Archive for January 5th, 2009

Happy New Year – Somewhere!

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Continued success in the party business requires anticipating and adapting to the realities of your audience demographic.

And boy! – my employers for this past New Year’s Eve used both ingenuity and a solid grasp of reality to throw a perfect party.

The band and I worked at the Brook Hollow Golf Club, one of the oldest and finest country clubs in Texas. The club itself may be venerable, but that doesn’t mean there are no younger members. The trouble for the party planning staff is: those younger folks tend to welcome in their new years somewhere else. This means the event coordinators are challenged with putting on a gala that climaxes at midnight, when – in fact – they know fully well that most of the guests will have already left by then.

(As I’ve noted in these entries many times before, Seniors typically arrive at parties early, then are the first to leave.)

Brook Hollow’s solution struck me as absolutely brilliant. My band began playing as the first diners arrived, shortly before 7PM. By 9:00, the party was in full swing. Then – a couple of minutes before 11:00 (Central Time) – the big screen TV hanging above and behind the band was turned on. Suddenly, everybody in the room was transported to Times Square in New York City, where it was almost midnight.

Together, we helped Dick Clark count down the remaining seconds in 2008. (Dick – by the way – was looking remarkably fit for a septuagenarian who suffered a serious stroke only a few years back.) At precisely 12:00 – Eastern Time – the ball dropped in Times Square. Back in Dallas, the crowd filled the dance floor, sang “Auld Lang Syne,” and then promptly went home.

For them, it was the best of both worlds: they missed the worst of the traffic, but they didn’t miss welcoming in 2009. Thanks to the creativity of the Brook Hollow staff, they got the full New Year’s Eve experience.

And I’d be willing to bet that not a single one of them felt cheated by having greeted January 1st on “New York” time.