Location: GC’s House

Theme for the Michaelmas Ball – Various ideas were suggested: a 1920s speakeasy with vintage food, the Great Gatsby on a projector, vintage cars, jazz; Cirque de Soleil which would give scope for indoor entertainment and be classier than a circus, potential for acrobats, mime artists, magician, fortune tellers, hoola hoops, contortionists, less restrictive than other themes, possible colours would be red, black and purple; Vegas, with each room themed around a hotel, but this would be difficult and expensive; Seven Deadly Sins, hard to find entertainment and too subtle; Mardi Gras/Carnival, very visual but wrong time of year.
Cirque de Soleil was chosen as the theme.

Ents – Focus on fairground, quotes had been received from JM (dodgems £1,700, candy floss £250, stalls £800, prizes for an extra £100) who could theme the stalls; Ents Web, whose delivery charges were too high and Corporate Funfairs, who have hosted events there previously but would be more expensive. GT offered 3 stalls for £400. A house of mirrors was deemed too large and expensive, and not visually impressive enough, but individual mirrors could be hired at a cost of £250 for 8. A ‘gypsy’ fortune teller could be hired for £300, with the suggestion of each person getting five minutes.

The dodgems were approved, with GC to check previous companies that had been used. A photobooth was also approved, and it was thought that last year the photobooth company had provided free candy-floss.
Other rides pose problems, carousels would be expensive, flow rides are a vomit risk, ferris wheels are slow and have limited capacity and as it would be dark the view would not be an advantage, helter skelters would not be popular in black tie. It was felt that something with a strong visual impact was needed to go with the dodgems.
Possibility of having performers outside while people wait, e.g. fire-eaters or jugglers.
Having the stalls outside would be a weather risk.
There was debate about food-stalls, since people will have had a five-course meal but the people with ents tickets (arriving at 9pm) might want some food, and people might enjoy something sweet, like candy floss or popcorn.

Music & Drinks Reception
It was felt that the best combination would be a cover band and student DJs, possibly with the band from 10-11:30 and the DJs afterwards.
CP said that TS would be able to provide a string quartet to play before people went into dinner, but this wouldn’t necessarily fit with the theme. It was felt that no music would really fit the theme, so it might be better to have performers mingling. A magician was suggested, with the view that he would be better performing during dinner but more expensive. HM was asked to get prices.

Table Ents
Mime artists. Magician (see Reception).
The idea of tweeting or texting notes was raised, but rejected as it was thought that this would encourage people to spend the meal on their phones. Instead note paper will be provided.
There was a feeling that something should be projected, possibly photos, but it was agreed that this was not a decision that had to be taken immediately.

Chill Out Area
This had been difficult to plan without a clear theme, but needed to encourage people to sit down. Possibly a cafe area with personalised cupcakes and doughnut towers, could also be the location of the fortune teller. We could use Hardwick’s furniture or provide our own.

Table decorations
Feather trees or balancing sweet boxes. Magic 8 balls would fit the theme but no-one was sure of the cost. Disposable cameras were popular, but would be too expensive for the JCR to develop, so people should take responsibility for them as a table. Houses of cards would fit the theme, especially tarot cards. The chandeliers could be draped with ribbons and the lighting should be ambient (up-lit walls).

Alumni would be invited and could possibly stay at Hardwick or floor space in Durham would be provided, this was also suggested for current livers-out who lived out of Durham. There would be different drop off points throughout Durham, not just at Brooks, but when people paid they would have to choose a pick up point. Cuth’s students would have priority for dinner tickets. People who applied in groups of 10 would be given priority for dinner tickets as they would be guaranteed to sit in that 10. It was also suggested that a system could be set up similar to the cinema ticket booking.

Music/Band – MF and CH
Save the Date Facebook Event – Mimi
Tag Line (Twitter puns) – SC
Teasers/Release Date/Bar Decorations/External Photographer – GC
Chill Out Area/Table Decorations – AG
Fairground Prices (for 2 rides, side stalls and food) – AS and JT
Photobooth – DM
Oktoberfest – beer has been ordered, posters are up, decorations are ready, everyone needs to be invited via Facebook. The bar will be set up at 11 on Saturday, which will also be the date of the next meeting. The Silent Disco will run until 12, CH is to organise a rota for it.
Halloween – 12 Toffee apples are available for 69p each, there may be a discount for bulk. 2 large pumpkins can be bought for £3. JT and DM are to continue organising and liaise with Shawnee. A Facebook event needs to be set up