6 Secrets to Hosting a Successful Red Carpet Event
The hotel manager for the iconic Beverly Hilton shares his tips for wowing high-profile guests, positioning the red carpet, and more.
Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesMichael Robertson is the hotel manager for the Beverly Hilton, home to some of the most high-profile events in the world, including more than 150 red carpet events per year. The historic Beverly Hills hotel is most known for hosting the Golden Globes 47 times, transforming into a mini city every January with a staff of 6,000 chefs, servers, concierges, and more. The hotel also has recently hosted the Costume Designers Guild Awards, the Princess Grace Awards Gala, the Los Angeles L.G.B.T. Center’s Anniversary Gala, and the Oscar Nominees Luncheon.
1. Pay attention to the small details.
The experience starts from the moment guests pull into the hotel, so it’s important that we pay attention to every little detail to ensure things run smoothly. The entire team at the Beverly Hilton plays an important part in pulling off each red carpet event so seamlessly, from operations, to food and beverage, to security.
2. Utilize every event space at your disposal.
Our event spaces are very versatile, and provide ideal venues for any type of event, from grand and over-the-top to small and intimate. We have the capacity to host multiple events in one night—for example, on the night of the Golden Globes, we host both the main show and multiple after-parties, all throughout the hotel.
3. Learn to handle the pressure.
There is an added level of pressure for high-profile red-carpet events. We need to know how to satisfy even the pickiest, most discerning guests, and be prepared for every possible scenario. Our team has seen it all, so we’re well-equipped to deal with last-minute changes and surprises. It’s important to be nimble, flexible, and fast-thinking during high-pressure events. Things may not always go exactly according to plan, but it’s how you adapt to the changes that matters most.
4. Think through logistics of the red carpet.
Red carpets are typically laid out in front of our International Ballroom, as this is the venue for most of our red carpet events and galas, and they can extend as far as the front drive. Again, it’s important that we create an amazing experience from the moment guests pull up to the hotel, and this includes providing an impressive grand entrance.
In terms of media positioning on the red carpet, the larger media outlets will set up special stages where celebrities can do one-on-one interviews, and the rest of the media line up along the length of one side of the carpet for interviews and photos. It’s important to keep people moving along the red carpet to get everyone into the main event on time and to keep the lobby traffic moving.
5. Food and beverage is crucial.
We take our meals very seriously here at the Beverly Hilton. Our chefs are constantly dreaming up new ideas to keep things fresh and to ensure a memorable meal for each event.
6. Remember that these guests have seen it all.
We use creative decor and over-the-top audiovisual technologies and stage sets to keep things fresh and exciting with each new event. Our team really tries to transform each space so that even the most seasoned partygoer will be impressed. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to really wow the guests—from bringing an actual elephant into a party, to building an entire ice rink complete with professional ice skaters and ice sculptures just for the night, we’ve done it all.
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