The art of exclusivity: Scarlet Events share the secrets behind its ultra-VIP parties

By Michelle Johnson | 08 May 2019 | Culture

Scarlet Events CEO Marc Ahmed takes Tempus behind the scenes of the world's most exclusive events

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Scarlet Events CEO Marc Ahmed is the secret ingredient behind some of the world's most exclusive parties. Since 2010, his company has organised luxury events, star-studded parties, exclusive weddings and more for a client list that includes royal families, billionaire businessmen, aristocrats and dignitaries.

Ahmed says the secret behind throwing an event worthy of royalty is personalisation, whether that's a week-long wedding celebration in an historic building or an intimate soiree to welcome a new family member into the world – and his biggest consideration is time.

"First and foremost we have to be available at the drop of a hat, billionaires have everything except time," he tells Tempus. "We’re always available for our clients 24/7 and our staff reply instantly regardless of the time or date. We pride ourselves on our service and treat clients how we’d want to be treated if we were at the world’s best 5-star hotel – always available and always willing to go that extra mile. This goes a long way in building lasting friendships and trust with our clients.

"Secondly, we have the best contacts, which means that we can open doors for our clients for things that are otherwise hard to get. In this world of billionaire parties, if we’re not able to provide something that they cannot do or get themselves, we’ll soon find ourselves redundant," he adds. "Finally, you have to deliver an event of exceptional magnitude, one which is exciting and different. We have a fantastic team who stay on top of every detail. Everything must be absolutely perfect." >>

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* Lionel Richie performs

With large scale events comes many challenges, not least the requirement for absolute discretion when organising within historic and exclusive locations – including Grand Palaces in Rajasthan, Chateau de Chantilly and superyachts. "Discretion and secrecy are paramount for the majority of our clients. We sign multiple NDA’s with clients, suppliers, venues - pretty much everyone involved with the event. Nobody is ever told the client’s surname and when we can, we will completely hide their identity. We never post images of our clients unless for example a bride asks us to and even then, we’re careful of what goes out," says Ahmed.

"Trying to organise 300 international guests to reach Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India for a three day wedding was one of the most difficult challenges we’ve had. It involved chartering multiple commercial aircrafts and connecting flights, hundreds of cars and dozens of boats. All seamlessly coordinated on the ground with an army of staff," he recalls. "Some requests from our guests can seem bizarre but we always strive to accommodate every demand to ensure that the event is utter perfection.

"We once had a guest refuse to attend a party unless they were allowed to fly their dying dog with them and bring him along to the party. Another guest RSVP'd along with his eight children that were not actually invited to the event, the client couldn’t say no and asked us to handle it ‘delicately’ as it was a close friend – we made sure that everyone was kept happy." >>

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Scarlet Events collaborates with its clients to create completely bespoke events, but Ahmed says the rise of Instagram has seen the events world discover a few rising trends. "Fireworks displays will be huge over the next two years as well as Chateau weddings," he reveals. "The current trend everyone seems to be going for is an indoor garden."

And with summer on the horizon, what are his tips for the perfect garden party?

"If you're at home, keep things simple and use subtle touches to enhance your estate. Adding a huge white tent won’t achieve anything other than ruining the atmosphere, opt for a glass house instead. Masses of flowers can detract from the natural beauty of the landscape so use foliage and minimal blooms to give a beautiful garden look. Fountains are always welcome and why not use multiple levels of garden decking to build an event space. It can all be removed at the end or if you like it then opt to keep it for future use," he suggests.

"Keep your guestlist small so you can actually enjoy your party. Spending a great night with your nearest and dearest makes all the difference. Having a party at home is always a great way to hosting an intimate gathering where you can totally let your hair down and not worry about any rules," says Ahmed. "Keep entertainment minimal but high quality; one exceptionally great band is better than having three good ones. If you really want to make a night of it, book a superstar artist to perform live for an unforgettable night."