The Annual Post-PAX Party Returns! [Cancelled]

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  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with holding it Monday night again this year, honestly I'm a local this year so the date doesn't terribly affect me unless I decide to head home early. I just thought I'd ask since it is a weird weekend this year so I figured it was rather likely a lot of people would be flying out Sunday or very early Monday

  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Sorry for the long posts!

    The Parlor is being very good about keeping in contact with me and they seem enthusiastic about hosting us. We've had to cap previous parties at Jillian's at around 350 people, but we can go up to 500 here, plus we would have a cheaper ticket price than we had back then too. This would include appetizers and a drink ticket for everybody. Minors (under age 21) are allowed as well though they would not be permitted in the bar areas. As for bringing in game consoles, Rock Band, and things like that, let me just quote what they said to me:
    "We have plenty of televisions. We also have several large projection screens that have adapters for gaming systems. They are in areas that would also allow for a full Rock Band setup, drums and all. You would not need to bring in any additional screens. We also have a large bandwidth available to stream or play online gaming."

    They even mentioned that they are cosplay-friendly as well. Honestly this place is just sounding better and better. It's also incredibly close to the convention center, only a block away next to the Taphouse. I really can't think of any big negatives of going with this venue. The only thing that comes to mind is that we could make things quite a bit cheaper if we went with something like the Palace Ballroom (it's less than half the cost to rent for the night) but at the same time it's smaller, we're capped at 300 people, it's further away (not that far in general though), and we would have to do a lot more work to setup any kind of game consoles or things like that. I mean I'm still not against using that place by any means, but I'm starting to get my heart set on the Parlor Live.

    As for The Crocodile, it looks like a cool venue, but honestly it doesn't look like it will suit our specific party very well at all. On top of all that, I emailed these places last week and still have not heard back from the Crocodile or Palace. I can still contact Gameworks, Hard Rock, or wherever else, but at the moment I just can't see either of them being better than the Parlor. It's a really new place in Seattle as far as I can tell and I'm quite impressed with what I've seen/heard so far.

    I may try and setup an in-person tour of the place as early as the next week or two just so I can get a better look at it. I'll make a post if this happens so anybody else in the area can join me if they want.

    As for potential ticket cost for the Parlor, it's hard to say. If we include appetizers and drink tickets, maybe around $20=$25 per person? That's a very rough estimate as we have to factor many things into that. We could sell cheaper tickets that don't include a drink ticket for any minors that wouldn't be able to use it anyway. Selling tickets that don't include food might not be possible though if we just go with open appetizers since anybody would be able to just come by and snatch up some food whenever they want.

    I have just sent another big follow-up email to the Parlor to cover some more things. It sounds like if we want to go with this place then we might have to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later but I'm trying to get all the details on that. That being said:
    If anybody has any objections to this venue, even if it's something minor, or you just want the cheapest possible option, anything at all, please speak up. I don't want to jump ahead and lock this place down for us if there are many of you out there who are against it for whatever reason. I know we're still 3 months out from PAX and these forums probably won't get too active for another month or two, but I'd like to hear from those of you who are already here. Just voice any kind of concerns or questions you have.

    Okay I'll shut up now. :D

    Coldbrew on
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  • gorgeousplanetgorgeousplanet Meat Popsicle OregonRegistered User regular
    I've never stayed for the Post PAX Party before, but you're making it sound really good Coldbrew :) Thanks for all your hard work!

    WuShockZombicus
  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Figures. As soon as I finished that post, I got a message from the Crocodile.

    So basically it looks like they could host us as well. Not as well as the Parlor, but they are very flexible and able to set things up however we need. Price-wise, it would be somewhere in-between Palace Ballroom and Parlor Live, and the capacity is around 550 which is nice. They've apparently done gaming stations and pinball machines in the past, so I guess bringing in consoles would be fine. One of my big concerns was lack of table space but it sounds like they have options to help us with that. It may cost us a bit extra though. As for catering, they're very flexible there as well. They would also handle all of the ticketing for us which is pretty cool.

    One big issue however is that they seem to have a policy that all private events must be 21+ due to state liquor laws, but they can work out all-ages events too. I'm just not sure how this will work so I might have to talk to them about it. At this point I think that being restricted to 21+ would be a deal-breaker. Overall it sounds like the Crocodile will require a good deal more work from both parties (us and them) to get things the way we need, but they could still do things quite a bit better than I had initially expected. My personal vote will still be for the Parlor but I'd like to know what you all think.

    EDIT:
    Yeah we might have to pull some serious strings in order to keep the party all-ages at the Crocodile. They want me to call them tomorrow to discuss it. To be completely honest, it already seems like it will be a lot more work to use this place and I'm struggling to see it being worth the effort, at least considering how promising the Parlor Live is looking. But I can still look into it, or somebody else can if they want. At this point I'm going to wait until I hear from some of you or hear more from any of them.
    I've never stayed for the Post PAX Party before, but you're making it sound really good Coldbrew :) Thanks for all your hard work!

    Thank you! :D
    I wish the thread didn't look so cluttered right now, but that's my fault for not knowing when to take my hands off my keyboard. :P It's also my first time running this. I'm not new to hosting parties and events, it's actually a skill that I kind of pride myself with, but I have never done anything anywhere close to this size, so it's definitely an experience.
    I'm sure other people could pitch this party better than I could, but once we have a venue locked down, I will over-haul the first post with all of the details, as well as photos and videos of past parties to hype things up a bit and give some people that have never been an idea of what it's like. It's definitely a fun time!

    Coldbrew on
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  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    @Coldbrew - For what it's worth, I really appreciate how much detail you provide on the thread. It's not TMI. I also have a lot of experience planning large events, and whenever you find that you need help or helpers, having communicated so much detail ahead of time will make it way easier to find people with realistic expectations of what helping will entail. It also makes people a lot more forgiving of not getting exactly what they want when they get to see how the sausage is made, so to speak.

    I love the Palace Ballroom, but I gotta say that it's def sounding like Parlor Live would be a better venue. The Croc is the farthest away (though still not that far) but it's a long, thin space and I'm not sure how they'd work it for a mixed all-ages event that also has a bar open. Also, with Palace you'll have to bring in a lot more equipment, and if you've looked at pricing for that already, you probably know that could significantly up the ticket price. If that equalizes the price, you're basically getting the same experience for the same $$ but with a lot more effort. The great thing about Parlor is that it sounds like folks can bring their consoles and just plug and play.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
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  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Oh - one piece of advice from experience: The food situation will be the hardest and most frustrating. Do not underestimate the amount of time needed to coordinate, check, double check, verify and re-verify the food.

    What normally happens at these events is if you decide to go with open apps, the kitchen will bring out a tray and everyone within 10 feet will descend like piranhas, leaving nothing but bones before the tray even gets to the table. An hour later, it will happen again. Half the folks won't get food and the other half will feast like rabid wolves. I have found that venues often don't understand that not every group is a cocktail party for Bellevue housewives and don't account for the crazed hunger of drunken geeks.

    My own 2 cents is this: Either A) have copious amounts of really affordable apps - cracker and cheese plates, meatballs in bbq sauce, a hot dog station, etc.. You know, stuff that is cheap, filling and can be provided in prodigious amounts without breaking the bank or B) Provide a food chit along with the drink chit. Maybe even have a limited menu that the chits can be used for. If anyone wants more food after that, they can open a tab.

    *EDIT: actually, thinking about it, a hot dog station might not be a bad way to go. Have basic franks (no fancy sausages), a vegan option, and a gluten-free wrap with a bunch of crazy toppings and condiment bar. Plan on 3-5 dogs per person and you can still come in at less than $5 per person in food costs. People will get fed and the venue won't lose money.

    LexiconGrrl on
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  • FenrisfangFenrisfang Registered User regular
    While my hubby would hate me to say this (he doesn't like hot dogs), I think @LexiconGrrl has a great idea with the hot dog station! I like the crazy toppings idea!

    PAX Tickets: check!
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    Coldbrew
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Still new to the area but Parlor live sounds like a decent option.

    Have some questions on what we'd actually get because from their website it looks like it's a multi level bar, comedy club,a normal club, and then private rooms and stuff. So I think that might be something to ask/clarify in thread because some of that sounds awesome and then other parts kinda meh for the crowd we'd attract.

    Aside from what we'd get the biggest bonus does seem to be the location. I've always had a secret distaste for Jillians or whatever it's called now due to its location and distance. I first went when I was pre 21 and it was admittedly kinda sketchy between the distance from downtown, the surrounding area, and then the construction. So I've just never returned after my first year.

    My first year I had to walk because I couldn't get a cab back for some reason and that late at night it was extremely sketchy and I felt pretty unsafe waking by myself while I was sober so I knew I was never going to do it intoxicated. So I really love how close Parlor live is to the convention center and the major hotels. So instead of a mile or two walk it's a block or two and it's in the middle of downtown not in the middle of nowhere by the water. So I'd imagine it would be safer and cheaper for everyone involved not needing a cab and being so close to their hotels.

    sanovah on
    Coldbrew
  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    Oh - one piece of advice from experience: The food situation will be the hardest and most frustrating. Do not underestimate the amount of time needed to coordinate, check, double check, verify and re-verify the food.

    Half the folks won't get food and the other half will feast like rabid wolves. I have found that venues often don't understand that not every group is a cocktail party for Bellevue housewives and don't account for the crazed hunger of drunken geeks.

    *EDIT: actually, thinking about it, a hot dog station might not be a bad way to go. Have basic franks (no fancy sausages), a vegan option, and a gluten-free wrap with a bunch of crazy toppings and condiment bar. Plan on 3-5 dogs per person and you can still come in at less than $5 per person in food costs. People will get fed and the venue won't lose money.

    Yeah I'm actually learning that now first-hand that sorting out the food options is going to take some effort. The "crazed hunger of drunken geeks" is a good point too, and I have been considering that already so I might just talk to them about how things will work so we could hopefully avoid that.

    As for the hot dog station idea... kinda brilliant honestly. At the same time though, I feel like we still need to have slightly more variety. Even if it does cover vegan, gluten-free and all that, it's still only hot dogs. And I don't even know if they would go for that anyway, but I'm sure we can still pitch the same idea to them and come up with a similar option.

    Thanks for the comments and suggestion though! :D
    sanovah wrote: »
    Have some questions on what we'd actually get because from their website it looks like it's a multi level bar, comedy club,a normal club, and then private rooms and stuff. So I think that might be something to ask/clarify in thread because some of that sounds awesome and then other parts kinda meh for the crowd we'd attract.

    Yeah for sure. We would be taking the entire downstairs portion of the venue. The upstairs lounge would be open to the public, downstairs will be closed all night for us. The downstairs has plenty of seating for everybody, billiards if anybody wants to play some pool, a full bar, booth for DJ's, stage for bands/musicians, and tons of TV's along with some projectors. It's actually fairly similar to what Jillian's offered, just without the game machines that were downstairs. Plus it's a lot nicer and bigger. I'm not sure if we would have access to the private rooms, but we probably wouldn't need them anyway. The downstairs is (from what I can tell) also the "comedy club" portion, but that is still mostly just tables and chairs with a fairly small stage meant for comedy acts but that can have full band support.

    Here are a few photos of what we would have. I wish I could find more but I really can't. If I end up doing an on-site tour any time, I will take some more.
    parlor-escape-lounge-grill-pic1.jpg
    parlor-escape-lounge-grill-pic4.jpg
    dsc_1139037-x2__large.jpg

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  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Oh damn that looks great knowing what we'd get. I went back to their website and then Google/yelp hunting and looks like it'd do what we want/need very nicely

    On the food subject. I've never planned a big party like this but assuming we'd use their catering menus and whatnot there a reason we couldn't use one or two of their base packages and then vote on anything extra we'd like to satisfy dietary needs?

    Like for example say take their Snack and Pan Pacific packages and then add an extra item or two like the chicken strips and their fruit/nut platter? Not sure how much it would cost us, how many it would feed, or if it would satisfy every dietary need but it looks like it would make a good effort.

    From what I see of what I just threw together we'd potentially get pizza, a vegetation pizza, sliders, vegetation egg rolls, gyoza (whatever that is), skewers, salads, rice, chicken strips(traditional bar food), and then a fruit/nut platter. All of that would be pretty expensive, but I think it would satisfy every need expect maybe gluten free and would be a decent variety.

    Assuming that's to expensive or just too much food could we just do one of their simple platters and then let people order as/what they want from normal menus or would we not have access to their normal menu/kitchen?

    sanovah on
  • ClannMorganClannMorgan Registered User regular
    I'm flying out late on Monday night, so I definitely will be looking for something to do. My only question is do they have a secure bag/coat check? As I will have my luggage in tow.

  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    I'm flying out late on Monday night, so I definitely will be looking for something to do. My only question is do they have a secure bag/coat check? As I will have my luggage in tow.

    The hotel you are checking out of will most of the time hold the bag for you. You should ask them if they have an area.

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  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    I'm flying out late on Monday night, so I definitely will be looking for something to do. My only question is do they have a secure bag/coat check? As I will have my luggage in tow.

    What @adias.angel said. Hotels will most definitely do this for you, at least they've been very good to me about it in the past. I will ask the Parlor if they have a coat/bag check though.
    sanovah wrote: »
    On the food subject. I've never planned a big party like this but assuming we'd use their catering menus and whatnot there a reason we couldn't use one or two of their base packages and then vote on anything extra we'd like to satisfy dietary needs?

    Like for example say take their Snack and Pan Pacific packages and then add an extra item or two like the chicken strips and their fruit/nut platter? Not sure how much it would cost us, how many it would feed, or if it would satisfy every dietary need but it looks like it would make a good effort.

    From what I see of what I just threw together we'd potentially get pizza, a vegetation pizza, sliders, vegetation egg rolls, gyoza (whatever that is), skewers, salads, rice, chicken strips(traditional bar food), and then a fruit/nut platter. All of that would be pretty expensive, but I think it would satisfy every need expect maybe gluten free and would be a decent variety.

    Assuming that's to expensive or just too much food could we just do one of their simple platters and then let people order as/what they want from normal menus or would we not have access to their normal menu/kitchen?

    The issue with this is that even their least-expensive dinner package is going to cost $25 PER PERSON. That might not seem terrible to some of you, but I would have to charge you all this cost ON TOP of what we already have to charge just to rent the venue. Now let's say we assume that we will get near enough to our capacity, we could easily sell tickets for like $15 a pop at this point. However adding even the cheapest dinner option would jack that up to $40, even more if we chose a higher option, and then some if we added drink tickets. If I remember correctly, our last couple years at Jillian's cost us about $40 per ticket and we still sold out, so I'm sure it would still work, but to be honest, I'm just not okay with going that high unless we have to. Otherwise we have to just make sure that we can cover the cost of the venue without having to sell out, plus we will need the leftover funds to pay the musical guests and probably hang on to in case there are any extra expenses later or accidental damages we might have to cover, things like that. Or maybe we could toss it into a raffle fund or just get something extra for the party, who knows. When it's all over, most likely any funds that are left will be donated to Child's Play.

    I still want to provide food for everybody, and we can do it cheaper. I actually just heard back from them again, so let me quote something, and I will bold some important parts:
    ParlorLive wrote:
    If you would like to keep it out of the dinner realm, I think the best way to go would be to create a menu just for you. With it being gamers and such, I think that finger foods are the way to go. The way that our packages are built are they are unlimited. So the pricing that I sent you was for three hours of unlimited food per person. But, most people just grab something quick when they are at these events. So something like a nacho bar or French fry bar would be right up the alley of an event like this. That will cut down on your costs. Plus it would give your guests lots of options to build whatever they wanted. Making everyone happy.

    I agree with doing something more simple. A nacho and french fry bar sounds awesome to me, but I'm sure most people would want more than that. I'm working on writing her back and I'm going to mention the hot dog idea. She said that they could create a menu for us, so we have options. I want to keep it simple and cheap but at the same time I want to make sure there's enough variety to satisfy as many people as possible. Also this could help give us the option to let people order their own food/meals if they want. I will have to talk to them about it a bit more though I think.

    Ultimately, I think she's mostly right about doing mostly finger foods. I don't want to restrict it to that, but I think it's a good place to start. Thoughts?

    Coldbrew on
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  • ClannMorganClannMorgan Registered User regular

    The hotel you are checking out of will most of the time hold the bag for you. You should ask them if they have an area.

    ahh, totally didn't even think of that...and one would think I would've as that's how I store my luggage at east. Brain fart!

  • forbiddenvoidforbiddenvoid Cupertino, CARegistered User regular
    Coldbrew wrote: »

    Ultimately, I think she's mostly right about doing mostly finger foods. I don't want to restrict it to that, but I think it's a good place to start. Thoughts?

    This place seems to be doing a really good job of going out of their way to get our business. I'm a fan. I agree about the finger foods. That's probably what I'd be in for, anyway. What other options do we have that might be a step up from nachos/fries, though?

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  • WuShockWuShock Lawful Good South BrownbackistanRegistered User regular
    I'm the wrong person to set a price because I can probably afford a little more than the average attendee. That said, I'm down with whatever food/booze option you come up with. Dogs and fries sounds like a fine party to me. My first impression from the pics is that it would be a fantastic venue and they certainly seem to want our business.

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  • ScunosiScunosi WashingtonRegistered User regular
    Sounds like you've made your decision at this point for the Parlor, and honestly I think that's gonna be the best option, too. Wanted to put my two cents in since you were looking for a few last-minute opinions. It looks great from the pictures you've posted, and I don't mind paying a little more if everything's taken care of, saving you and anyone else extra work and hassle. Also the proximity is awesome. Events that are far away only work if you have transportation set up (see: last year's League party), and even then you can only take so many people at a time and it raises costs even more.

    I've never been to one of these fan-run parties before (just a handful of developer parties) but now I'm really excited to try and make this year my first!

  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Coldbrew wrote: »


    I still want to provide food for everybody, and we can do it cheaper. I actually just heard back from them again, so let me quote something, and I will bold some important parts:
    ParlorLive wrote:
    If you would like to keep it out of the dinner realm, I think the best way to go would be to create a menu just for you. With it being gamers and such, I think that finger foods are the way to go. The way that our packages are built are they are unlimited. So the pricing that I sent you was for three hours of unlimited food per person. But, most people just grab something quick when they are at these events. So something like a nacho bar or French fry bar would be right up the alley of an event like this. That will cut down on your costs. Plus it would give your guests lots of options to build whatever they wanted. Making everyone happy.

    I agree with doing something more simple. A nacho and french fry bar sounds awesome to me, but I'm sure most people would want more than that. I'm working on writing her back and I'm going to mention the hot dog idea. She said that they could create a menu for us, so we have options. I want to keep it simple and cheap but at the same time I want to make sure there's enough variety to satisfy as many people as possible. Also this could help give us the option to let people order their own food/meals if they want. I will have to talk to them about it a bit more though I think.

    Ultimately, I think she's mostly right about doing mostly finger foods. I don't want to restrict it to that, but I think it's a good place to start. Thoughts?


    oh damn. Like I said I've never planned a party anywhere near this scale or with catering. So had no clue on what the cost per person was going to potentially look like, but that is pretty expensive.

    As for their idea I think it's a good start and probably the best option for us if we can get some options instead of just X or just Y. I'd think our best bet would to see if we couldn't do some traditional cheap bar foods like nachos, fries, and then something like chicken strips or mini burgers. Not sure what that would run us on a per person basis but I'd hope it wouldn't be terrible since those should be some of their lower cost items normally. I know those three options or any traditional bar food wouldn't satisfy everyones taste or dietary needs, but assuming we don't wanna pay $100 per person and can order food on our own beyond what they'll provide in a buffet it'll be the best/cheapest option for us.


    But yeah I'd vote for finger foods as long as long as we can still order from their kitchen that way even if someone doesn't like or can't necessarily eat the choice we/you make they can still get food on their own.

    sanovah on
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Finger foods will be expensive (this is how their catering department makes $$), and you'll probably run into the issue I mentioned earlier - they'll bring out a tray of chicken strips and the tray will never see the table. Anything with meat will be expensive and small portioned. Keep in mind that once the contract is signed and they have their money, they have no dog in the fight about how well it actually goes down - they'll look to you to be responsible for the final decisions (like whether or not there was enough food).

    Regardless of what you choose to serve, def go to them with 2 numbers: The amount you want to spend per head on food, and the ounces of food per person. For a sit-down dinner, a 6-8 oz portion of meat would be average, plus additional inexpensive fillers like potatoes, chips, rice, veg, etc... I would suggest $5-$10 and 12-16oz of food per person. See what they come up with there - it's an ambitious goal but not impossible. It will also make it clear to them that you know how this works and they'll be less likely to bamboozle you.

    And not to sound negative, but I've been on both sides of the catering fence, and Parlor is marketed primarily to rich development companies with fat wads to spend on staff events - they may need some prodding and assistance in coming up with a generous menu that is also inexpensive. They will always - ALWAYS push the frozen finger foods because people look at the menu and say, "ooh, that sounds good!" without realizing that portion size will be an issue. Then the kitchen will mark them up 400 or 500% but not provide enough for the crowd. Tis the way of the business.

    LexiconGrrl on
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  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    Oooooh, interesting. I saw this pop up on Facebook, much to my delight.

    It sounds like you've found some awesome options that didn't exist (or I didn't find) a few years ago. Between you and LexiconGrrl, you're doing a good job of covering your bases.

    Good luck!

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  • ScunosiScunosi WashingtonRegistered User regular
    I think finger foods would be best just because it's going to be a mostly gaming event, so if people are flitting back and forth between friends and games, they'll need something that doesn't have to be watched over or kept with a bunch of dishes. In the same vein, as much as I love nachos, I'd hate to see a Rock Band booth after a night of nacho-cheese-covered hands go ahold of it. That's probably being a little too picky though.

    I think anything that's simple but easily customizable would be best. So nachos or hot dogs as suggested, which can be built to suit anyone's needs, or similar stuff like tacos, or the fry/potato bar. A pasta bar is also easy to customize but would definitely not be finger food and would probably be more expensive.

    Is the drink plan separate from the catering you've already been discussing with them? I really liked what they did at the Deus Ex party a few years ago, where they had a small list of themed drinks that were free (or really cheap, can't remember), but you could also pay regular price for anything else at their full bar. I know drink tickets were mentioned, too.

    LexiconGrrl
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Pasta bar would be way cheaper than finger foods (srsly, they're pricey) and it's a terrific idea @Scunosi . Not finger-friendly, but cheap and filling.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • Nfan10039Nfan10039 Toronto (Seattle bound)Registered User regular
    As far as things go, I would be interested in attending. I am age of majority where I live, but I won't be 21 by the time Pax hits, so drinks wouldn't be needed(besides pop and stuff). Appetizers sound great, and if we can get price for this between 10 to 30 dollars, it shouldn't be too much of a hassle for me to party it up with everyone! Sounds like a blast!

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  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    You guys are awesome <3
    Also hi @Arco!

    "traditional cheap bar foods like nachos, fries, and then something like chicken strips or mini burgers"\
    Yeah I was basically thinking exactly the same thing. It sounds good on paper at least.

    "or similar stuff like tacos, or the fry/potato bar"
    Not a bad idea either.

    @LexiconGrrl claims that a pasta bar would actually be a lot cheaper. I'm going to ask about this (among everything else you mentioned) and find out, and if that's the case then I think that could be a great option to have.
    I'm going to bring up the concerns about serving small portions at a time so we hopefully don't run into the issue of people jumping on them the moment they come out and leaving everybody else out of the picture. It's very possible that it just might be difficult to avoid though.

    As for the drink plan, yeah it's separate. Plus we have a couple options here and I'm going to once again quote the email they sent me this morning regarding drink tickets:
    "They are $7 a piece, and that is good for beer/wine and nonalcoholic beverages. I would also include a signature cocktail in that mix, and it would only be served for your event. The drink tickets that cover all cocktails are $10 a piece. They are good for mixed drinks, just not shots."
    This cost would be combined into the ticket cost but we can only go with one option, not both. Also if we do this, I would like to make a separate ticket option for anybody under 21 or for anybody who just doesn't want to drink or is on a tight budget. However considering these tickets also cover non-alcoholic beverages, we might not actually be able to do that, but I will talk to them about it.

    As for which drink ticket do choose, I mean the cheaper option is always good, but it's still $7 for only beer and wine, which sounds quite steep for me. For only $3 more it will cover mixed drinks, which can vary quite a lot in price but ultimately it would probably have more value than the cheaper one. We should also really think about creating a specialty cocktail for the event too, I think it would be fun. It's probably not my strong suit though, but I'll provide input to any suggestions!

    The bar can definitely still be open for anybody who wants to buy more drinks. As for ordering food, I'm hoping to keep it where people can still order their own meals if they want to. It's possible it won't work but I'm going to do what I can.

    So here is a list of their appetizers from the event menu they sent me. We may not be able to pick from everything but we should have some decent flexibility. Anyway this will give us a good idea of our options.
    Appetizers/Sides:
    Classic Buffalo, Adobo, or Habanero Wings (choose one)
    Chicken Strips with assorted dipping sauces
    Mini Hotdogs with assorted dipping sauces
    Giant Pretzels with stone ground mustard
    Stuffed Mushrooms with spinach, peppers and cream cheese
    Chilled Fresh Dungeness Crab and Artichoke Dip with grilled pita
    Smoked Salmon Spread with crostini
    Mini Meatballs in hoisin BBQ sauce
    Cheese Fondue Nachos *add chili, pulled chicken, soy citrus beef tenderloin or marinated pork shoulder for additional charge
    Chili Dusted Fries with Serrano ketchup and sweet chili aioli
    Classic Caesar Salad with garlic croutons and parmesan
    Smoked Salmon spread with crostini
    Mini Meatballs in hoisin BBQ sauce
    Cheese Fondue Nachos *add pulled chili chicken, soy citrus beef tenderloin, or marinated pork shoulder
    Vegetable Crudité served with ranch dipping sauce
    Grilled Vegetable Platter with white bean hummus
    Au Gratin Potatoes
    Cowboy Baked Beans
    Creamed Corn with red chili butter
    Short Ribs in Hoisin BBQ Sauce
    Thai Peanut Chicken Skewers
    Crab Rangoons stuffed with Dungeness crab, cream cheese and garlic wrapped in a thick wonton and served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce
    Mini meatballs in a sour cream sauce with lingonberry preserve
    Local fruit, nut and cheese board with assorted crackers and accompaniments
    Green bean and carrot almandine
    Bacon-shallot roasted brussel sprouts
    Green bean and carrot almandine
    Steamed Broccoli with drawn butter
    Cauliflower Au Gratin
    Shaved Prosciutto di Parma and Melon
    Chicken strips and mini hot dogs could go well with something like nachos and fries, and maybe some pasta as well.

    Thanks @LexiconGrrl for all of the info, it's incredibly valuable. I'll take it all into consideration and be sure to discuss the finer points with them.
    "Parlor is marketed primarily to rich development companies with fat wads to spend on staff events"
    I've been getting that vibe from them and it doesn't really surprise me. You've given me some good insight about all of this that I quite honestly have little knowledge about, so it could really go a long way in keeping things less expensive for us. :D

    "if we can get price for this between 10 to 30 dollars"
    It might end up being pretty close to the $30 mark, but I'm going to do the best I can to make sure it doesn't go above that. If we can do separate tickets for minors that don't include a drink ticket, then you shouldn't have to worry, but I can't say for sure yet if we will be able to do that.

    Coldbrew on
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    gorgeousplanetLexiconGrrl
  • FenrisfangFenrisfang Registered User regular
    First off, I think you are doing an amazing job on this and thank you for your hard work!

    Second, I like the idea of finger foods for the menu. Maybe ask them to give you a sample menu and the pricing for that menu to see what you are looking at. Once you have that, you can tweek it to what we want (assuming the original menu looks realistic). I like the idea of it all being unlimited, but I would verify how that works for them, and make sure it is in your contract. So if they say they will keep the dishes full for that three hours great...but if it means they will refill them every ten minutes based on what is needed...not so great and it needs to be worked on.

    Sounds like you have decided on Parlor Live as our location. This place looks great and I can't wait to party it up!

    PAX Tickets: check!
    Hotel Booked: check!
    Sitter for the kids: check!
    Excitement level rising: check, check and triple check!
  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Pasta bar would be way cheaper than finger foods (srsly, they're pricey) and it's a terrific idea @Scunosi . Not finger-friendly, but cheap and filling.

    Spot on. I used to do a lot of planning for group events years ago. Lower cost items are going to be things they can easily make in bulk and include ingredients that are lower cost. Salads, pastas, tray of items to make your own sandwiches, etc are where you get a lot of bang for your buck. Finger foods are awesome but due to the man power needed to cut, cook and plate them it increases the cost. For things like pastas and salads they can made HUGE amounts of them easily and buy the ingredients in large quantities so it's cheaper.

    Pasta is usually the most cost effective route to go without giving up much quality. It also reduces the amount of protein needed per person which is the biggest part of the cost. I would ask them to do a pasta bar with salads and breadsticks. All of these items are low cost and are filling. Add in a small dessert and you have a well rounded meal. Not to mention you will also be able to accommodate vegan or GF diets without too much of a problem.

    adias.angel on
    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
    LexiconGrrl
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Pasta bar would be way cheaper than finger foods (srsly, they're pricey) and it's a terrific idea @Scunosi . Not finger-friendly, but cheap and filling.

    Spot on. I used to do a lot of planning for group events years ago. Lower cost items are going to be things they can easily make in bulk and include ingredients that are lower cost. Salads, pastas, tray of items to make your own sandwiches, etc are where you get a lot of bang for your buck. Finger foods are awesome but due to the man power needed to cut, cook and plate them it increases the cost. For things like pastas and salads they can made HUGE amounts of them easily and buy the ingredients in large quantities so it's cheaper.

    Pasta is usually the most cost effective route to go without giving up much quality. It also reduces the amount of protein needed per person which is the biggest part of the cost. I would ask them to do a pasta bar with salads and breadsticks. All of these items are low cost and are filling. Add in a small dessert and you have a well rounded meal. Not to mention you will also be able to accommodate vegan or GF diets without too much of a problem.

    Well put.

    Pasta bar, Hot dog bar, chili bar, salad bar, Baked Potato Bar, etc... These will be your best bets. Inexpensive, filling and easy to load up onto a buffet instead of bringing trays. Remember that as you look at their finger food menu, they're in the business to make money, not to be altruistic. There's a reason they put something that salaciously tempting in front of you. In the hopes you'll buy it and make them loads of money, not out of a kind generosity of spirit that deeply cares about the fine details of your dining experience there. They won't be able to provide a generous meal out of appetizers at your price point - a good rule of thumb is to assume that the location is expecting about 4 apps per person, and that would include the smaller apps like meatballs. You'd expect 4 plates of chicken strips per person, but the venue plans on 4 actual meatballs per person.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
    adias.angel
  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I am not PAXing this year (loooool @ burning tons of PTO on a non holiday weekend) but would likely still go to this party after work :D

    Would also be willing to help out with anything if you want some halp.

    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
    LexiconGrrladias.angelColdbrew
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    is this place just that expensive or did we really just get that good a deal at Jillians? Don't think I remember tickets going much past $30-35 the last time I went and I think I remember them doing finger type bar foods for us.

    Also unless I'm just incredibly naive or we're still talking $25 a head. Them planning for 4 chicken strips, mini burgers, or whatever it is we decide on a person doesn't sound that bad to me unless we're taking really jacked up portion sizes. If it's "normal" serving sizes I can't imagine most people would want more than that of any given thing.

    sanovah on
  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    sanovah wrote: »
    is this place just that expensive or did we really just get that good a deal at Jillians? Don't think I remember tickets going much past $30-35 the years I went and I think I remember them doing finger type bar foods for us.
    This place actually probably is fairly more expensive than I think it is. I can't compare it to Jillian's though because I have no idea what the price-points were there. We'd have to ask @Arco. I am quite positive that the last couple years at that place cost us about $40 per person though, but I could be mistaken.
    BigRed wrote: »
    I am not PAXing this year (loooool @ burning tons of PTO on a non holiday weekend) but would likely still go to this party after work :D

    Would also be willing to help out with anything if you want some halp.
    Thanks for the offer Red, I might just shoot you a message some time. I'm sure you would be better at a lot of this stuff and I am. :P
    Either way it would nice to have you out for the party.
    Pasta bar would be way cheaper than finger foods (srsly, they're pricey) and it's a terrific idea @Scunosi . Not finger-friendly, but cheap and filling.

    Spot on. I used to do a lot of planning for group events years ago. Lower cost items are going to be things they can easily make in bulk and include ingredients that are lower cost. Salads, pastas, tray of items to make your own sandwiches, etc are where you get a lot of bang for your buck. Finger foods are awesome but due to the man power needed to cut, cook and plate them it increases the cost. For things like pastas and salads they can made HUGE amounts of them easily and buy the ingredients in large quantities so it's cheaper.

    Pasta is usually the most cost effective route to go without giving up much quality. It also reduces the amount of protein needed per person which is the biggest part of the cost. I would ask them to do a pasta bar with salads and breadsticks. All of these items are low cost and are filling. Add in a small dessert and you have a well rounded meal. Not to mention you will also be able to accommodate vegan or GF diets without too much of a problem.

    Well put.

    Pasta bar, Hot dog bar, chili bar, salad bar, Baked Potato Bar, etc... These will be your best bets. Inexpensive, filling and easy to load up onto a buffet instead of bringing trays. Remember that as you look at their finger food menu, they're in the business to make money, not to be altruistic. There's a reason they put something that salaciously tempting in front of you. In the hopes you'll buy it and make them loads of money, not out of a kind generosity of spirit that deeply cares about the fine details of your dining experience there. They won't be able to provide a generous meal out of appetizers at your price point - a good rule of thumb is to assume that the location is expecting about 4 apps per person, and that would include the smaller apps like meatballs. You'd expect 4 plates of chicken strips per person, but the venue plans on 4 actual meatballs per person.
    Thanks you two. It sounds like a pasta bar is the way to go, along with hotdogs and salads. Breadsticks would be good too. I'll see what options they have for desserts as well, and maybe at least one type of finger-food if the portion/price is good.

    I haven't replied back to them yet but I will work on that today.

    iMIIouF.png
    adias.angelLexiconGrrl
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    The last few P3s at jillians were in the $40 range. The protomen year was actually $50 iirc.

  • KeroanKeroan Chicago, IllinoisRegistered User regular
    Yeah portions are always smaller than you think. I spent about $1k feeding my whole office of 100 people on fajitas and baked potatoes. Granted there was food leftover, but food leftover was always a good sign :D

  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Whew, that was one long email. I hope I'm not driving them crazy yet. :P
    Time for a drink and some Fire Emblem, then bed.
    zerzhul wrote: »
    The last few P3s at jillians were in the $40 range. The protomen year was actually $50 iirc.

    Oh man I forgot about the year with The Protomen and The Megas, you're probably right about that being higher. Totally worth it though.

    Personally, as much as I would love to setup a show with some bands (which I could easily do with the connections I have), I think going with the solo stuff is the better option for this party. It's just easier to setup and transition, it's cheaper, and it's better background music for people who don't want to be up dancing or rocking out in front of a stage but still want some good tunes going around. I've had some friends and good sources suggest a few to me already. Does anybody here have something specific they like or dislike? I'm mostly talking in the areas of videogame-related DJ stuff, chiptunes, and nerdcore. I know many people may be turned off by any forms of rap/hip-hop (it's okay, I used to be that way myself), but I might have a rather good option or two in that department. For example, we could have something like: DJ Cutman, Jake "virt" Kaufman and MegaRan. Maybe add A_Rival to that list too. Sound cool? And yes I have connections with them, among many others, I'm just using them as examples. There are a lot of options out there and I'm going to be talking to people soon and see who is already planning on being in town for PAX. Suggestions/comments/concerns/opinions are always welcome.

    Coldbrew on
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    zerzhulLexiconGrrlWuShockadias.angelsanovah
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    K I just listened to a few minutes of cutman and gotta say he's cool. I'll listen to the others when I have time but wouldn't mind having someone like him for music. I did want to ask tho would any of the people you've listed or are thinking of asking have anything beyond music like that, like more mainstream pop, punk, rock, ect, ect or would it be exclusively nerdcore/chiptunes?

    Only ask because more variety is always better and honestly after 3 or is it 4 nights now of concerts with similar music I have to wonder if it wouldn't be too much for all but the most hardcore fans unless it's totally just background noise. Nothing wrong with music like that and I enjoy it myself but I can see and have seen how that much might be overwhelming to some.

  • ScunosiScunosi WashingtonRegistered User regular
    My SO really doesn't like Megaran, not that he doesn't like that kind of music. I doubt it would keep us from attending, but he'd likely be throwing lots of side-eye the whole time. Last year (maybe the year before?) when they had the big Megaman concert set with the Protomen, Megaran, and the guys who play to the game (can't remember their name) we actually stepped out for the whole of Megaran's set.

    Personally I wouldn't mind something a little more backgroundy. Especially if there's going to be set-ups for attendees to play their own stuff with Rock Band, or other games, it seems like it'd be a waste to get some semi-big artist who'll just be drowned out by the party noise, or conversely drown out the party and irritate the part of the crowd that's not into them. So Chiptunes/general dance/electronic/DJing seems fine, but a vocalist of any sort seems like a bad choice to me. But with it being right after the con, I wouldn't be surprised if someone's willing to stay later for a party.

  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    I understand your concerns here, but I'm betting most people that come to the party won't even attend the concerts at PAX. It's just an assumption, but it's what I would expect. Either way, at PAX people are going to have more of a "concert with full bands" experience, whereas this party will provide more of a "DJ/dance/background music" type of environment, even though they are all videogame-related.
    Scunosi wrote: »
    ...it seems like it'd be a waste to get some semi-big artist who'll just be drowned out by the party noise, or conversely drown out the party and irritate the part of the crowd that's not into them. So Chiptunes/general dance/electronic/DJing seems fine, but a vocalist of any sort seems like a bad choice to me.
    Yeah I actually kind of agree with you there. Thanks for the input you two.

    Alright, now to cover the email I got back from them this morning.

    One of the big concerns with the catering was portion size per-person, but I didn't even realize that it's not even really an issue because the food is unlimited for 3 hours. Once something is almost gone, another big batch will already be in preparation. So instead of picking apart the message, I'm just going to quote what she said. Apparently the pasta route would cost more money so... I will let you guys and gals look over it and see for yourself.

    I have omitted a few sentences here and there, but mostly just irrelevant things to this specific situation.
    So in regards to the menu, I have a few thoughts on this. With the timing of the event….it is past dinner time. I would honestly consider doing more of a heavy snack. The other concern that I have in regards to having a full meal is spacing. With a group of people this size, you are going to lose a lot of space in the theatre for the buffet lines. Setting up the chaffers in the theatre is the only way we can accommodate a group this size. Then you have the added logistics of trying to have people walking around with full dinner plates. For an event of this nature, I would suggest doing heavy snacks in stations. That way we are also able to space things out throughout the venue. There will not be a bottle neck of people waiting in line for food. It filters the crowd out, and helps eliminate lines/waits. When it comes to menus, I would keep it simple. Pizza, wings, mini hot dogs, hummus with pita chips, and mini hot dogs. These options are actually going to cost less than a full pasta buffet. Due to the fact that we would need less labor and product.

    The portion sizes are simple. They are unlimited, so if more is needed, we make more. We do not charge per piece as most catering is priced at. With doors opening at 7pm, I would run the food from 8 – 11pm. This is going to be when you see the most people eating. Yes, we will have a full menu available for those that would like to order something else. So if someone does want something more than the food that is being offered, they are welcome to order it.

    I understand the concern about the portion sizes and how things are replaced. I think that this is another area where having stations setup and spread out will help. We typically fire full batches of items, so if we need more wings. We will fire a whole hotel pan (estimate of 300 wings) around the time that current one is ¾ empty. This allows time for things to cook, and there is never a lapse in the service time. We also do not allow Guests to grab out of the containers as we are walking them to the chaffers. There are health code issues with that. So, there is a constant flow of food coming through the venue during the set times. There is no guarantee that one person would not come up and completely load up on 200 wings, depleting the station. However we would have more on the way as soon as they are cooked. The only items that we sometimes have a snag on is the pizza. Due to the cook time, and slices of pizza are really easy to grab and eat. So we typically have pizza spread out in a few different places. That way if there is no pizza out on the floor, there are plenty of other options for people to choose from.
    I actually just realized she said "mini hot dogs" twice. I'll have to mention this to her. :P

    So how does it all sound? It makes sense to me. I'm completely okay with the snack options that she mentioned too, though I'm sure it could use something else. If for whatever reason it is actually cheaper than the pasta bar, personally I'm fine with this. On-paper at least, it sounds like they will have things covered pretty well. I'm still worried that the cost won't be as low as I want it but we'll see. I still haven't really been able to get much of an idea of what the food is going to cost so I can't really say where our ticket price is going to be. I can however say that we can sell a slightly cheaper ticket (probably about $7 cheaper) that will include just a non-alcoholic drink ticket, so anybody under 21 that couldn't drink anyway won't have to spend as much for something they can't use.

    I look forward to once again being counselled by those more experienced than I. :D

    @ClannMorgan They confirmed that they do have a bag and coat check.

    Coldbrew on
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    LexiconGrrlgorgeousplanetsanovahadias.angelmonkosh
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Provided that it goes down as described, that sounds like a screamin' good deal.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
    adias.angel
  • FenrisfangFenrisfang Registered User regular
    Sounds great! I like the options she is suggesting (though curious to know what they second mini hot dogs was going to be) plus having the option of their menu for those who want something else has everything and everyone covered. As for the music, my hubby and I pretty much like everything but I agree that it needs to be more of a background music rather than a concert-like setting.

    Just curious, but when do we need to lock things down with this venue? I am guessing that tickets will be going on sale around the same time so want to make sure I have some funds available.

    PAX Tickets: check!
    Hotel Booked: check!
    Sitter for the kids: check!
    Excitement level rising: check, check and triple check!
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    As long as the price does come down a bit per person and they keep on top of food like she described we'll get everything we want/need. I'd like to think we could "manipulate" price based on what is ordered. Like pizza sounds awesome but I'd have to imagine it's more expensive for the same reason a pasta bar would be.

  • ColdbrewColdbrew Down in Front Productions Lake Stevens, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Yeah price is definitely the big concern here. I'm going to be picking the menu/items apart to try and find something good. If something like pizza specifically jacks the price up enough over the rest, I'll try to substitute it or something. Otherwise, as long as they're not blowing smoke here, it sounds promising so far.

    As for locking down the venue, we've basically already done that. Once the catering is sorted out and we have a price point, I am going to have to sign a contract and drop a $500 deposit to reserve the place (I may ask for help for this: basically anybody willing to buy a ticket as soon as they go live would help out a lot). That cost will come out of the total of course, they just need to begin with something since we can't pay the whole thing off until we sell enough tickets. That's really not an issue though. It should be safe to assume that we will have tickets for sale some time this month, maybe even within the next couple weeks. That being said, I highly doubt we would even come close to selling-out until August so you will have plenty of time to get one.

    I might put up a poll for this later, but I've been thinking, if the food really does end up costing enough to jack our ticket cost around the $40 mark, we could always just axe drink tickets. I know they're a nice and convenient thing to have, especially considering you can get basically anything on the menu (minus shots at least) but it's still an extra $10 to the ticket cost, and there's always a chance that whatever drink you prefer could cost less than that if you were to just walk up to the bar and buy it. So I'm just going to leave that out there.

    Coldbrew on
    iMIIouF.png
    LexiconGrrl
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