A passion for unique parties
Party planning is Shervonne Hollis’ passion.
For years friends and family asked her to organise their birthday parties and wedding showers.
“I didn’t charge for it in Bermuda,” she said. “I just did it for fun.”
When the pandemic happened last year she was doing administration work for small businesses. It was clear that another stream of revenue would be useful.
She set up Unique Global Events and Services offering live and virtual event planning services.
“It is the first of its kind locally to offer an end-to-end event planning business devoted to social, non-profit and corporate style events, focused on creative planning, immersive and unforgettable full scale event experiences,” Ms Hollis said.
She prides herself on creating, unique, out-of-the-box events.
Last summer, she bought a second-hand copy of E L James’ raunchy novel 50 Shades of Grey, for $1. Then she watched the movie.
“The movie was hot, hot, hot,” Ms Hollis said.
Inspired, she arranged a 50 Shades of Grey party.
“I went with the themes of dominance and submission,” she said. “People had to come to the party in pyjamas, even if they had to catch a cab.”
When people arrived they had to sign a non disclosure agreement promising that what happened in the room stayed in the room, and that no photographs of other partygoers would be taken.
“But it was not a trashy party,” she said. “It was fun, but not disrespectful.”
Handcuffs, chains and a paddle were used as party props.
She included a ‘wall of pain’ at the party, and local vendors sold adult toys, lingerie and other items. A masseuse talked with guests about romantic pressure points on the body.
“People really enjoyed it,” she said. “People are still asking today when we are going to have another party like that.”
She also followed Covid-19 protocols, taking temperatures and information for contact tracing.
For her own birthday, a few years ago, she held a murder mystery party at Cafe Lido at Elbow Beach.
“Everyone had a character,” she laughed. “And I made it look like there were drops of blood on the menu. It was interactive and the guests had to guess who the murderer was.”
She pivoted to virtual streaming last year after spearheading several domestic violence awareness online discussions.
That inspired her to hold virtual events during the pandemic.
“I can do live streaming, hybrid streaming,” she said. “I have always had technical skills. I tell people that we are social beings. However, you don’t have to stop your fun, but stay safe in the comfort of your home.”
She has also conducted numerous sip and paint virtual and in-person events and virtual birthday party events since last year.
Ms Hollis came to Bermuda from the Bahamas 20 years ago. Staying true to her roots, she organised a Boxing Day celebration for the Bahamas Association in Bermuda last December.
“In the Bahamas, we normally celebrate Junkanoo at that time, but last year there was no Junkanoo,” she said. “So I hosted a virtual party for Bahamians here. We had a virtual DJ from the Bahamas. Then we had live singing from a Bahamian group. We also had a Bahamians-only game.”
Ms Hollis is a good networker, and always tries to find the right DJs or videographers, but she likes to keep costs down by doing as much as possible herself.
This latest increase in Covid-19 cases has caused some of the live events she had scheduled to be cancelled or postponed.
“Some people appreciate the virtual side of things,” she said. “But other people want to be face to face and say hey guy, hey girl and take photos and things like that. You can still do that virtually but you still have to be creative in your thinking.”
Ms Hollis said she is the type of person who is always thinking of creative ways to accomplish a goal, or get around an obstacle.
"I love to learn,“ she said.
After every event she hands out a survey, asking guests what they liked and what she could do to improve.
“I am always open to constructive feed back,” she said. “We are always striving and thriving.”
The cost of her parties depends on the complexity.
And her work with clients always begins with a consultation to figure out their personalities and needs.
To book an event go to http://bit.ly/uniqueglobaleventsandservices. For information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or see Facebook @uniqueglobaleventsandservices.