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Glass Half Empty?

So I am sure you have heard of the classic question – is the glass half empty or half full? The reason behind the question is to measure your outlook on life and levels of optimism compared to pessimism. It is definitely a great question to scratch the surface, but tends to compartmentalize life into the black and white. And isn’t life really all about the gray areas?

As someone analytical in nature and focusing on the whole story, I would tend to respond to this question with a couple questions in response. What type of glass is it and what are you pouring? If you have had a little experience in beverages – be it working on a bar as a worker or a patron – you know that these are important factors. If you are serving beer you want an ice cold glass (at least in America) and need to leave a little room at the top for the foam. If you are serving a glass of wine, you wouldn’t expect to have the glass full up to the top. The type of glass for wine also impacts the experience, allowing more room for air and taking in the bouquet for a red wine, or a tall thin flute to maintain the carbonation for as long as you can for champagne.

So how does this apply to events and design? It has everything to do with it. A few years back I prepared a class exercise for aspiring wedding planners to design their signature drink for an event. They would select their glass shape, the type of ice, the liquor, mixers, and garnish. These all have a parallel to planning events. You need to know what type of event you are planning (the drink) to make sure you have the right venue (the glass). The ice (chair/tables) fit into the glass based on the flow of the beverage (the guests). The liquor and mixers are the elements that create the flavor profile (or the event with the vendors and menu). You also know that understanding the right ingredients and ratios are key to the success of an event. Of course, the right garnish (décor) is the finishing touch to make it that much more appealing.

Event design is not really an exact science, but definitely deals with some of the same variables as you would consider when making a drink. I admire the precision and artistry of mixologists (event designers), as they have that special something that your average bartender does not always consider. The first time I encountered a mixologist, was an amazing person I worked with at a local hotel. I sat mesmerized as he chopped, pounded, muddled, strained, and shook his various creations. After staring for about ten minutes with great reverence for his artistry, I had to ask him about his training and where he was from. Such is the same with Event Designers. You are amazed at how they handle their craft and can transform a space and manage a team with the greatest of ease.

So the next time someone asks the question of half full or half empty, ask them what they are drinking, as them to pour a second glass, and share the importance of the gray areas.


Yours in Design, JMT Eventology

For an amazing experience in mixology, visit Scott at Bar + Bistro at the Arts Factory in downtown Las Vegas. He is a true artist! Photo from LasVegas

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