Any experience is only as good as the weakest element. It's not a hard concept to grasp. Which made last night's Salon QP event at the Saatchi Gallery utterly bizarre.
It was a great event. The opening evening reception was a very energetic but civilised affair. It lived up to the promise of a variety of Champagne cocktails (NB who knew that Champagne, Beefeater gin and thyme could be so refreshing), plentiful hors d'oeuvre and the opportunity to review some incredible watches.
So what went wrong. The gift bag. A gift bag should 'surprise and delight' or it's not worth doing. You have complete control over the guests last impression. That could be a final glass of Champagne, a great coat-check retrieval experience or, if you must, a great gift bag. But if that bag is not going to add anything to the experience then bin it. Save the money, save the tree, save the fingers of the poor intern who stuffed them.
But no. There was a gift bag and it was bizarre. Firstly, no one wants or needs brochures and flyers - you've probably got my email address send me a great thank you email the next day with links to the sponsors product sites. Secondly.....wait for it.....don't ever, ever, EVER, put in a packet of crisps. It wasn't even a new brand, not even a new flavour.
I spent the evening looking at £10000 plus watches and my final image was a packet of crisps.
Here's a tip event organisers. Do a final walk through of your event. Experience everything that your guest is about to, if there is a weak link. Get rid.
The contents of THE bag.