Need to party in Orlando
May 24, 2010 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Need to host a party in Orlando. I don't live in Orlando. Need help finding the perfect location.

I am going to be hosting a party in Orlando. It is going to be VERY casual (t-shirts and shorts the order of the day). I expect there to be around 100 attendees.

I have the following requirements for the party:

*Must be within a couple miles of the Orange County Convention Center
*Fairly low cost (when broken down in total I'd like to see it come in at under $30 per person counting room, food, etc. if at all possible)
*Cash bar w/bartender (I don't want the non-drinkers to pay for the drinkers)
*Finger foods (be they catered by the event or brought in by us)
*Allow us to bring in our own cake for dessert
*Sound system for music
*Microphone for announcements

Basically, I'm looking for a similar set-up to a very casual wedding reception, but hopefully not spending the thousands that some wedding receptions cost.

Given that it's Florida and the event will be in the evening, I would love for it to be an outdoor patio type of event, but if it has to be indoors it has to be indoors.

Any recommendations for a location?

Much appreciated!!!
posted by arniec to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (7 answers total)
What time of year?
Is this for attendees of a conference at the OCCC?
Your budget is <= $3,000, do I understand this to be the entire event (Transportation, minimum for Bar, food, hosts, entertainment, room)?
posted by cavalier at 10:14 AM on May 24, 2010

Response by poster: It is for attendees of a conference at the OCCC this summer. Transportation should not be too much of an issue if it's close to the center as the event has shuttles to many neighboring hotels.

Entertainment and transportation aren't really considerations at this point (entertainment is being provided by us). But yes, I'd like to see us come in at around $3,000 for food, room, and availability of a bar.
posted by arniec at 10:17 AM on May 24, 2010

I can't help with venue recommendations, but given that it's Florida and the event will be in the evening, you might want to reconsider the outdoor patio idea. At least in the warm/hot months (April-October or thereabouts), outdoors = muggy, hot, and an amazing variety and quantity of bugs. Indoors is your friend!
posted by Jemstar at 10:20 AM on May 24, 2010

OK. When I spoke to entertainment I was referring to the need for a soudn system/microphone.

I'm hesitant to encourage you to seek an outdoor location in mid to late summer in Orlando, even in the evening. It's a very tropical, humid, moist heat that is going to linger into the evening. But hey -- maybe everyone's coming from the arctic winter and they want to experience that. :)

Otherwise -- well, regardless of outdoor space, the requirement is that you hit one of the OCCC supporting hotels along international drive. I don't think you're going to have an individual restaurant that can support that size of a party while still keeping it relatively private.

That said, my event planning experience is a bit dusty at this point. Let me recommend some possible venues for you -- I would encourage you to contact them with your needs and get a feel for what their costs are:

I am going to recommend facilities I am familiar with that have a certain level of quality. Don't be put off by wanting a casual event here -- this is tourist row!! :D

Rosen Centre -- Meeting Information (800) 800-9840
Peabody Orlando -- 407.352.4000 general number or you can do a RFP on their website
Rosen Plaza -- Meeting Information 1 (800) 366-9700

Rates are going to vary depending on availability / other conferences in town at that time.

If these venues prove exorbitant we can start lowering our expectations but I think for one night for <= 100 people without significant catering <= $3,000 is not unreasonable.
posted by cavalier at 10:34 AM on May 24, 2010

Nthing the "don't do it outdoors in Summer". The heat in Orlando is indescribable during the Summer months.

You may want to try some of the restaurants local to the convention center and see if they have an area or room for private parties. I wouldn't worry about dress code too much, with very few exceptions casual is the norm everywhere.

How many people are invited/attending?
posted by lootie777 at 12:10 PM on May 24, 2010

Response by poster: Lootie,

We're actually "selling tickets" hoping that if we charge $30 per person we'll break even. Last time we did this we sold about 110 tickets, so we're looking in the neighborhood of 100 people.

We looked at some restaurants but our need for a PA system, etc. ruled most out, but if you have specific suggestions we'll look into them.

Cavalier: Thanks for the list of places, I'm calling them today.

Thanks again to you both.
posted by arniec at 6:45 AM on May 26, 2010

No problem. Let me know if that ballpark works, I have some other ideas but those would be my ideal locations for anything close to the convention center.
posted by cavalier at 8:14 AM on May 26, 2010

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