We’ve been home from Alt Summit for a month, and it’s taken about that long to fully appreciate the whole experience. Yesterday Amanda talked a little bit about Alt in general, and today I thought I’d talk a little bit about the Mini Party that I hosted along with Anne and Erica.
The mini parties at Alt happen typically happen the final evening of the conference. There are a series of parties laid out with different themes and hosts. The conference attendees go from room to room and enjoy food and atmosphere, along with solidifying new friendships. The creativity in these rooms was mind blowing!
Our party theme was “Marshmallow Mingle.” We felt that we could make a magical winter evening that everyone would enjoy. One of the perks of hosting an Alt Mini Party is generous help from our sponsor, Maurice’s. With the help of Maurice’s and Alt we were able to make all our marshmallow plans a reality.
We had a few months of prep time, and then three days to put it all together when we got to Salt Lake City. I don’t know how people threw parties before the internet, but thankfully we had google at our disposal. We were also lucky to have the help of Anne’s husband, Taylor. He took pretty much every idea we had and made it bigger and better. Our contact at Alt (the amazing Kelly) wanted to make sure that we didn’t stress out too much over the party. The whole point was for everyone (including us) to have a good time. We wanted to come up with a plan that would be beautiful and practical (as practical as a Winter Wonderland in a hotel room is!).
The basis for our party theme was the song, “It’s A Marshmallow World in Winter.” Once you play the music you get a feeling for how the party should be. We came up with a color scheme (cream, gold and robin’s egg blue), and a general layout for the room. Anne and Taylor came up with a room plan that included something that I had never seen before, but that was absolutely genius. We used a party tent inside the room to create an intimate seating area.
The tent allowed a separated place where people could talk, and the tent walls were the perfect foundation for our decorations. Inside the tent we wanted to create the felling of sitting around a campfire. We set up birch logs and wrapped them with battery powered twinkling lights. We surrounded the “fire” with white leather poufs and lambskin rugs.
Above the fire was our art installation. Anne created a marshmallow chandelier. You can read all about how she created it here. It was her baby, and my job was just to supply the marshmallows! We had a couple of late nights with the set up, and I am here to tell you that nothing bonds you with your co-hosts like brainstorming methods to keep marshmallows from falling off fishing line at midnight!
We decorated the frame of the tent with outdoor lights and paper tassels. We lined both the top and the bottom, of the frame with lights, and when we turned the main lights in the room down, the tent glowed. It was a magical sight when you walked in the room. At one end of the tent room we had a photo wall set up full of paper fans. We also had some fun hats and scarves from Maurice’s for people to wear in their photos.
Before you got to the tent, you had to pass by the delicious food tables. Every mini party had a food theme, and we were lucky enough to get the dessert and hot chocolate. It was fate! We had beautiful marshmallow topped cake bites and white hot chocolate that was amazing. I can’t say enough good things about the banquet staff at The Grand America.
We wanted our guests to leave with a small party favor, and we came up with a couple of things. The first was a gourmet S’mores box. We packaged Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies with Lindt and Ghiradelli chocolates and a couple of large marshmallows. We set up a table with lots of ribbon, washi, tags and a custom stamp engraved with lyrics from our theme song. The idea was to decorate the pre-packaged s’mores box and give it a new friend, a family member, or even to yourself! Throughout the room we had framed posters of song lyrics that had been hand lettered by Lisa at Hand Lettered Design. We took one of those lyrics printed on 5×7 cards for people to take home.
One of our biggest statement items was a snow machine! It sprayed out a clean bubble solution that left no mess! When you walked in the room, you were literally entering a Winter Wonderland. You walked through the “snow” to get to the magic.
I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to work with Anne and Erica on this project. An event like this can be stressful if you’re not doing it with the right people. There was a whole lot of laughter, and even though I might have been a little delirious with sleep deprivation by the end, I loved every minute of it, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
A huge thanks goes out to everyone who helped us with the set up and take down. Anne’s sister Liz was a lifesaver. Her friends Danielle and Jesse were also amazing. Candice, Amanda and Misha were invaluable with decorating. Stacy and Kim were there at the end to help dismantle the chandelier and the tent. The ladies from Hayneedle made me want to cry with their generosity. Last, but not least, Kelly Smith who was our Alt contact was a dream to work with. She was prepping her own mini party, but she would get our room unlocked at all hours of the night, and answer all of our questions.
I’m so grateful to Alt Summit and Maurice’s for giving us this amazing opportunity. Perhaps we can do it again in Palm Springs next year!!
- Poufs: Land of Nod
- Lambskin Rugs: Ikea
- Paper fans and tassels: My Mind’s Eye
- S’mores Kits: Pepperidge Farm
- Snow Machine Rental: Blank Extreme Entertainment
- Logs: Birch-Logs.com
- Photo Props: Maurice’s
- Posters and prints: Handlettered Design
All images courtesy of Alt Summit.