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Special Events

Posted in Blog, Event Planning, Special Events, on 19 March 2012, by , 0 Comments

Are you planning a big event and you want it to be extra special? Do you want your event to be posh and stylish but you have a tight budget? If you want to transform an ordinary event to a high-class exclusive party that will surely be talked about for months, try using gobos.

What is a Gobo?

Basically used to create a silhouette, gobos are either made up of metal or glass inserted into the focal center or the “gate” of a spotlight to create different light patterns and/or special effects. Gobos can project any design or pattern including abstract shapes, signs, and company logos, which make it perfect for promoting brands and products especially in product launches and conventions in Dallas.

Gobos were originally used in the theater, film, and television industries before reaching the events and entertainment industry. Even today, gobos (of a different sort) are being used in photography as flags and cookies, which are placed in the light’s path to alter the lighting.

There are basically three types of gobos used in the events held in various Dallas venues: the metal gobo, glass gobo, and full color and dichroic gobos. Metal gobos, which are traditionally used along with stage lights, are metal discs with patterned cut outs. A glass gobo, on the other hand, is made from glass with designs etched using aluminum or other coating. Unlike metal gobos, which use metal tags to create designs, the use of appropriate coating in glass gobos makes it easier for designers to create complex patterns, images, and logos.

Full color and dichroic gobos are also made from glass but project images and patterns with partial or full colors. Unfortunately, because of the wide variety of techniques and coatings used to project colored images, full color and dichroic gobos are expensive and fragile.

Why use gobos for your corporate event?

Gobos are most commonly used in corporate events and conventions in Dallas because of the massive branding and advertising opportunities it generates. Aside from transforming your event by giving it the appropriate atmosphere and aura, gobos provide a unique way to promote your brand that will surely not be missed by any of your guests. Gobos are highly flexible and work perfectly well with various event themes and specific types of entertainment.

The images projected through gobos could be directed in almost any space of your Dallas venue: on the dance floor, on the wall, at the stage, at the side of a building, a prepared backdrop and many other surfaces…so, let your imagination run wild.

Using gobos at corporate events and conventions can help attract attention to your brand that can generate massive leads and sales. The benefits of using gobos overwhelminglyoverweigh their costs.

Gobos are more than just a tool for decoration or to improve the setting of your venue. They most often used to promote a certain brand or product especially in corporate and business events. It doesn’t just transform the venue and set a mood or atmosphere for your event. Gobos promote messages and because they are so visual and impressive, they leave a lasting impression on your guests.

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Posted in Blog, Event Planning, Special Events, on 29 January 2012, by , 0 Comments

Planning every event can be different, but the process is generally the same. It starts with a concept, which gets built out into a theme and then methodically planned out and organized. The bigger the event, the more arrangements that have to be made. Experienced event planners often have a system that they’ve personalized over the years to help them organize events without forgetting important details. If you are not an experienced event planner, then you might benefit from thinking through these questions about your event before you get started.

What Is The Goal Of Your Event?

When planning an event it’s very easy to get distracted by the little details like making décor arrangements and selecting the right Dallas caterer, bar service, entertainment and everything else. Every event has some agenda, from the simplest things like celebrating a person on some occasion to complex business strategies like promoting a brand message.

Don’t lose sight of your goals while you find ways to entertain your guests and decorate your event space. Remember that behind all the moving parts and many costs of putting on a classy event, your goal still needs to be met. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes more really is better. It’s up to you as the event planner to decide how to make the biggest impression at your event, without losing focus on what’s important.

What Venue Is The Best Fit For Your Event?

Every venue is different. Every event is different too. The venue you select for your event needs to be easily accessible from highways, have plenty of room inside for your guests, lots of staff to serve your guests and the ability to accommodate any special requirements for your event. Venue staff should be friendly, knowledgeable and eager to serve guests, presenting themselves equally well at high volume times as they do when there is nothing going on. Consider what your guests might plan to do before and after your event and find a Dallas venue in a location that adds to “the draw” of your event.

Have You Made An Event Plan?

Writing out exactly what you want to have happen at event is an excellent way to make sure it actually happens. Plan out every detail and allow for the unexpected to occur. Schedules never run exactly on time, so create opportunities to gain or lose time as you need it. Socializing can occupy as little or as much time during your event as you need, so turn on some music and let people drink and talk for a bit in every so often.

Making a budget is the first step in understanding what your money can do for you. With that in mind, writing out your entire plan makes it easy to go through your plan and identify costs for everything. Similarly, the process of writing it down will help you think through event clearly and identify any gaps or potential problems in advance. Once the plan is actually in the works, walk through the steps of your event physically several times to make sure everything can happen just the way you want. Each step from arriving at the venue, to valet parking, to entrance to entertainment and all the way till your guests have left should be checked and re-checked. Success in event planning comes from being over-prepared and well rehearsed.

What Is The Timeline Of The Event?

Every event happens on some sort of a schedule. Most of the time, events flow fairly predictably. Arrive at 8pm, drink till 9pm, entertainment till 10pm with a brand message 30 minutes from the end. …And so on. While it’s not a bad idea to start planning your event with that basic flow in mind, don’t be afraid to expand on the basic concept with your own special spin.

Remember that not everyone shows up on time, so allow at least an hour for guests to arrive and even up to the first third of the event’s total running time. Also, keep in mind that not everyone will stay for the entire event, so don’t bother trying to deliver your message after about two-thirds the way through the event.

Will Your Guests “Get The Message”?

Every event should build towards a big moment, culminating in a way that drives your message home with your audience. Play off emotion and get everyone excited and having the most fun in the moments just before you deliver your message. Then take full advantage of your big moment and do whatever you can to make a personal connection with your audience. Find a way to get your guests to identify with your message personally. If you represent a brand then find a way to humanize the brand by getting the key people in front of and interacting with the audience.

Can You Repeat Your Event In The Future?

Not every event is going to happen again, but if you plan on making events happen again ever in your life try to capture everything you do so you know how to go it again in the future. Keep good notes and look for opportunities to build long-term relationships with venues and other vendors.

Having a theme is a great way to tie everything together and to compartmentalize the event so that its easier to improve on in the future. Build on your successes and avoid repeating the mistakes that you’re guaranteed to make. No one is perfect…the first time.

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Posted in Event Planning, General, Holiday Parties, Special Events, Weddings, on 30 May 2011, by , 0 Comments

Party Planning Ideas

Anyone can throw a party… but creating a truly unique special event requires a great deal of forethought and planning. Presentation is key, because as people always say, first impressions are the most important. The way a guest feels the moment they enter the venue doors and experience their first impression of your event, that moment will set the tone for your guests’ experience.

When your guests enter the venue you want them to think, “Wow…this incredible”. The best way to impress your guests is with stunning party decor. There’s no limit to what you kinds of party decorations you can create, buy or combine to make your event look amazing. Drapery, centerpieces, floral arrangements, candles, lighting and other aesthetic accessories can fit whatever party decor complements your theme.

We’ve pulled together a list of some really unique party decor ideas that you can create inexpensively on your own, or share with your Dallas event planner to help keep your costs down. Browse these links to find your new favorite party decor ideas:

Remember, the staff at Gilley’s Dallas are here to help you with all of your special event needs, from venue rental, catering and finding entertainment to helping you find party decor ideas that fit your budget. We work with you to plan an event around your ideas and use our experience to organize the details and to help keep your costs down. Talk to one of our experienced event planners today about your special event.

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Posted in About Gilley's, Corporate Events, Special Events, Weddings, on 23 May 2011, by , 0 Comments

Eating and drinking together has been part of socializing since the dawn of time and it is an important part of bringing people closer together. Most special events are catered in some form or another, from passed appetizers to buffets to full course fine dining. Catering will be a necessity for any corporate event, celebration, conference or other special event.

Try to think of catering as an opportunity rather than an obligation; a chance to impress your guests with all the little details. There are many different types of caterers, from restaurants that deliver items from their menu to full service catering companies who can produce any type of food you desire. For the scale events that happen most often at Gilley’s Dallas, we prefer to work with the most experienced and most capable caterer in Dallas and FT Worth; G Texas Catering. With more than 8 years producing large scale special events in Texas, G Texas Catering has the skilled staff and resources to take on challenging events with special needs. Every special event will be different and will incorporate a different theme than the next and the catering should complement the event uniquely. For that reason G Texas Catering works with each client to design a custom catering menu to reflect the event’s theme and to accommodate the preferences and special dietary needs of each audience.

Of course, over the years G Texas Catering has discovered some of our favorite dishes tend to be crowd-pleasers as well, from a variety of classic barbecue recipes, southwestern dishes, hearty Italian dishes and of course mouthwatering steaks, brisket and other smoked meats. Work with our Dallas event planners to find inspiration for your custom catering menu, matching your event’s color theme, the favorite recipes of your guests and other factors to create an impressive culinary presentation for your special event.

Have You Considered…

  • Where Are Your Guests From?
    Sometimes people are adventurous when it comes to eating… Sometimes not. Knowing how to please everyone’s palette can be difficult, but understanding where people come from is a great place to start. Perhaps include traditional dishes that your guests should be accustomed to eating, to make everyone feel at home at your special event.
  • What Dishes Go Well With Your Theme?
    With our background in Texas history, many of the events we produce incorporate a western theme. Authentic Texas food favorites like barbecue and smoked brisket complement any western themed party. Of course, your event may not have a western theme, but depending on where your inspiration originates from our catering chefs may be able to suggest delicious ideas.
  • Do Any Of Your Guests Have Special Dietary Needs?
    Naturally its difficult to make every meal perfect for every guest, but you can always include a few special items for the selective or restricted diners with special needs. From allergies to religious beliefs, consult with our event planners to create a balanced catering menu with something for everyone.
  • How Much Do You Want To Spend Per Person?
    Yes, your guests might be very impressed with the Surf n Turf package and a fine dining presentation, but depending on the size of your party that might be overkill both in cost and production. Eating well is not always about eating expensively and though our chefs are certainly capable of producing a world class fine dining experience, your guests may prefer something less formal and friendly to your budget. In the end, the cost will be affected most by how many guests are in attendance. Based on your expected attendance our event planners will scale your menu to stay within your budget, so its important to be confident in that number.

The most important consideration in planning a custom catering menu is deciding which FT Worth or Dallas caterer you trust to produce great food that meets your expectations. G Texas Catering and Gilley’s Dallas work as partners, dedicated to the same standard of excellent service and will work hard to earn your business. Take a moment to speak with one of our Dallas event planners today!

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Posted in About Gilley's, Concerts, Special Events, on 23 May 2011, by , 0 Comments

The name Gilley’s means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, as namesake of Texas Country music legend Mickey Gilley, host of the American movie classic Urban Cowboy and more recently as home to some of Dallas’ most spectacular special events. Depending on where you first heard of Gilley’s, you might have very different concepts of what happens at the world famous Gilley’s Dallas. With so much Texas history behind our brand, Gilley’s is the ideal place to experience Texas traditions like live music, dancing, bull riding, barbecue and of course, cold Shiner Bock beer.

Our namesake, Mickey Gilley, is a true Texas Country music legend, both as a musician and as the creator of the original Gilley’s. The original location hosted nightly live Texas Country music, two-step dancing and other classic country western entertainment. The honky-tonk was so recognizable that eventually it became the location for the movie Urban Cowboy, featuring John Travolta as a country boy Bud Davis, who moved to Houston and became a regular at Gilley’s to feel at home. Bud meets Sissy, a cowgirl, and they fall in love and suddenly get married. Their marriage is shattered when Bud sees Sissy allegedly with con man Wes, who teaches her how to ride the mechanical bull…and plans to rob Gilley’s. When a bull-riding contest is announced, Bud decides to sign up to save both Gilley’s and his marriage. Urban Cowboy is a classic American film and is arguably as famous as the television show Dallas; DFW’s other claim to television fame. Fortunately Gilley’s Dallas owns the most important piece Urban Cowboy movie memorabilia, “El Torro” the famous mechanical bull ridden by John Travolta.

Whenever visitors from outside Texas come to Gilley’s Dallas, they always ask the same questions: “Where’s the mechanical bull?”, “When can I see live country music?” and “Can I take dancing lessons?”. People want to have their own Urban Cowboy experience, and that brings them from all over the country to Gilley’s Dallas. This incarnation of Gilley’s was created in 2004 with the intention of recreating that movie experience in adjacent to the Dallas Convention Center, where thousands of Dallas’ annual convention guests and local residents could enjoy live Texas Country music, cheap drinks, bull rides and other western-themed entertainment. Gilley’s Dallas is a very large facility and it quickly became obvious that we could create multiple venues inside the 90,000+ sq ft complex. Gilley’s Dallas built a name for itself as a honky-tonk on Friday & Saturday nights and as a versatile special event venue the rest of the time.

In 2007 Gilley’s Dallas was approached by one of the largest entertainment productions companies in the world, AEG Live, to create a booking deal for the largest event space in the facility. The space was renamed to South Side Ballroom and AEG Live began producing live music concerts from popular national touring acts. AEG Live books shows of many different genres and introduced the facility to a diverse new audience of live music fans. Eventually Gilley’s added 3 additional live music venues to the complex, The Loft, South Side Music Hall and the new restaurant/venue The Jack Daniel’s Saloon.

Because so many different events take place at the complex, all of the venues now feature more types of live music than just Texas Country music; but we still have a deep commitment to the local music scene and to everyone’s favorite Gilley’s traditions. Our answer to balancing the needs of so many special events, concerts and other events taking place at the complex with the honky-tonk legacy of Mickey Gilley was to create the Jack Daniel’s Saloon. Now every Friday and Saturday night our guests can experience the Gilley’s legacy, live music, bull rides, great food and cheap, cold drinks in the Jack Daniel’s Saloon.

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Posted in Blog, Special Events, Weddings, on 22 May 2011, by , 0 Comments

Wedding list

A lot of planning goes into organizing a wedding, from selecting your wedding colors, a dress, decor and other aesthetic details to renting a venue, hiring caterers, valets and other vendors to staff and coordinate the special event. Taking care of all the details yourself can be very overwhelming and its worth considering handing over the tedious and confusing details over to an experienced wedding planner in Dallas. However, like other details of your wedding, hiring a professional wedding planner can add a lot of cost to your special day.

Fortunately the event specialists at Gilley’s Dallas can help coordinate many of the details of your wedding before its necessary for you to contact a professional wedding planner. Gilley’s Dallas features a variety of special event venues perfect for hosting your wedding ceremony, rehearsal dinner and reception dinner. Our friendly staff can help you organize and produce your wedding and will serve your food and provide bar service during the reception dinner. Valet services can be offered to your guests as part of hosting your wedding at Gilley’s Dallas, along with other special services that Gilley’s regularly provides guests and corporate clients at our other special events. Consider the benefits of offering special accommodations like a coat check and parking redemption for your guests, as well as adding live music or DJs to your ceremony or wedding reception.

A professional wedding planner can help you with some of the harder decisions, what colors to select, which photographer to use and how to decorate your wedding ceremony and reception dinner. At Gilley’s we have tremendous experience in producing all kinds of special events and have most of the resources you’ll need to put on your wedding. However, a Dallas wedding planner may be able to help you in ways that are beyond our expertise. By collaborating with both Gilley’s Dallas event planners and the wedding planner of your choice, you can let go of the stress of planning your wedding and be sure that you will get both the expert advice you need and all the services offered by Gilley’s at our consistently affordable rates.

Gilley’s Dallas produces many events each year, dozens of which are weddings and reception dinners. We have had the opportunity to work with many of the best wedding planners in Dallas and FT Worth and can recommend a trustworthy wedding planner from our network of preferred vendors. Likewise, we work with the most versatile catering company in Texas, G Texas Catering, who has catered hundreds of FT Worth and Dallas weddings over the years. G Texas Catering works closely with every client to develop custom catering menus for each special event. Whatever meal you desire will be prepared by their experienced catering chefs. G Texas Catering specializes in preparing meals that are beautiful displays of artistry and culinary expertise, designed to complement the theme and colors of your wedding.

Contact our event planners today to discuss hosting your wedding and finding the best vendors, caterers and Dallas wedding planners to ensure that your special day is as perfect as you have always imagined it.

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Posted in Blog, Special Events, on 20 May 2011, by , 0 Comments

Jack Daniel's Saloon - The Restaurant at Gilley's Dallas
With the launch of the new Jack Daniel’s Saloon during the first quarter of 2011, Gilley’s Dallas introduced an exciting new element to the entertainment complex’s diverse appeal. The name Gilley’s is famous inside of Texas as a legend in Texas Country Music. Outside of Texas the name is famous for the part the Gilley’s venue played in the American movie classic “Urban Cowboy” featuring John Travolta and Deborah Winger. In the movie Gilley’s was the host to a mechanical bull on which John Travolta showed his cowboy prowess, impressed the ladies and won the day.

Today Gilley’s represents far more to Texas than just music and movie history, with a wide offering of entertainment, from live music concerts of all genres to special events, corporate events, conventions or even weddings. With all the many events taking place everyday it was difficult for Gilley’s to balance offering the traditional Gilley’s atmosphere of live country music, bull rides and Texas flair with accommodating the thousands of corporate event guests, concert-goers and other event attendees. Through a branding partnership with Brown-Forman and a complete redesign of the restaurant, Gilley’s Dallas is proud to present The Jack Daniel’s Saloon as not only the newest part of the complex but also the new home for the traditional Gilley’s experience.

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day from 7am to 9pm with a special brunch and do-it-yourself bloody mary bar on Sundays from 9am to 3pm. The Jack Daniel’s Saloon serves up an impressive variety of delicious and authentically Texan dishes perfect for the a quick bite before a concert, a hearty lunch or a relaxing happy hour. Full bar service is provided with all your favorite beer, wine and liquor selections. Premium Jack Daniel’s spirits like Gentleman Jack and Single Barrel Jack are featured at the bar.

Live music is provided every Friday and Saturday night, along with mechanical bull rides, giving guests the opportunity to share in a little Urban Cowboy nostalgia, or to cut loose in a very modern-sense. Cheap drinks, great food, live local music and a unique atmosphere give The Jack Daniel’s Saloon restaurant a one-of-a-kind appeal and you the perfect reasons to stop by and experience the best of Gilley’s Dallas.

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