Planning an event like the Power 50—OUT's celebration of the year's most influential LGBTQ leaders in American culture—does not just happen overnight. Months of preparation, coordination and forethought go into bringing it to life. To show you just how to throw one of LGBTQ media's biggest events of the year, we are taking you behind the scenes.
"Great events are just like stories," says John O'Malley, events manager for OUT. "To be successful, your guests must experience a clear beginning, middle and end."
O'Malley's job requires he define that narrative and ensure all of its requisite pieces fall into place—from drink menus at the bar and special appearances onstage to the tone of the DJ's lineup in conjuction with the magazine's branding. And so, OUT presents to you the 2017 Power 50 in three acts.
Act One: Power 50 begins with VIP, red—well, black, because it's us—carpet entrances including Power 50 honorees, everyone's favorite social media gurus and traditional media big-shots. They get valuable time with the press stationed at the beginning of the carpet, and each provide a response to the event's integral question:
"What do you do to forge your own path?" O'Malley asked during the tech set-up for the Power 50. "In essence, how are you changing the world through your own individuality, your own work?"
Doors open to the public shortly thereafter, with music blaring and bottles uncorked and at the ready. Imagine mingling with celebrities, taking selfies with the luxury Genesis G90 and being part of history.
Halfway through the night, the second act begins.
Act Two: According to O'Malley, there is a "very special" moment choreographed by Bobby Newberry at this point in the night. He recommends checking out #Power50 on Instagram or Twitter if you're not in attendance.
Segueing from what's billed as quite the tough number to follow starts Act Two, Scene Two: OUT Editor in Chief Aaron Hicklin takes the stage to present two awards to notable Power 50 honorees. Award recipients deliver their acceptance speeches before moving onto the final act.
Act Three: A solid hour and a half of dancing, drinking, laughter and revelry before stagehands close the doors, clean up shop and dismantle the event, piece by piece.
"Every story deserves a happy ending," O'Malley says.
For an insider look at the making of this year's Power 50 event, check out the behind-the-scenes time lapse above.