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- Event Consultation
This is the best way to kick-start the preparations for your event on the French Riviera. Talking to Peter will be the first step to putting the full potential of the French Riviera within your grasp. Peter has built up an enormous network of personal relationships to cover all aspects of event planning. If we can't help you directly, we're sure to be able to put you in touch with someone who can. Ask for his thoughts on venues, ideas for entertainment or recommendations for specialist event professionals like wedding planners, caterers or florists. Discuss your vision to get an indication of how feasible your project is in this region. The initial fee is for a one hour session to evaluate your project. It can easily be upgraded to any of our full event services.
- Entertainment Brainstorm
This is the best starting point for any entertainment project on the French Riviera or beyond. Our experts have an exceptional knowledge of the very best local options, plus an extensive international network, meaning we can recommend the very best options in different price brackets. Talk to us as well about creating bespoke entertainment programmes, unique scenarios or theming. Each conversation will be followed up with a detailed quote with personal recommendations, photos and videos. The initial fee is for a one hour session to evaluate your project. It can easily be upgraded to any of our full event services.
- Production Services
This is a detailed discussion to establish a clear technical brief, so that we can start working on accurate quotes and plans. This will include an analysis of what equipment is needed for your event, taking into account the venue and the entertainment programme. We'll also look into the crew requirements and transport logistics. This is an initial 1 hour evaluation which will be followed up by a provisional budget estimate, based on the information we have to hand. We may need to plan in a site visit before confirming the prices.
- Together We Care
Imagine a more virtuous event industry promoting eco-friendly events ... From crisis comes opportunity The suspension of events during the current pandemic may just be the spark to transform the way events are planned in the future. No one could have imagined the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on health or the economy, but, for us at Riviera Organisation, it’s given us all an opportunity to challenge what really is a necessity and to reflect on how we can do things better. As event professionals, we can act together to make a difference and, moving forward, we have a duty do things differently. The good news is that it’s not as daunting as we’d think. Revolutions start with a whisper, so right now, we just need to change our mindset and begin the journey. As the event industry moves into the next stage of its post Covid-19 development, now is the perfect time to make a fresh start. There are many ways that our approach to planning events can make a real difference. By encouraging those around us to do the same, collectively we have the potential to make the world a better, safer, healthier and brighter place. It’s about time! Reduce transport – Are all the journeys really necessary? The single biggest carbon footprint from events comes from transport, so here is where we can all make the most important difference. Cutting out unnecessary journeys, optimising deliveries, staff car-sharing and using electric vehicles can reduce up to 80% of an event’s carbon footprint. (www.ademe.fr ) The paradox of events on the French Riviera is that, by its very nature, people travel hundreds, sometimes thousands of kilometres to be here. All the more reason to be conscious of our carbon footprint and engage with reputable airlines or register with a recognised carbon offset project. Covering our carbon footprint is a minimum requirement. At the very least we should leave the planet in the same state as when we found it. (https://www.goodplanet.org/fr/calculateurs-carbone/evenement/) Yet, there are still many opportunities to cut out unnecessary journeys. Using local options for entertainment, production, catering and flowers means less flights, less lorries crossing the country, less refrigerated vans. It will also mean a more local and seasonal flavour to your event. Saving energy – a fresher option A large part of energy consumption is, of course, linked to transport (see point 1) but there’s also the power consumed during the event itself. LED lighting has successfully challenged traditional lights for quality which means everybody wins. Lower power consumption means lower costs and less pressure on the existing electricity circuits (and so less likely the need to bring in a generator). The bulbs also last longer meaning lower maintenance costs and less waste. Even, if a generator is needed, there’s now a new generation that can use a different type of fuel. Natural gas is so much cleaner, safer, and quieter that diesel should no longer be considered. All responsible generator suppliers will now, at the very least, offer a hybrid solution. For a company based on the French Riviera, you would have thought that solar powered generators would be the obvious choice. It’s not perfect as there is still an environmental impact of manufacturing the panels and the batteries. Yet, it’s still much better than the diesel option and it will become more common in the future. Certainly, there is an enormous potential for reusable energy within the events industry. For example, there are already new types of loudspeakers charged entirely by free energy from the sun - not just the speakers, but also the entire sound desk. It’s something to look out for and embrace as more solutions become available. What if we simply just use less power? Considerable energy savings can be made by scaling down the technical riders. Of course, the band will want the biggest sound system and the best lighting, but usually there's a sensible compromise with a more practical energy budget. Let’s communicate what energy is available and analyse realistically what is needed, then we can work together with the production team to find the best possible solution. Electric vehicles are coming of age. With increased autonomy, more powerful engines and plenty of charging stations, the perennial objections no longer apply. Research has shown that electric cars are better for the environment. They emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their lifespan than a petrol or diesel car. This is even after the production of the vehicle and the generation of the electricity required to fuel them is considered. The single most positive impact anyone can make on the environment is not to have a car at all, but, if the journey has to be made, it’s so much better to use electric or hybrid vehicles. (https://www.edfenergy.com/for-home/energywise/electric-cars-and-environment) Think local The French Riviera has a wealth of resources for the events industry, so why not take advantage of them? Not only will it save time and money, but it’s so much eco-friendlier. The benefits of optimizing transport have already been discussed, but this can be taken to another level with remote meetings via Zoom, using local crew and support staff instead of flying people in, sourcing the audio visual equipment from nearby rather than transporting lorries across the country, and prioritising the Riviera’s finest talent rather than flying performers in. Engaging a trusted local event partner, like Riviera Organisation, is one of the easiest steps you can take to ensure that your event will make sense. Doing so will guarantee synergies amongst all partners involved and save you time and money throughout the entire planning process. Sustainable decoration – avoid single use Events, by their very nature, are unique and ephemeral, but this doesn’t mean they have to be irresponsible. Single-use structures and one-off design accessories need to be completely rethought. « Upcycling » is becoming increasingly popular adding new value to objects that would have otherwise been thrown away. It makes sense for all furniture, bars, staging and design elements to be rented or re-used. The final personal touches can be added intelligently, then a fresh coat of paint can give a new lease of life. Some reusable materials like natural wood finishes are becoming more fashionable. Reusable or biodegradable fabrics can be used to create a natural yet elegant style. It’s all about the imagination of the event designer. Carpets are perhaps the biggest culprit of all! Do we really need to use as much? In 2019, over 6 million square metres of carpet was used at trade fairs in France – only 8% was recycled! The Cannes Film Festival is now leading the way following an outcry over the amount of red carpet wasted for its famous steps. Now, all carpet used during the festival is recycled or re-used. This proves it is possible, even if recyclable carpet is still under-utilised at events in France. Even so, there are alternative options, like renting better quality reusable carpet tiles or durable mats … or offering heel protectors to all ladies rather than carpeting entire pathways of gravel. Let’s challenge those creative event designers to be even more creative! https://www.zerowastefrance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/rapport-moquette-zwfrance.pdf Minimise waste – less is more The standard of catering is a sign of prestige and affluence in France, but the amount of food that is left over at the end of an event is disturbing. Health regulations prevent it being redistributed, yet what is thrown away would feed a family for weeks. More is not necessarily better. Could having nothing left at the end of an event become more socially respectable than throwing good food away? Sure – most of the food is bio-degradable so this is not the biggest concern. Many local caterers have put into place CSG standards and should be commended for having taken great steps towards eco-friendly events. Others are just at the beginning of their journey. What about sourcing locally produced products or ecologically certified produce rather than food flown in from far afield. The French Riviera offers a variety of local delicacies, and as an added bonus, seasonal products abound with flavours. Many caterers now also offer delicious vegetarian and vegan options fit for even the most refined of pallets. Water should be a minimum requirement for all staff working at events, especially in the heat of the Riviera summer, but providing unlimited plastic bottles is clearly not in line with today’s way of thinking. A mobile water fountain makes much more sense, with reusable gourds or bio-degradable cups. Tap water with a mobile filtering system would be even better. Worse still are the lavishly packaged staff trays! Yes, they look good and taste good, but so much is thrown away. That’s not just the printed packaging but the metal utensils and real glasses – all put into giant bin bags with no chance of recycling. Multiply this by every staff member at every event they cater for and the result is astonishing. The clients or event organisers should not accept this. A self-service buffet with reusable plates, glasses and utensils is such an obvious alternative. Waste management should be on every event planner’s checklist and not just left to chance. In most parts of the world, including Paris, there are certified companies who specialise in coming in after events and treating waste. Yes, it’s an additional cost to the client but it’s also their responsibility, and there are so many areas where managing waste can even save money. (https://www.zerowastefrance.org/en/project/zero-waste-events/) Fireworks aren’t the only wow factor As the colours and shapes explode in the sky like a work of art, it’s easy to appreciate the impact fireworks have to bring a spectacular celebration to a climax. Though spare a thought for the many chemicals and small minerals released into the air. What about the leftover particles that fall to the ground that pollute the forests and the sea posing a risk to both wildlife and humans? The loud sounds can also cause fear, stress and anxiety in animals. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlscientist/2019/12/31/festive-fireworks-create-harmful-pall-of-pollution/) These days, most reputable fireworks companies are taking steps to cover their own carbon footprint, but aren’t fireworks a little last century? After the initial squeals of delight, hasn’t it all been seen before? There are so many other ways to bring an event to a climax. Laser shows, light shows, and aerial drone shows may consume electricity and they are admittedly a temporary source of light pollution, but they are by far an eco-friendlier choice than traditional fireworks. Creative music or artistic performances can generate joy and excitement, that will be remembered years after the fireworks are forgotten. There’s something about the human connection and real emotions that can’t be built in a factory! What about a video mapping performance? It’s so much more original and personal. It can have a much more powerful impact without having to move guests to the best viewpoint. It can be used to tell your own story with a kaleidoscope of colour and an array of personalised graphics and special effects, including an intensive digital fireworks display? The financial cost is not necessarily more than a traditional fireworks display, but the environmental cost is incomparable. https://www.rivieraorganisation.com/post/wow-factor Reduce printing – let’s embrace the new technology Do we really need all those printed signs, especially when video screens or mounted iPads are a perfectly viable alternative option? What about invitations, ticketing or information? How much of this can be done digitally? There will be a new trend moving forward of hybrid events or “phygital” events. This is the creative merging of physical meetings with digital experiences, where “on-site” meets “on-line”. Printed signage will soon seem so last decade! Even if the printing is essential, shouldn’t we be prioritising recyclable materials and vegetal inks? Perhaps with just minor tweaks the printed material can be used again at several events! What about those printed T-shirts, jackets and staff badges? These should no longer be discarded as a consumable object, when they can be collected after an event and re-used. Making staff clothing from ecologically certified cotton should now be the norm. Regular freelance staff should have their own supply of company-branded attire that they bring with them to each event. It’s common sense, but it still needs managing sensibly to avoid unnecessary waste and costs. Thoughtful gifts It’s customary to give away souvenirs or goodie bags at the end of an event, yet many of them are pointless publicity items that get stored away or, at worse, thrown away without being used at all. The obvious solution here is to make gifts relevant and useful, and, wherever possible, to make them eco-friendly. Why not think beyond disposable objects? Local produce like honey, olive oil or other regional delicacies in a glass jar are unlikely to be wasted, while you’re also supporting the local community and offering something with a relevance to the region. Otherwise, what about non-physical gifts like online vouchers, tickets to a local experience or digital photos and videos from the event? Oh, and beware the trend for cotton gift bags. You may think that they are eco-friendlier than their plastic counterparts, but research has shown that they need to be used several thousand times before having a lower environmental footprint! https://www.zerowastefrance.org/noffrez-plus-de-sacs-en-coton/ Good housekeeping - Treat the planet as your home So much progress can be made just using common sense as you would at home. You would think it would be a case of good housekeeping. If, as a guest, you use someone else’s facilities, you would be sure to make sure they were in the same state as when you found them - that’s common courtesy. As event professionals, we have to do inventories at the beginning of each event, and it’s our responsibility to return the site as we found it - that’s common sense, otherwise we bring it on ourselves to organise appropriate cleaning, repairs and waste collection. Why don’t we take on the same responsibility to the wider environment? At home, you would turn electrical items off when they are not being used so sure the same rules should apply in events, especially lighting of whole zones outside once guests have moved inside! It’s common practise for households to sort through their rubbish and dispose of everything in separate bins to maximise the potential of reuse and recycling. Not having enough time is not an excuse for not doing the same at our events. If only everyone applied the same principles to their behaviour at events as they would in their daily life, then already so much progress would be made! Eco-Synergy - prioritise likeminded partners and venues Of course, it’s so much easier if everyone is on the same wavelength with the same principles and goals. This is why, at Riviera Organisation, we’re building up a community of conscientious event planners who share our values and we prioritise event partners who are genuinely committed to making a difference. This adds value way beyond each and every event. The reputation of the whole region and industry benefits from more responsible planning. Collectively everyone wins and slowly the world becomes a better place. www.rivieraorganisation.com Voluntary donations The airlines do it, the major shops do it, so why shouldn’t we? We’re in touch with many privileged people with the means to make a real difference. We have the potential to encourage them to channel support easily and constructively to eco-friendly and social projects. By giving clients the option to round up budgets to the next €100, €500 or €1000 means offsetting their ecological footprint and contributing to a charity foundation planting trees around the world and supporting under-privileged communities. Reputable charities like www.goodplanet.org are making it easy for us all to get involved in worthwhile projects that are making a difference. It adds purpose and value to our events and our industry knowing that our work is making the world a better place. For example, at Riviera Organisation, we have planted a tree for every client we’ve had in our 30-year history. That’s now over 5000 trees - a mini forest generating a breath of fresh air every single day. https://trees.org So, why aren’t we already doing it? Without wanting to discredit the many companies who take eco-friendly events and sustainability seriously, it’s fair to say that the industry has built up a reputation for having an irresponsible attitude to the environment. It’s almost as if we have allowed ourselves to be exempt from common sense. In our quest to show ourselves as bigger, better, richer, and more successful, fortunes are spent on food, constructions and items that just get thrown away. Somewhere along the way, the event industry has lost touch with real values. This imposed break resulting from COVID-19, although tragic in many ways, is a golden opportunity. It’s a chance for all event professionals to reflect on our errors of judgement in the past, to change our mindset, and to eliminate our unsustainable ways of going about business as usual in a fragile world. Yet, we are still faced with the same resistance and excuses. Surely, in this day and age, these can no longer be acceptable: Budget – the client won’t want to pay for more expensive eco-friendly options Of course, there is a cost to some of these measures, although most of these can be offset by savings made elsewhere. There are significant gains to be made from reducing unnecessary transport, sourcing local partners, renting or reusing furniture, carpets and design elements, reducing superfluous foods or flowers that end up going to waste, or replacing physical signs with digital screens. It’s more about managing than increasing costs and, as event professionals, we can help with that. In any case, our view is that if something needs to be done, it should be done professionally, legally and responsibly. Cutting corners means taking risks, exploiting others to our advantage or making someone else pay. Why should the less privileged and the planet pay for our irresponsible management? The true cost should be factored into all budgets right from the outset. Time – it’s too time consuming to research or implement alternative methods Sometimes planning events may seem like a black hole eating up whatever time is available and more, but this is not an excuse. Planning eco-friendly and socially responsible events using a trusted local events company will be time efficient. You should be able to reduce your own on-site visits and production meetings, especially if you prioritise remote meetings and video conference calls. Tapping into a fully functional local network will save endless planning time with tried-and-tested logistics already in place, using a team who already know the venue and all its challenges and how best to integrate with the wider event team. Health & Safety - using eco-friendly materials is a fire hazard Security is paramount at every event, but there’s no reason why this should be any more complicated with an eco-friendly approach. Thankfully, the industry is developed enough to have a full range of certified eco-friendly materials. Like everything else, it’s about careful planning, checking all materials in advance and making sure that everything is done responsibly. Quality – local services aren’t as good as the one’s I can fly in We all prefer using the services that we know and trust, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are better. The main reason for not using local suppliers is a lack of detailed knowledge and confidence in exactly what you will be getting. This is where your local event partner steps in, and they will be able to reassure you on the quality and other advantages of using local services. Of course, in some cases, you may not find exactly what you were expecting in this region, and there may be “better” alternatives elsewhere. However, if the client chooses to host their event on the French Riviera, doesn’t it make sense to have a local flavour running through the entire experience? Ignorance - I didn’t know there was an alternative Perhaps the biggest oversight is not communicating the importance of sustainable events and explaining clearly what each and every one of us can do to make a difference. I’m convinced that every client and every guest would make more of an effort if they could just understand what they could do, and why it’s so important. Conclusion: The world needs events, they’ve been with us since the beginning of time. We need the event industry more than ever to connect and to rebuild the world as a community post COVID-19. More importantly, the world needs the events industry to think and act sensibly. Think less (less transport, less waste, less energy), think remote, think local, think responsible, and most importantly, think beyond the event itself. Today, on World Environment Day, we are calling on our event partners to imagine a more virtuous events industry, and to join us in our quest to make the French Riviera a region that cares on every level. We’re also reaching out to a new generation of event professionals who share our vision of values. Together, we can make a difference. Eco-friendly and socially responsible events are not an option or an after-thought, they are a way of thinking throughout the entire planning process. Covering our footprints is a minimum requirement not a goal. How we can use our events to create value to benefit the wider community and the environment is something collectively we can all be proud of! With thanks to Comeeti for their inspirational and insightful Eco-Friendly events guide (in French)
- 12 Stunning Venues
Peter Mackley takes us on a tour of twelve of the French Riviera’s most stunning venues, with a personal view on why each one is special. You can contact him here for a free personalised recommendation for your own event. VILLA EPHRUSSI DE ROTHSCHILD For first impressions, nothing can beat the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Most private parties start with a saunter through the Spanish and Florentine gardens, then a view over the Bay Of Villefranche which TripAdvisor once rated as the most beautiful on the planet. Then, the event experience just gets better! The first view of the French Gardens and the magnificent Italian-styled palace is taken onto another level with the villa’s own dancing fountains. Add some live music, and I defy anyone not to have goose-pimples. The Villa has a serene yet sophisticated energy and as the sun goes down the whole setting comes alive with the most beautiful lighting. The venue lends itself to the most spectacular shows - some personal favourites are the bespoke video-mapping or the mesmerising “flying moon” heliosphere. Even better than watching the shows is watching the reactions of the guests who are experiencing them for the first time. Tip: Take your time to savour dinner in the French gardens. Some clients have a tendency to want to rush this to get on with the party - but it has to be one of the most amazing settings in the world so enjoy every moment. Fact: Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild was an eccentric lover of art and she filled the mansion with antiques furniture, old master painters, sculptures, and extension collection of rare porcelain. Among her collection is a games table that once belonged to Marie Antoinette, and a rug commissioned by Louis 14th. Riviera Organisation is an official events partner with the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and you can visit our dedicated events website for this venue here. CHATEAU DE LA NAPOULE This is magnificent castle right on the water’s edge near Cannes, and it has a completely different vibe to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild even though both make it to the short list of many clients. Its main purpose is as an Arts Foundation, and the vibe is much more cultured and relaxed. It makes sense to discover the beauty of the castle zone per zone. For example, for wedding ceremonies, there’s a hidden garden around the back then take the long walk round to take in the full splendour of the setting. The back terrace overlooking the sea has the most amazing view of the bay of Cannes, especially at sunset and then dinner in the courtyard in full view of the towers. The castle lends itself to a number of themes for corporate events - a Taste of Provence, or a Medieval Tale are a couple of popular ones. A personal favourite is when we have opera singers disguised as the castles most famous owners, Marie & Henry Clews. They’ll welcome guests with lots of fun facts about the venue, then later during dinner, they’ll reveal themselves as superb singers. Tip: For corporate events or for glamorous weddings, we can project a logo or emblem onto one of the towers. Fact: The castle was originally constructed in the 14th century, but it has been rebuilt several times. In the 19th century, it was actually a glass factory before being purchased by the Americans, Henry & Marie Clews who restored the castle to how we know it today. CHATEAU DE CASTELLARAS If I was to choose a venue for a personal celebration on the French Riviera then it would definitely be here at the Chateau de Castellaras. Sure, it’s close to my home and office, but there are many more reasons why this has always been my favourite. It has a more intimate, personal vibe compared to some of its more illustrious competitors, and events just flow seamlessly from one zone to the next. Often, we’ve organised events on national bank holidays and you can see the firework’s displays simultaneously across the entire Riviera, including the 30-minute extravaganza in Cannes. The view stretches along the entire Côte d’Azur with the perched village of Mougins in the foreground. It’s a popular choice for both private and corporate events. The Lord of The Rings launch party was held here once during the Cannes Film Festival. For weddings, there’s even a small chapel on-site for the ceremony, and 18 charming rooms where guests can stay. Tip: There are some stylish marquees from local companies that complement the castle perfectly. It’s like have one stunning venue inside another. Fact: The chateau was built in less than a year in the 1920’s. The architect, Jaques Couëlle, took inspiration from assembled architectural elements from the 12th, 15th and 16th centuries. LE BEAUVALLON I’ve seen my fair share of stunning venues, but Le Beauvallon blew me away right from my first visit. It’s the last remaining Belle Epoque building in the St Tropez area, and now completely renovated with such impeccable taste and attention to detail. The owner has collected together the most incredible art collection and the theme of contemporary beauty with a backdrop of timeless elegance runs through the entire venue. I also really appreciate the owner’s commitment to eco-friendly events, so everything that happens at Beauvallon considers our wider responsibility to the environment. The venue can accommodate up to 88 guests in 44 suites and rooms, so it’s ideal for those celebrations where privacy and discretion are paramount - and there can be a different style to the celebrations every day: a welcome drink on the North terrace, a gala dinner in the ball room, brunch by the pool … and how about clubbing in the famous Ito Pavillion, which is itself a work of art. On-site, there’s a gym, a cinema and even a dedicated karaoke room with plenty of accessories including real instruments. It’s impossible to get bored, but if you do - St Tropez with all its beaches, watersports and glitzy nightlife is just a short drive away. Tip: You won't regret arranging a fireworks display. There is a perfect viewing point down at the beach club. The fireworks will illuminate the skies above the bay of St Tropez with the iconic village twinkling in the background. Fact: The summer pavilion is designed by the Pritzker prize-winning Japanese architect Toyo Ito with Cecil Balmond. BELLES RIVES This for me is the true French Riviera experience, and the perfect setting to party in style. The Hotel Belles Rives is an art-deco hotel in the style of the classic French Riviera Belle Epoque, perched right on the water’s edge. It’s the perfect setting for a ceremony, a drinks reception by the sea, dining under the stars and dancing in the moonlight! It takes pride of its illustrious past including the association with F. Scott Fitzgerald, the writer of Great Gatsby. I’ve lost count of how many Belle Epoque and Gatsby themed parties I’ve seen here. It’s always a challenge getting everything set-up and ready for a party as it’s busy by day for the resident sun tanners and water-skiers, but I can’t think of a better location to party in style right by the sea. Tip: Check the dates of the Juan Les Pins jazz festival. Even if it makes the deliveries and logistics a little more complicated, it’s worth savouring the music by the stage of Le Pinede, which over the years has celebrated some of music’s most illustrious stars while uncovering some unknown gems. Fact: F Scott Fitzgerald made the Belles Rives his home in the 1920’s and it’s here where he took inspiration for many of his masterpieces. He also hosted many illustrious parties inviting celebrities from around the world for nights of champagne and extravagance. It’s F. Scott Fitzgerald who is credited with turning Juan Les Pins, and in some ways, the French Riviera into such a fashionable destination during the Belle Epoque period. CHEVRE D’OR It seems like the term “spectacular views” is over-used when talking about venues on the French Riviera, but it’s difficult to find a superlative that does enough justice to the breath-taking setting of the Chèvre d’Or. First of all, the village of Eze is itself a jewel of the Riviera, a beautiful perched village that’s just a stone’s through from Monaco - and what a contrast. As for the venue itself, it’s a refined luxury hotel with a 2 Michelin-starred restaurant, lush fragrant gardens and, I have to say it again, the most amazing views. It’s almost criminal not to visit Le Chèvre d’Or at some point during your visit to the French Riviera. As for events here, it’s difficult to think of a better setting for a wedding ceremony anywhere, followed by drinks on the panoramic terrace then dinner either in the gastronomic restaurant or on the terrace, Les Remparts. Take your pick. Tip: For musical entertainment, we recommend one of our acoustic strolling bands. They have the repertoire and the vibe to complement each stage of the event without intefering with the hotel’s strict music policy. Fact: The view stretches to the Italian Riviera on the east, and to the peninsulas just past St Tropez on the west. On a clear day, you can see as far as Corsica. SALLE EMPIRE The recent renovations of the celebrated Hotel de Paris are stunning, and the famous old building is now immaculate standing proudly over the newly restyled Casino Square - and that’s just the outside. Inside the Salle Empire is the most ornately decorated room on the Riviera with such precision and detail that it’s like sitting in a work of art. Of course, many of Monaco’s most glamorous events are held right here in the presence of Monagasque dignitaries and celebrities, and it’s the first choice for gala dinners for corporate events in the Principality. It is possible to host your own private casino here as a taster for visiting the most famous casino in Europe right after. Tip: For something truly exceptional, we can propose the most exquisite indoor mapping show that highlights all the beauty of the venue and traces all the minute details. Fact: Several James Bond movies have been filmed here, it’s a popular choice for Bond style themed events and all the drama that goes with them. CAP ESTEL Cap Estel is a five-star hotel 10 minutes away from Monaco and Nice. It’s hidden away on the water’s edge which gives it a very exclusive luxury feel. It’s the only venue I know where you can get married on a chess board! How symbolic could that be? It’s a beautiful mini peninsula with water on three sides and lush botanical gardens. Its family owned and retains its homely feel. It’s like hosting an event in your own billion-dollar luxury mansion. Cap Estel is truly a unique experience. It’s difficult to imagine this level of luxury and privacy right on the water’s edge so close to Monaco. Tip: If you can privatise the whole venue, your event experience will be transformed. Firstly, there will be so much more potential to what you can do, but more importantly, it will feel like you are inviting guests into your own home. Fact: The Beatles often resided at Cap Estel. Paul McCartney used to play his acoustic guitar by the pool. Inspired by the magical surroundings, they wrote one of their most famous songs “Michelle” during one of their stays at Cap Estel. CHATEAU DITER There’s no guarantee that Chateau Diter will still be hosting events by the time you read this, but, for the time-being, it’s still defiantly hosting the most illustrious parties despite a high-profile court case that is ordering its demolition. The venue is a spectacular Tuscan Renaissance-style villa estimated to be worth €57M. It’s been built up from nothing by a French architect, Patrick Diter, inspired both most grandiose Italian palaces. It’s hidden away on the outskirts of Grasse, so it’s quite a trek getting there - but wow, it’s worth the journey. For events, you’re spoilt for choice with so many splendid zones. The challenge is somehow guiding guests through all of them. There are several beautiful renaissance influenced gardens and a permanent Orangerie marquee for dining. Loud music will have to be inside, to avoid disturbing the volatile neighbours but that’s the case with most venues these days. Tip: The advice is to get in there quick while you still can. It might not be around for much longer. Fact: Some of the sights might seem familiar from the controversial Sky TV "Riviera" series telling some of the darker sides of the region, but this probably fits well as, like the venue, many of the parties here have been decadent and ostentatious. MONT LEUZE When I first worked at the site now known as Mont Leuze, it was still the Canadian University. Now it’s been restyled as an immaculate venue perched high on the Grande Corniche, so you’ll feel on top of the world overlooking the beautiful bay of Villefranche and surrounding locations. There are 3 terraces, each with a different charm, so it’s important to include all of them in the event experience. The Vista terrace is ideal for a wedding ceremony, the Terrazzita lends itself for welcome drinks or cocktails, and the suitably named “Roof of the World” can seat up to 400 guests for dinner. Mont Leuze has managed to maintain a homely feel, so somehow, you’ll feel like you are inviting friends to your own property even if it is just for a weekend. Tip: You’ll want to add some lighting if you’re dining outside on the terrace, and our festoon “stringed” lights will work a treat. SALLE DES ETOILES The iconic Salles des Etoiles is, without doubt, the most prestigious venue for events in Monaco and on the French Riviera. The “room of the stars” has hosted most of the world’s most famous celebrities in some capacity. For many years it was the home of the World Music Awards, and now it hosts the Summer Sporting Festival every year with an impressive line-up of music talent covering many different genres over 2 months. It’s also the venue for Monaco’s most extravagant fund raisers like the Bay de la Rose or the Monaco Red Cross Ball. It’s defining feature is is roof which can open-up in minutes, so all of a sudden, you’re literally dining under the stars or watching the skies light up with a huge fireworks extravaganza. The stars on stage mix with the stars in the sky Tip: Monaco’s most famous nightclub Jimmy’z is in the same building, so any partying can be extended through to the following morning - but make sure you book your table in advance. Fact: The first celebrity to perform at the Salles des Etoiles was Josephine Baker in 1974. This year, all being well, there’s be performances from legendary groups Simple Minds and the Black-Eyed Peas. NEGRESCO The Negresco is, for many, the defining symbol of the Cote d’Azur - an iconic Belle Epoque building which symbolises the Golden Age of the French Riviera. It was also the venue of from of my favourite events from the hundreds I’ve been involved in when we brought over one of my childhood heroes, Roger Daltrey, to perform for a private birthday party. The venue has the most beautiful ballroom, that some say was designed by Gustave Eiffel himself, and several adjacent function rooms meaning it can adapt to different needs. It also houses an impressive art collection built up by its recent owner Jeanne Augier. As one of my clients said recently, “it’s like dining in an art gallery”. The creator of this iconic Riviera landmark, Henri Negresco, was actually Romanian. He built the hotel in 1912 to attract the wealthiest of clients to the nearby casino. Tip: The main ballroom with its huge glass dome is beautiful, but the acoustics are challenging. You’ll need a multi-diffusion sound system to spread the sound evenly around the venue. Fact: It was at the Negresco that Louis Armstrong first heard the French song “C’est Si Bon”. He was so inspired that he went on to record his own version turning the song into a worldwide success.
- Did you know?
Fun Facts about the French Riviera In 2019 the French Riviera enjoyed a record 59 days without rain during the winter season. Every year, there are more than 300 days of sunshine, making it the perfect backdrop for outdoor events. Nice airport is the busiest in France outside Paris with over 13m passengers most years. The convenient connections make it a popular location for destination events and means we can easily bring in world-class talent from Europe’s major cities and beyond. The French Riviera is the home of the world’s most expensive villa and penthouse. The Villa Leopolda in Villefranche is valued at $750m, and the top floor suite in the new Odeon Tower in Monaco is estimated at $400m. The region is also the home of many of the world’s biggest stars. Our personal favourite is the incredible mansion owned by Elton John next to a castle in Nice with stunning panoramic views on both sides. The world’s most famous stars descend on the French Riviera for the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. We recall the excitement when Madonna took to the dance floor during one of our events at the Cannes Festival, then how empty it looked when she left with all her entourage. Monaco has its own English language radio station that broadcasts all over the French Riviera as far as St Tropez. Our founder, Peter Mackley, presented several hundred shows over a 15-year period and was host of the flagship breakfast show for over 18 months. The Monte Carlo Rolex Tennis Masters offers the biggest prize on the whole ATP tour, with the winner earning over $1m. The tournament has been won a record 11 times by Rafael Nadal, who has taken part in a private cabaret show that we organise every year starring the players themselves. Novak Djokovich, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have also starred off the court as well. Prince Albert has been the sovereign in Monaco since 2005. His mother, Grace Kelly, formed the Monaco USA association, which is the cornerstone of an excellent on-going relationship between the two countries. Every year, Monaco USA hosts a now legendary quiz which is attended by the prince himself, and he has been the quiz champion on multiple occasions. The French Riviera produces over 75% of the world’s luxury perfume from flowers cultivated and harvested around Grasse. It’s also the chosen location for parties for fashion giants like Christian Dior, Chanel, Estee Lauder and Bulgari. During the summer season, the Mediterranean is the home of the world’s largest mega yachts. The yachting community descends on Monaco every September for the world’s biggest yacht show, with over 30000 participants, and over 100 super yachts. The principality comes alive with music and extravagant events, planned by the world’s most prominent yacht brokers, charterers, managers, constructors and summer suppliers. The biggest trade fair of the year is the Cannes Lions with over 40000 delegates in 2017. It is now even bigger and busier than the Cannes Film Festival. All the world’s biggest tech companies are trying to outdo each other by organising the most memorable events, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook. There is an urban legend that the first ever lemon tree grew in Menton. They say that when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden that Eve took a lemon with her. She held onto it until she had found the perfect spot to plant it. She eventually found a place that was so beautiful it reminded her of paradise and planted the first pip in the Bay of Garavan! Perhaps the most stunning venue on the French Riviera is the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, host to dozens of magnificent events every year bringing in clients from every continent. It has the most beautiful gardens with the sea on both sides and an animated fountain show in the middle. As an official partner, we have created some of the most spectacular wedding celebrations and some of the most memorable event experiences here. Sophia Antipolis is Europe’s largest technopole, home to hundreds of Europe’s most innovative businesses. It is also the home of Riviera Organisation and twice we have been recognised by the British Chamber of Commerce and the Riviera Business Club, as runner up in the prestigious Business of the Year awards. The Nice Carnival is considered one of the world's major festivities. It dates back to 1294, making it the oldest and perhaps the original carnival celebration. These days, the two-week event attracts over a million visitors to Nice every year.
- Event Experiences | Riviera Organisation
Event Experiences All the elements you'll need ... Based on our vast experience of this region, we have launched a series of all-inclusive event experiences that can be adapted to most events. These are complete options with everything you need for sound and lighting, plus suggestions for furniture, candles and entertainment. Each experience reflects a specific theme. You just have to choose which platform is most appropriate for your event, then we add whatever options are needed to make sure your event is exactly the way you want it. All options offer high quality equipment and include all the essential elements for a successful celebration. Posts are coming soon Stay tuned...
- Our Story | Riviera Organisation
Our Story Spreading Joy Through Events Welcome to our world: a place of joy, endless sunshine, stunning venues, fascinating people, haute cuisine, fine wines, spell-bounding fragrances, enthralling entertainment and enchanting events. Welcome to Riviera Organisation: your partner for exceptional ideas, invaluable advice, spirited teamwork, and beautifully crafted events. In our world, events are built on the purest and most beautiful emotions to create memorable experiences and meaningful relationships. In France we talk about “joie de vivre” and this is our philosophy – spreading joy through events and creating joy in whatever we do. We measure the success of all events not by how much we can bring in, but by how we make people feel. We focus on the wonder of the setting, the excitement as guests arrive, the thrill of the entertainment, the magic of the design elements and the elation of everyone present. Our true value is to provide you with an experience far greater than the sum of the parts. Peter Mackley Dec 30, 2019 Celebrating 1000 successful events - and counting Riviera Organisation is an independently-run business at the core of a large network of professionals. Peter Mackley Dec 29, 2019 Meet Our Event Superstars Meet the Riviera Organisation team, and discover their hidden secrets. Peter Mackley Dec 14, 2019 Our Song - How Karaoke Inspired Our Events Empire “I remember when rock was young” - the opening line of an iconic song and the moment that Riviera Organisation was conceived if not yet born Peter Mackley Dec 11, 2019 From Radio to Riviera Royalty: Peter's Story Our founder, Peter Mackley, recalls how some chance opportunities lead to life on the French Riviera and the birth of Riviera Organisation.
- Riviera Organisation | Event Services | Valbonne
We are a network of event professionals & story tellers on the French Riviera, born from the idea that 'every event is a story waiting to be told' Behind every successful event is a beautiful story (plus a lot of joy & some work too). What will your story be? Let's Imagine There are endless options and opportunities but which are right for you? Where do you start? Planning your event is like gazing across a limitless horizon towards infinity. Everything is possible, but where do you start? How do you uncover all the hidden treasures? How do you transform your vision into a masterpiece? Good news! You're now in touch with a team of local experts and experienced event specialists ready to unlock the full potential of the French Riviera. We choose to focus your infinity not to limit it. From the thousands of options, we help select those rare gemstones that fit and work together. We are the creative sparks to add the energy, the soundtrack and the highlights to your event. We are the comforting rays of sunshine to enlighten the planning process and make your event shine. Meet your team Its easier than ever You’ll have an English-speaking local event expert alongside you every step of the way. Sit back, relax and enjoy the process from beginning to end. It’s also better value All costs are optimised and our fees are honest and transparent. You pay just for the services you value. How reassuring is that? It’s safer Our promise is that everything is safe, professional and legal on every level, taking into account all the new post-pandemic regulations. It’s kinder to the planet Aware of our wider responsibilities, we prioritise eco-friendly solutions , and we always cover our carbon footprint. Let's start planning A Friendly Exchange A 30 minute discussion about your event with one of our local experts 30 min Let's talk Let’s start by offering you valuable information and some friendly tips free of charge with no obligation. Ask us about venues, recommendations for specialist suppliers or contacts for local bands. You can follow up with the vendors direct, assured that you will be getting the best possible price. You can book directly online or sign up for a wealth of information. You are just one step away from unlocking the full potential of the French Riviera for your event. What next? Find out more about our services and how we can assist you. Bullet point Bullet point Bullet point Find a specialist event professional Get advice on stunning venues Check dates of major Riviera events Bullet point Bullet point Bullet point Book amazing entertainment Ask about technical support Read remarkable event stories Bullet point Bullet point Bullet point Browse our photo gallery Be inspired by videos of events Visit our events blog Out of gallery What Clients Say “I wanted to convey my sincerest thanks and gratitude for the superb job you performed on our Star Wars – Episode III events … You should deﬁnitely take pride in knowing your eﬀorts went a long way … which I’m convinced was a big factor in our success across Europe.” Sean McGinn, Lucasfilm “Events are stories waiting to be told, built on the purest and most beautiful emotions to create joyful moments, memorable experiences and meaningful relationships”