By Jeanne O’Brien Coffey
Imagine 500 guests seated under a soaring ceiling, hung with spectacular chandeliers yet also with a clear view of the sky. Perhaps set in a location you never dreamed possible — Copley Square in Boston, or the grounds of a beautiful historic estate, or even an island in the middle of winter.
With a temporary shelter, all of those are possible. Events can be as large or small as you want, because you are building the space, inviting in fresh air and accommodating other safety concerns, like social distancing, if needed.
Babson Centennial in Copley Square
The pandemic has encouraged event planners to embrace the outdoors in ways previously never imagined. Ensuring guests are comfortable no matter the weather is a challenge the professionals at The Catered Affair understand and can execute with the experience of 45 years of event planning in New England.
“Our climate can change at a drop of a hat,” says Alec Maccini, Senior Event Producer at The Catered Affair, who notes that with reliable heating, comfortable lounge areas with warm pillows and throws, and a hot menu with delicious warming beverages can make even a gray February day feel cozy and special.
Henry + Mac
Maccini says that with the right team, even things you never dreamed possible are within reach – even if it requires plywood, scaffolding and special permits. “With years of experience scouting out locations for tented events, we are able to pinpoint the best placement for the event’s success,” he says, noting that TCA has even moved trees and stone walls, then replaced them perfectly post-event, to achieve the dream site. “Having relationships with talented, capable vendors, we are able to take the necessary steps to successfully solve potential problems and put a good plan in place.”
Certainly, that was the case when the City of Quincy hosted the Generals’ Gala – a black-tie dinner and fundraiser honoring people who have served in the U.S. armed forces. Held at Hancock Adams Common, a public park in front of Quincy City Hall, the team envisioned the party under a vast tent with a clear ceiling, adorned with chandeliers and capable of hosting more than 500 people for a seated dinner.
City of Quincy Generals’ Gala
“TCA was instrumental from day one in helping the City of Quincy team transform the outdoor space into an extraordinary signature event experience,” says Kathy Hussey-O’Brien, independent planner and event director for the gala. “Together, we delivered a sensational evening for our guests, sponsors, and honorees” –one that raised more than a million dollars for the Semper Fi & America’s Fund, offering medical support to service members, veterans, and their families.
“Words like ‘elegant’ and ‘magical,’ while accurate, don’t covey strongly enough what an incredible evening it was under the stars!” Hussey-O’Brien recalls, adding that she would work with the company again in a heartbeat. “TCA ensures your event’s success thru thoughtful innovation, strong management abilities, and an eye for every detail. Plus, TCA’s talented crew adds the magic to create remarkable memories for your guests.”