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Meeting Planners Share Tips on Creating Great Yacht Events

September 28, 2016

There are only a handful of places across the country where you can hold an event aboard a private yacht, Newport Beach, CA happens to be one those destinations. Surrounded by coastal bluffs, dotted by seven islands, and lined with private yachts, Newport’s picturesque harbor winds three miles to the Pacific Ocean, making it ideal for a luxury yacht excursion. Whether you’re organizing a corporate event, an annual meeting or an awards banquet, holding it aboard a private yacht in Newport Harbor will easily elevate the experience.

To get the most out of your luxury yacht event we spoke with several meeting planners who shared their ideas for creating great yacht experiences:

Determine the flow of your event
Will you need full seating or reception style? Plated, food stations or buffet? Do you want everyone to eat at once in the case of presentations or to you want meals to be on a flow, with Hors d’oeuvre served as guests arrive, main course served on the second deck and dessert on the upper deck? Most private luxury yacht companies offer full catering, which is great if you prefer an all-inclusive venue. However, if you have a hotel food and beverage minimum to meet, you may want to choose a yacht company that allows outside caterers. Most often, yacht companies that give up the food portion will retain the bar. Avoid last minute surprises by double-checking. Most hotels will be glad to handle the food as you’ll be freeing up on property space and they’ll still be receiving a portion of your business despite being off-property.

While yacht companies may state that they can hold up to a certain number of people, that number usually refers to the amount of people the vessel has been deemed safe to hold according to the coast guard. There is a huge difference though between coast guard approved numbers and event numbers. Coast guard certified is basically the number of people the ship can hold with life vests on, not how many people can comfortably walk around the yacht and enjoy the festivities. Make certain to ask the yacht company to clarify just how many it can accommodate for a corporate event.

Incorporate a theme
While certainly not necessary depending on the type of event, having a direction to take with regard to food, entertainment and decor will make things much easier. Rather than relying solely on the yacht itself as the primary source of entertainment reach for a theme to tie everything together and create a specific vibe. Most yachts lend themselves to a casino night and it’s an easy theme to pull off as there are a few directions you can head with casino, try the refined, upscale Monte Carlo or a casually fun Viva Las Vegas, either is usually a hit with both corporate and social events. Hollywood themed events are also a natural for yacht events and are fairly easy to pull together with a red carpet, champagne entry to Hollywood icon look-a-likes or even the Rat Pack mingling with guests. Of course there’s always the prestigious yachting elite crowd played out in a Gatsby inspired themed event! The ideas are endless! Choosing a theme can make the entire experience entertaining and lively for your guests.

Capture the moment
A detail often overlooked but a must according to most planners is to hire a professional photographer to capture the event. Particularly if it’s a networking or awards event – people love reliving moments. Sharing candid but professional images on social media will be a huge hit. Plus, you can use the photos as a great branded follow up. Combine several images and create a digital card or even a digital photo book to send to guests.

Ask for an all-inclusive contract
Organizing a great yacht event can be fairly straightforward since a majority of necessary items are included in the yacht rental fee. Many luxury yacht charter companies offer rates which include décor, dance floors, sound system, table set up, wait staff, insurance, tax, and the menu if you choose to have the yacht company handle the catering.

Holding an event aboard a luxury yacht is a perfect opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy one of the many features that make Newport Beach so special. Need some help determining the other offerings of Newport Beach that make it perfect for corporate group travel? Connect with Visit Newport Beach, the destination experts of Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this iconic destination with the knowledge and resources to simplify the planning process and offers incentives to extend the meeting budget.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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