This formal started as a project for my fraternity alone, but during a meeting with our chapter's Executive Committee, we agreed that to enhance the experience it would be better served to share this project with our sister music sorority, Sigma Alpha Iota. After proposing the project, they gladly accepted and the formal took on new possibilities. Setting the date for the event, both chapters passed a decision to use the Gold Plan option in the proposal and it was time to begin the next stage of implementation.
The formal's planning stage began with creating a hidden facebook group at the end of the fall semester. Due to the fact that the event would take place three weeks after the beginning of the spring semester, the online resource allowed members to be involved on key issues in developing the formal.
Using the group's discussion tabs, I created four main topics geared toward the formal's theme, catering, entertainment and ticket pricing. Although the creation, organization and implementation of this event was a personal accomplishment, the actual theme and logo concept was spawned by one of SAI's member's during these discussions. After coming to a consensus in the group, I took the design to a local t-shirt shop to edit and finalize. These discussions also served a major function in determining an appropriate, affordable DJ for the venue.
Once school began, I organized two meetings with what had become the formal committee. The first meeting was centered around finalizing the four main discussions as well as attire for the event. At the second meeting, I discussed what roles Sinfonia and SAI would need to take prior to the event. Under a $50 budget, SAI would take the task of decorating the dance hall we would be using. Because decorations were a critical part of creating the formal's atmosphere, I made sure that was a key part of our committee discussion to emphasize and insure that the regal, elegant tone the formal needed. It was the responsibility of Sinfonia to handle the catering with a $50 budget. During the meeting, I also taught the committee different sales techniques to help promote the event to students in the music department.
Not only was I creating and directing our first formal, but I had also become the caterer. Due to our limited budget of $50, I conducted personal research and made calculated decisions as to how to best use the funding. The style of catering for this event was a light snack format rather than banquet format. After estimating the different catering costs around Oxford, I decided the lowest cost and highest dining efficiency would be to personally cater the event.
Food included normal and white grapes, different types of cheeses, chocolate valentine's cookies, crackers, sweet tea, and my personal fruit punch concoction. Utilities included nicer, clear plastic cups, toothpicks, two glass punch bowls, and various imitation silver dining plates from Dollar Tree. Overall catering prepared for the formal was estimated to feed up to 75 guests. The estimated cost savings were around $45.