5 Things You Need to Know Before Rolling out the Red Carpet

Today’s guest post is from Lou Felsher, director of marketing and events at Treasure Island Wines.

You have the indie film. How do you throw a red carpet event to premiere it to the world?

Celebrities, photographers, and an insanely cool award-winning indie film premiere (check, check, check!). What other elements do you need to ensure a perfect, hyper-chic A-lister event? I’ve planned a number of red carpet premieres, most recently for the film, Nothing Special.

1. The Carpet

While red is classic, sexy, universally flattering to a wide array of dresses (yes, even red), you are not limited to the conventional. Look though the pages of Eonline.com and you will see your favorite stars posing on not just a rainbow of carpet colors (and other floor substrate coverings), but some cool patterns and textures, too. (Just a note of caution on patterns and textures – some photograph oddly, so consult a professional). The more casual and quirky the event the wilder you can go.

2. Stanchion (a.k.a. The Velvet Rope)

The first must is that the stanchion should fit the full length of the carpet. It’s there for security, safety and style. Springing for velvet and chrome vs. nightclub industrial poly-u will make impact in the “Luxe” factor.

Like the carpet, there are many color options available. Just make sure they don’t clash with carpet, nor should you call so much attention to your edgy yellow stanchion that it hijacks the photos.

3. Step and Repeat

The end of the red (or not) carpet  is the photo area with a backdrop, affectionately referred to as a “Step and Repeat”.

This is a wall often made of vinyl – (make sure it does not shine in photos!) – with logos repeated on it. Stars and guests pose in front of it while the paparazzi does their job.

Sizes vary, but most backdrops are usually 8’ tall. The best way to calculate width is with 2’ equal to one person. So, an 8’ x 4’ Step and Repeat would accommodate a photo of just two people. If you need to photograph a cast of actors/actors or VIPs, like a board for a fundraiser, go big!

Although they look simple, there is an art to the Step and Repeat and they can easily appear amateur. “Repeat” is in the name, but if you have more than four logos you lose the repeat and you lose the chic, thus running the risk of channeling used car lot signage. It’s always best to have a professional design your Step and Repeat.

Also, make sure your sponsors are well represented and you meet your sponsorship agreements, but that your event name/purpose/logo is most prominent.

4. Lighting

Usually a few standing lights are all you need. Odd numbers always look better, with a minimum of three. Even if your event is at “dusk” the lighting structures themselves scream “Braaaad!!!! OVER HERE!” and add ambience.

5. Permits and General Liability

Each city is different, but most require some significant permit payola. It can run in the thousands of dollars when you talk street closures and crews of fire and police.

Consult the city where you are holding your event at least two months in advance. Although you can often rush permitting in a day, some cities move slower than others and can throw your budget if you don’t know how much you need to plan for.

You will also very likely require some kind of general liability insurance in the several million-dollar range. This can cost several hundred dollars and can take several weeks to secure, so plan accordingly.

We’re rolling out the orange carpet for our friends; come join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

Hosting an event of your own? Check out Eventbrite and see how simple it can be.