Oh the Drama! Keeping Your Cool When Things Take a Turn During an Event

Event planning is often full of surprises, drama, and suspenseful plot twists. In fact, it’s such an exciting industry, we are surprised Andy Cohen and Bravo haven’t yet created a “Real Event Planners” reality series following the exploits of event professionals! We certainly know from our own experience of over 35 years of event planning that there would be enough story line to last season after season. The following is just one example of the exciting twists and turns we’ve experienced when planning events and how we approached the challenge and kept our cool.

Planning the Perfect Event

The Charles Group was tasked with producing an unforgettable client entertainment event for a corporate client during a citywide conference, which included the challenge of finding a venue large enough to accommodate 1,000 guests for a seated dinner full of local flavor and a private concert performance by the highly acclaimed band, Foreigner. We ended up securing the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and decorated it with vibrant Mardi Gras-themed décor.

The Superdome is an iconic, yet extremely large space that needed a more intimate feel. Our solution was to divide the space, using the front half for the meal portion of the event and the other half for the concert. Susan, our founder, had the amazing idea of using real-life Mardi Gras floats to divide the room and line the perimeter. This resulted in a more intimate space, while also creating eye-popping décor and a unique attraction for guests to view the beautiful handmade floats which were truly works of art!  As if putting all of this together wasn’t a monumental task in-itself, onsite we had an interesting turn of events unfold which added even more challenge. Good thing we love being kept on our toes!

Mardi Gras Table Decor
Foreigner Concert

And Now For the Drama…

These handmade Mardi Gras floats are actually pretty delicate and cannot get wet or be transferred in the rain. As the event approached, we realized the weather in New Orleans during the conference was going to be terrible. So terrible in fact, the city ended up having to close several bridges and roadways! And as luck would have it, the rain was heaviest at the exact time the floats were scheduled to be moved into the Superdome for the event set-up the day prior! We had to do quick thinking, keep our cool, and come up with a solution. These floats were a main focus of event décor and attendee experience, so we had to somehow make this happen. We decided to wait and move the floats in the middle of the night in- between storms. Due to our excellent relationship with the Superdome, they also gave us permission to leave the floats in the dome for an extra day post-event at no additional cost so they wouldn’t have to be moved out again after the event when it was still stormy out.

We were holding our breath the entire time. We needed to get these floats into the Superdome, and we had to be sure they didn’t get damaged from the rain. As soon as there was a lull in the storm (around 2:00am the day of the event), we moved quickly with our crew to get the floats transferred. Phew, what a relief it was to get them in the space and in the end it was so worth all the stress…the event looked amazing! Our client was overjoyed with our results and the Superdome was so impressed they ended up using photos from the event on their website to show the kind of amazing events that can take place in their venue! Can’t you just picture a “Real Event Planners” video crew following us around the whole time and capturing all this footage to use for a reality series? The viewers would be on the edge of their seats!

Mardi Gras Floats

Save the Drama for Your Event Planner

Mardi Gras Event Decor

This event’s success embodies our goal to surpass expectations of both clients and guests and to create a truly spectacular event! We overcame many challenges and turned a huge iconic dome stadium into a warm, inviting Mardi Gras wonderland. It was worth all the stress and drama — our client was so pleased and that’s what matters most to us! Our goal is to always keep on our toes, expect the unexpected, and quickly pivot to address any roadblocks (or rainstorms!) that can come up while planning an event.

We would love to assist you manage and design your next in-person or virtual event, so we can help take on any of the stress or drama that can arise! Contact us at  or 973.575.1444. And click here to view more photos of this amazing Mardi Gras themed event.

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