Planning a cocktail party or gala dinner in Auckland can be a serious undertaking. For the event to come off flawlessly there will be a lot of details that have to be considered and planned well in advance. You have to choose from the many venues in Auckland to host the event, consider the catering, the guest list, the date and much more. If you are planning one of these events in Auckland, read our short guide and make sure you’ve got everything covered.

Date & Location

The date and location of the gala dinner or cocktail party are often going to go hand in hand. If the date is a little flexible, then you may have a wider selection of Auckland venues to choose from, however, if the function is connected to another event like a convention, the date might be set and some of your favoured venues might be booked. As with planning any event, book your venue as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

In regard to selecting a venue in Auckland to host the event, you will also need to consider the type of atmosphere that you are trying to create and the number of guests that you are going to have. For large events, you could consider something like the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre. You also have a range of spaces that can be great for an Auckland cocktail party at a large venue like the Aotea Centre. If you are looking to make an unforgettable impression, then you could consider venues like the Civic Theatre or the Auckland Town Hall.

Food & Beverage

For both cocktail parties and gala dinners, the food and beverages are an important point to consider. With a cocktail party, you are not serving a full meal, but you do want to make sure that guests do have some snacks to go with their drinks. For a gala dinner, there is the need to provide the full dinner, and in many cases, there should be snacks for before or after the meal.

Depending on the Auckland venue that you choose, there may be catering services available, but there is also the possibility of hiring a catering firm to handle drinks and food. Serving quality food and drinks will help to ensure that your event is viewed well, but you also have to consider the number of guests and make sure that you have an adequate supply. An experienced caterer should be able to help you plan the correct quantities for the number of guests that you expect.


With both of these types of events, entertainment is an expected part of the package. For a cocktail party, it can be a little simpler, but at a gala dinner, guests do generally expect a little more. At a cocktail party, some light music is generally the way to go. Since a big part of the purpose of the party is networking and talking, you don’t want anything that is going to be too distracting. Depending on the gala and the crowd that it is for, there could be music, speeches, a raffle or any number of entertainment ideas.


Many of these events will be themed, so this can be an important consideration. Not every event has to have a theme, but it can help to make an impression on the guests and it can also add an element of fun to the dinner or party. If you are considering a themed event, then you should try to focus many of your decisions around the theme. Consider which Auckland venue will play best to the theme, the type of entertainment that will best fit the theme and if there are any food and beverage choices that can enhance the event theme.

How to Host an Unmissable Cocktail Party or Gala Dinner in Auckland, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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