Before I begin, let me remind you of my background:
* I owned and co-ran a gaming company that held events for 10 – 500 people.
* I was guest director for local gaming convention, where I organized programming for the entire weekend for a few thousand people.
* I was Director of Education for Snug Harbor Cultural Center, where I created programming year round, including a month-long Halloween event that catered to 5,000 guests.
* I’m an intimacy specialist who has run workshops, events, parties and lectures both at conventions and in the private sector for over a decade.
* I worked for Nitecap Megastore, a rather large adult store on Staten Island, where I was a sex educator, ran workshops, and helped run parties and events.
* I’ve also worked for several other non-profits, organizing their Walks, Jambories, and Galas.
So I think it’s safe to say that I have some background in event planning.
One day, I get this e-mail:
Halloween Bacchanalia 2015
Mingle with the Gods for a sexy evening of drunken revelry!
One Year Lease Theater Company and the Museum of Sex are teaming up to bring you an unforgettable Halloween Bash!
Saturday, October 31st
9:00 pm – 1:00am
Prizes for the Best Costumes
Cocktails by Spring 44 (Complimentary from 9 to 10:30)
Light fare by Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room
Special Performances Including Cherry Pitz
Live Music by Kotorino
High-End Raffle Packages
VIP access to Museum of Sex Exhibitions
Tricks, Treats, and Much, Much More!
SPECIAL VIP PACKAGES:
$40 – Mingle with the Gods (General Admission)
$65 – Soar with Aphrodite Includes all of the Mingle with the Gods benefits plus:
Admission to the “Jump for Joy” Bouncy Castle
Museum of Sex Signature Elixir
Scandalous Party Favors
$125 – Indulge with Dionysus (All-Access VIP)
Includes all of the Soar with Aphrodite benefits plus:
VIP-only Burlesque Performance
VIP-only Martini Bar
Designated Servers to Cater to Your Every Whim
More Sinful Party Favors and Decadent Treats
Exclusive Admission to Spotlight on the Permanent Collection
Reserved Seating Area
Sounded interesting… but of course I had a couple of questions.
I received a response from one of their PR people:
Will there be someplace to check our coats?
-yes there is a customer paid coat check
Will VIP pass guests be getting a “goodie bag” at entry or departure?
-yes, before departure
Is there a schedule of events for the night?
-yes there is a band playing with set times, burlesque dancer two times during evening, and 2 set times for raffle ticket giveaways.
Is the martini bar and signature cocktails part of the VIP entry or are they cash bars?
-yes the signature cocktail and martini bar is part of VIP PACKAGE. There is also a cash bar.
kotorino – 9:30/11:30 sets
Raffle drawing at 12:30
Melissa Roth 9-12
General admission signature cocktails 9-10:30
Cherry Pitz – VIP performance (around 11)
pop up performances throughout the museum the rest of the night.
Sounded really good, right? I was all excited and giddy and couldn’t stop telling people about it. I bought an “Indulge with Dionysus” ticket, and I was raring to go.
What a disappointment.
Let’s review what they said was offered compared to what was actually offered.
Prizes for the Best Costumes: Nope, didn’t happen. At least, even though we were there until 12:45, no announcement was made, no competition happened, and my friend Craig, who was wearing this
wasn’t told about it at all. Because obviously he wouldn’t be interested in that.
Cocktails by Spring 44 (Complimentary from 9 to 10:30): Was never offered any free cocktails from 9-10:30. I was offered cider; I don’t know if that was the ‘cocktail’, but in the real world, it’s not.
Light fare by Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room: The ‘fare’ was OK. Fried mushrooms (or olives, I’m not sure which), cold cuts, fruit. Problem was, it was situated in the far corner of the hot, crowded basement area by the bar. So, basically it was inaccessible.
Special Performances Including Cherry Pitz: No idea which band they were. No announcements were made at all. In fact, there was no program, no printed timetable or map or anything to let anyone know what was going on.
Live Music by Kotorino: Again, I don’t know who they were, but then the VIPs didn’t seem to get told when anything was going on or where anyone was located.
High-End Raffle Packages: They were OK, and cost $5 a ticket or 5 for $20. I wasn’t really blown away with them. I thought they would be more… I dunno… sexual. Not massages and dinners and eyebrow shaping.
VIP access to Museum of Sex Exhibitions: One exhibition. We weren’t allowed any higher than the first floor of the exhibits. The other floors were corded off.
Admission to the “Jump for Joy” Bouncy Castle: That sounds like a lot of fun, right? The pictures of the bouncy house that I’ve seen showed four or five people having a grand old time with the blown up boobies. Not a bad plan. We get there and are told that only two people are allowed at a time in it. Since Craig was dressed as he was… I was by myself in the bouncy house. Woo. Hoo.
Scandalous Party Favors: Only received one, which we had to run around the museum to find. It was a Karma Sutra lube, which has a whopping retail value of $7.99, but which I’m sure the MoS received gratis. We were told there was also chocolate body paint (when I told the woman we never received it, she told us it was really nice. She didn’t go get it for us or anything, and we were too tired and annoyed to go once again in search of another inexpensive ($8.99) item) That was it.
VIP-only Burlesque Performance: When I see “Burlesque Performance”I think of shows like those that the White Elephant Burlesque Society and RKO Army do. This was one woman, who was quite lovely, who danced downstairs in the main area in pasties and a G-string, and then upstairs, at the VIP performance, put her clothes on and took them off to reveal pasties and a G-string. The performance was all of three minutes long. And that was the VIP Burlesque Performance.
VIP-only Martini Bar: I can’t say much about that except that way too much alcohol was used in the drink, making the taste rather horrible, and it was set up in a really awkward location in the “VIP area”.
Designated Servers to Cater to Your Every Whim: Not true. Two ladies later in the evening were walking around the VIP area with trays that had the same stuff as downstairs on it, along with chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate bars. That was it. One of Craig’s “whims” was to have a coke. He was told he had to go down to the basement to get that.
More Sinful Party Favors and Decadent Treats: Nope.
Exclusive Admission to Spotlight on the Permanent Collection: I still have no idea what that means. Were they talking about the room we were all standing in from time to time? We were never given a map of the event or what was what.
Reserved Seating Area: This is the biggest farce of them all. Why? THERE WERE NO RESERVED SEATS. Anywhere. Not a seat to be had unless you squeezed your VIP butt into the “common area” downstairs and forced yourself onto a couch with five drunken college kids. Of course, that wouldn’t be “reserved” anything. The only seating I was able to get was outside on a window ledge.
Will there be someplace to check our coats? Yes there is a customer paid coat check: This was true.
Will VIP pass guests be getting a “goodie bag” at entry or departure? Yes, before departure: No goodie bag, not during departure. And not without the feeling of having to pull teeth to get the little that we got.
Is there a schedule of events for the night? Yes there is a band playing with set times, burlesque dancer two times during evening, and 2 set times for raffle ticket give aways: Too bad no announcements were made for any of these events.
Is the martini bar and signature cocktails part of the VIP entry or are they cash bars? Yes the signature cocktail and martini bar is part of VIP PACKAGE. There is also a cash bar: I already spoke of this.
kotorino – 9:30/11:30 sets: I guess this was accurate. No announcements were made about who we were listening to.
Raffle drawing at 12:30: Inaccurate. We were there until 12:45 and nothing happened. No announcements were made about when it was actually going to happen.
Melissa Roth 9-12: I’m assuming she was the burlesque dancer…?
General admission signature cocktails 9-10:30: Reviewed above.
Cherry Pitz – VIP performance (around 11): Never saw them, was never told a performance was going on, no announcements were made.
pop up performances throughout the museum the rest of the night: None that I saw.
Needless to say, the evening was rather a disappointment. Calling this event a bacchanal was seriously inaccurate. Now I’m sure someone that doesn’t have the professional background that I have may have seen little to nothing wrong with this event, but to me, this was a poorly organized, over-priced for what was offered, unduly hyped event.
I think from now on I’ll leave the tourist traps to the tourists and spend my future Halloweens watching movies and eating candy corn.
I don’t think I need to explain why.by