Special Events

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: GLASSWARE FOR GALAS

WHAT MAKES A beverage beautiful? The right glass does, and event suppliers are constantly at work coming up with glassware lines that are worthy of a toast.

Today's event guests are demanding, warns Brett Harris, president of Denver-based Galasource, and their No. 1 demand is variety. “I just think seeing the same old glass at each and every event is boring,” Harris says. “The one thing I have noticed in my years of traveling and visiting event planners, caterers and party rental companies is that the organizations that thrive always offer something different — something fresh — and have the old standbys there for those who desire them.”

Color is the fresh element for many event designers today, he notes. “We have several styles to choose from but the most popular has been the Fizz line, available in eight different colors and four sizes.” The line features a clear stem contrasted against a colorful, textured bowl.

THE STRONG SURVIVE

The most important quality for event glassware? “Durability,” says Carlos San Roman, general manager of Santa Ana, Calif.-based Regal International. “A caterer or rental company can't afford to keep replacing delicate crystal glasses. They might look nice, but they will eventually break your purchasing budget.”

The problem for event planners, San Roman says, is that “‘durable’ usually translated to ‘ugly,’ thick glass.”

To solve the dilemma, Regal has just introduced its Cosmo line, which San Roman describes as a “fun” glass that, thanks to its versatility and low center of gravity, has become a favorite with caterers, “who routinely navigate crowds of guests with trays held high over their heads.” The Cosmo joins the Delano line, which Regal debuted two years ago, an inexpensive line that links durability and high style.

Eddie Zucker, chief operating officer of Denver-based Ten Strawberry Street, agrees that durable glassware needn't look clunky.

“We have introduced our Regina stemware, which is a fine stemware line that is commercially upgraded and sold all over the Asian markets,” Zucker notes. Regina is “perfect for budget customers [because] it is commercially graded and will last three times as long as other stems, and gives a fine look to stemware versus the chunky stems that are out there.”

Ten Strawberry Street is also venturing into the wonderful world of color. Its Zeus line is a “very retro, colored, square dishware line that is dishwasher-safe and makes any party fun,” Zucker says. The Zeus line has been such a hit, he adds, that his company will soon debut another line of textured, dishwasher-safe colored dishware.

GET FRESH

The challenge of broadening a product line is price, but Harris says an investment in new glassware pays off. “There is a lot to be said for the first event company in a market to take a chance with something fresh, different and something that is not widely available,” he notes. “It may cost a little bit more, but there are few that would question the move after they pick up three or four events they would not have gotten had they not been fresh.”




RESOURCES

Galasource, 303/716-5980, 888/521-GALA (4252); Regal International, 714/424-6320, 800/457-3425; Ten Strawberry Street, 303/320-5525, 800/428-9397

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