Sunday, December 27, 2009

Locals on High Alert for Party Crashers on NYE

Tareq (far right) and Michaele Salahi are the "party crashers" of the century. (Photo: Appleton/White House)

RedEye talks to experts on how to spot scammers and party crashers on New Year's Eve:

"Social extremes
Look out for the guests who are either a little too friendly or totally antisocial, advised Sarah Vargo, founder of Chicago-based public relations and event planning company Maven. '[Crashers are] either trying too hard or not at all and just looking around and not really mingling or interacting with guests,' she said.

Curious fashion choices
A guest's outfit should match the occasion, Susan Cordogan, owner of Lincoln Park-based Big City Events and Big City Bride, said. 'Most parties will state a certain kind of attire that is expected,' she said, 'and since most crashers do it spur of the moment, they won't be prepared to look like everyone else.'

Early retreats
Many private parties assign seating or dole out nameplates for each guest at dinner, which is the party crasher's signal to jet. 'They know they don't belong, so they leave before the sit-down dinners,' said Audarshia Townsend, who blogs about Chicago's party scene at

Skipping the formalities
Crashers won't sign the guest book or bring a gift for a personal event, according to Cordogan. 'Most of the time, they'll just walk in and go straight to the bar or buffet without saying hello to anyone,' she said."

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