In 2017, Shot in the Dark Mysteries premiered A Gangster Murder at a 1920s Speakeasy in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was a wild ride to get there! SHOT Creative Director Leigh had her on-the-ground point of contact, Lisbeth Damkjaer They plotted and planned from half a world apart to ensure a party to remember. To hear Leigh’s full conversation with Lisbeth, head over to the Shot in the Dark Podcast.
Here, we are going to dive into the nitty gritty of how Leigh & Lisbeth pulled off such a venture, with some tips on how you can do the same.
Leigh and Lisbeth actually met in Bali courtesy of a mutual friend. This was in November and they decided to bring A Gangster Murder to life the following May. To hear them say it, ‘we decided to throw a mystery in Copenhagen. And then we did’. As you do.
WHERE TO THROW IT
As soon as Lisbeth came back from Bali, she hit the ground running (knowing Lisbeth, this is probably literal). Her first step was finding a venue. In matching the theme, she wanted something old fashioned, glamorous and mysterious. Something exclusive and nice, so that people really felt they had to dress the part. This meant nixing any of the regular cafes and ordinary places.
Her specifications came to life. Lisbeth found the perfect place, with the right spooky elements. It had a spiral staircase that became the entrance, where party goers had to give a password once they reached the door at the top.
Tip: Finding a venue that fits what you’re trying to do means way less work as an event coordinator
WHAT TO EAT & DRINK
The venue itself actually did the catering, which was a huge help. Lisbeth picked canapés that were easy to pass around, and for people to enjoy while they were investigating. There was also a Gin Rickey cocktail, in keeping with the Roaring 20’s theme.
Thirsty now? Here’s the Shot in the Dark Mysteries recipe for you to make your own Gin Rickey:
HOW TO GET PEOPLE THERE
There were a lot of other things happening that particular night in Copenhagen. Really, what you’re talking about when you’re throwing an event is that other events happening at the same time are your competition. Now that Leigh and Lisbeth have faced that challenge, both are aware of it for all of their other events. In this case, the goal for attendees was 50 people, and they ended up surpassing that!
Tip: Setting a reasonable goal for attendance allows you to plan accordingly
Because they had the competition of the other events, they had to think a little bit differently about how they would connect with people. This is where Lisbeth made the choice to really reach out personally. She went to all different places, put up posters and flyers and even put invitations around in mailboxes.
The night of the party, Lisbeth even had the cool idea to write in chalk on the sidewalk – ‘this way to the Speakeasy’.
WHAT COULD WE HAVE DONE BETTER?
After you throw an event or party, it is always good to do two things:
- Pour a glass of wine and
- Rehash what you could improve on the next time.
In this case, the password idea could have been executed a little bit differently. It was a unique concept, but everyone in Copenhagen showed up on time! To fix that, they should have been given staggered arrival times so that everyone could have a chance to knock on the door and give their code to enter. That experience was such a cool element.
A Gangster Murder at a 1920s Speakeasy was a riot to launch in Copenhagen. As Lisbeth says, it isn’t about the mystery as much as bringing people together. Which is really what we’re trying to do at Shot in the Dark Mysteries.