Planning The Perfect Event Charter in Cannes
Corporate Yacht Charters are becoming more and more popular as international companies grow increasingly keen on having the extra edge over their competitors and maximising the company’s exposure throughout any chosen Cannes event. Hiring a luxury yacht berthed in the Port of Cannes, right outside the world famous Palais des Festivals is certainly going to make event delegates take notice as they walk along the Quay Albert Edouard looking for the best cocktail party to attend. Here branding is all important to stand out amongst the crowd and get the message across! What could be better than having your own exclusive floating venue to host meetings, discussion groups, TV interviews, elegant dinners and glamorous cocktail parties all in total privacy.
Charter Brokers at Bespoke Yacht Charter have over 20 years of experience organising event charters in Cannes and here we look at 5 key points on how to get the most out of the Cannes experience afloat.
1. Choosing The Right Yacht
With so many yachts available to charter the choice is often mind boggling, especially for a company’s first event. Our job is to ensure clients are on board the right yacht with the best crew and facilities to enhance their event exposure to ensure the best experience for the company and their guests.
Firstly, we ask clients to think about how many separate events will be hosted throughout the event on board the yacht, and to consider maximum guest numbers. Most yachts can host numbers in port way and above those they are permitted to cruise with. The majority of yachts can easily welcome 25-30 guests on board for cocktails with many welcoming 60 or more on board at any one time. Usually many more than this are invited to the larger cocktails and crew are trained in managing numbers to ensure the correct number of guests are on board at any one time whilst ensuring that VIP guests are never turned away. Planning and discussion with the broker, captain and key personnel is crucial in ensuring the smooth running of larger parties.
Secondly, budget is an important factor and when considering costs we ensure all of the associated costs are discussed in advance. Bearing in mind that once the yacht charter fee has been paid, everything else from bottled water to the DJ is in addition. Our brokers are experts in managing budgets and advise on how to best manage your budget for maximum effect. Sometimes this can mean taking a slightly older yacht, but we advise do not be put off! In so many cases the older yachts are the most seasoned when it comes to event charters, with the most experienced crew, used to welcoming on board large numbers of guests and often managing several events on board at the same time. They are used to having branding all over the place and are very happy for clients to totally transform the vessel to become their very own floating HQ in Cannes! Branding is often a far more effective way of maximising exposure and having impact than simply having the biggest, flashiest yacht! Although if budget is no object then of course maximum branding on the most spectacular yacht works well too!
Thirdly, clients need to think about which style of yacht best suits not just their on board requirements but also the feel of the company. Do they prefer a slick, funky yacht to represent a cutting edge bespoke style, to host smaller events, or are they looking for maximum deck space to host a formal seated dinner for 50 guests?
Once the possibilities become apparent, the original brief often changes and our brokers are there to be one step ahead all of the time, ready with answers and valuable opinions based on many years of experience to guide clients through the process to ensure they are on board the perfect yacht.
2. The Best Spot In Cannes Port
We highly recommend that clients book their yacht as early as possible in order to ensure the best position in the Port of Cannes. Berths are allocated by the port and on a first come, first served basis. On completion of the berth application forms, our brokers present, in person, each file to the port office and berths are offered based on firstly information being correct and secondly when the charter was confirmed. At MIPIM for example, which takes place in March almost all clients rebook for the following year during the event. MIPIM has more berth applications than the Cannes Film Festival and competition is fierce for the best berths! As yachts become more popular as event venues, every Cannes event is receiving more applications, especially Cannes Lions, where this year the number of yachts almost doubled and for Cannes Lions 2016 we expect to see another increase in yachts – so to ensure a berth right next to the Palais des Festivals in the best spot, our advice to to book early!
3. The Most Fabulous Food
Every yacht has its own talented on board private chef. However most yachts will ask that for larger events, caterers are used to compliment the chef, so they can concentrate on the overall running of the galley and to ensure guests sleeping on board and those hosting smaller intimate lunches etc. are looked after to the highest level. Over the years we have worked with many catering companies and have long established relationships with a range of specialist on board caterers. They will work with us and the client to design bespoke menus tailored to fit within budget without losing any of the wow factor! Used to the confines of a yacht’s galley, these flexible chefs are able to produce food of an incredibly high standard and keep your guests satisfied. One of the biggest headaches for crew during large events is storage, using outside caterers usually means they have additional space, refrigerated vans etc. so the yacht isn’t clogged up with too many ingredients, bottles etc. Top caterers as with any venue are worth their weight in gold in order to pull off a top class party!
4. Set The Perfect Mood With The Best Entertainment
We all remember the slightly dodgy school discos – this is not something clients want to replicate on board a luxury super yacht! So our advice again is to spend as much as possible, and if the budget is tight, then less is definitely more. We work with an array of entertainment providers, from string quartets to jazz bands, to singers, and of course top DJs. In addition to music, we can arrange magicians, a flair barman, beauty treatments – we once turned an entire yacht into a spa for a cosmetics company during one TFWA event. Most yachts have very good on board entertainment systems so for those on a smaller budget, bringing along an iPod/iPhone/MacBook is a great way of providing cool tunes throughout the day saving a DJ for the big cocktail event. Those with larger budgets may wish to install additional sound systems, AV equipment, screens, microphones and special effect lighting. Everything is possible and we are always happy to discuss with clients how to get the edge over the competition, especially as we are in Cannes for every single event and can share ideas from other events that perhaps hasn’t been thought of for another.
5. Cruising – After All, This Is A Yacht!
Cruising is not usually associated with Cannes event charters, however during several festivals, in particular Cannes Lions, cruising is becoming more and more important to clients. Instead of holding a private lunch for VIP guests on board the yacht in port, now clients want to be able to host these lunch meetings in total privacy at anchor! Add in a short cruise along the French Riviera coastline with a glass of champagne and as if by magic that elusive deal is done! Other clients host shore based events in St Tropez and want to use the yacht as not just a venue but transport too! Here things get competitive! Most yachts hosting event charters are able to cruise with a maximum of 12 guests. However, there are a handful of yachts which hold a special permit allowing them to cruise with more than this. This is done under strict license by the flag state and involves quite a bit of additional security red tape to adhere to so there are only a handful of yachts willing to go through this process. So having briefly discussed earlier the necessity to book early in order to secure a great berth, if clients wish to cruise with large numbers (up to 49 and one yacht 100!) then booking early takes on a new meaning! Please note that for the largest events such as MIPIM and Cannes Film Festival, it is not possible to cruise on any yacht due to the number of yachts squashed into the port, it’s not possible to leave again once they’re in until the end of the event. But for all others, cruising is becoming a very popular. During Cannes Lions for example, there is a tradition of hosting brunches at the beaches in St Tropez on the Thursday. Many yachts cruise down to Club 55 and Bagatelle and all race back to Cannes at the end of day, Captains and Crews joining in the fun of competition and everyone wanting to be first back in port!
To discuss chartering a yacht for an event in Cannes, please contact Bespoke Yacht Charter using the contact details below: