mood lighting to ensure people mingle and have a good time.
- Botanical Garden Gala
Botanical Gardens are magical, with sweet-smelling flora, green patches, and trees. Many botanical gardens also have exhibits for visitors to stroll around. These gardens can be made ethereal by adding diffused lighting, melodious background music, and fairy lights. Outdoor, garden venues are also excellent for live bands, jazz music, open buffets, wine tasting, sit-down dinners, auctions, and more.