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Dîner en Noir Organizer Rules

Dîner en Noir (DEN) is a national community of events that are brought to life by thousands of individuals all over the country (and soon to be THE WORLD) —which calls for some ground rules. Below, you’ll find the complete set of rules for organizing a DEN event, from start to finish. These rules are non-negotiable and mandatory for all event organizers—because it’s both our job and yours to maintain the integrity of the DEN vision.


Event Basics

#DEN event format:

  • Modeled after a concept designed by Dîner en Noir Worldwide Founder & President, Howard Nelson Cromwell, the DEN event format, will usually consist of three parts; an Aperitif Cocktail Welcome Reception, Seated Dinner, and Digestif "After-Dîner" Party.  The event will usually have a series of short, carefully prepared talented performances on a wide range of genres and end with a dance party.


Spirit and purpose:

  • Your event must maintain the spirit of DEN events: founded on a concept of inviting and partnering with local businesses, to come together, pull resources and promote community involvement, Dîner en Noir has become both, a networking opportunity for its guests, as well as a chic and elegant way to support the local community.



  • #DEN Membership is required for any guest to register and attend a #DEN event.

  • There is no maximum number of attendees that can attend your event.

  • Only primary license holders who have attended a qualifying #DEN event in person may organize an event with more than 1000 attendees. (this number is different for University Events & Private Events). The primary license holder is the individual whose name is on the application form.

  • University & Private events are non-qualifying.


  • Your event may not exceed eight hours in length unless otherwise noted for your event type (does not include guest set up & breakdown. Check the event type page for details on your event type.


Introduction video:

  • The official #DEN introduction video must be played at the beginning of your event so that the audience understands the #DEN concept and our mission (coming soon). 

Quality Control

To ensure quality control of the #DEN brand and events, first-time organizers are required to abide by the below:

  • The organizer must have a reputable licensed catering team/exec chef with a history of large-scale events.  

  • The organizer must have hired/working with a public relations/marketing team with experience in high-end luxury events, hospitality or restaurant/dining.  

  • The organizer must have a volunteer management system.  

  • Dîner en Noir Corporate management team member(s) are required to be in attendance for all first-time Dîner en Noir organizer's events to ensure events abide by licensing agreements, policies & rules.  The cost of travel & accommodations for the corporate management team member(s) (no more than two) will be the responsibility of the organizer if the event is located more than 2 hours from our Washington, DC headquarters. 


  • Every performer's content must comply with with copyright law.

  • Artists must inform you beforehand of any third-party material that will be used in their performance and seek written permissions to copyrighted materials when applicable.

  • #DEN cannot assist with this process nor act as a consultant on individual cases.

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Licensing Basics

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License holder:

  • #DEN requires the license holder to be the primary organizer of a #DEN event. If this is found not to be the case, #DEN reserves the right to revoke or not renew a license.


Event location:

  • #DEN allocates one location-based license series per applicant.

  • You must live in the city for which you are applying for a license.

  • Your #DEN event must happen in the city for which you received the license.

  • #DEN events do not travel—a #DEN license is valid for one city and for one event.


License term:

  • Your #DEN license is valid from the Effective Date of your licensing agreement until the end of your event.  You must produce your event within that year or your license will expire. You must re-apply for each subsequent event.

License relinquishment:

  • #DEN licenses are nonexclusive, non-assignable & non-assignable non-transferable—you cannot transfer your #DEN license to another individual. If you want to relinquish your license to allow another organizer to have it, you'll need to notify us first. The new licensee will need to fill out their own application.


Releasing digital properties:

  • If you decide not to renew your #DEN license after your #DEN event, or #DEN does not renew your license, you must relinquish any use of any #DEN domain name and any social media properties back to #DEN Corporate. Licensees are forbidden from creating and social media accounts, purchasing any #DEN related URLs, creating any #DEN related emails accounts or any other digital properties. 

Branding + Naming

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  • Because #DEN events exist to serve their communities, each event is named after its unique location, such as a city, neighborhood, or street.

  • #DEN event names must comply with the guidelines laid out in Naming your event and are granted at the discretion of the #DEN Corporate team.


Name usage:

  • You must always refer to your event with the full name your license was approved for in all copy, messaging, logos, etc. For example, if your licensed name is "Dîner en Noir, Howard University", you may not refer to your event as "Dîner en Noir, HU" or any other variation.

  • You should always refer to your event as Dîner en Noir, EventName, not simply “Dîner en Noir”.

  • Your event name should be written as Dîner en Noir, EventName with the "D" & "N" capitalized, and an accent over the "î", and attached as all one word to your location-based name.

  • Name abbreviations and variations are not allowed.

Dîner en Noir events are independent

  • Because #DEN events are stand-alone events, they may not be combined with or integrated into any conference, ceremony, event, or curriculum.

  • #DEN events cannot be co-branded: you may not connect the  #DEN logo/identity/name to the name of another organization, non-profit, corporation or other entity.

  • You may not present your #DEN event as being organized by such entities or positioned as one of their offerings.

Dîner en Noir brand positioning:

  • Make clear in all communications that your event is a Dîner en Noir independently organized event — and is not a Dîner en Noir (Corporate) event.

  • You should never communicate “Dîner en Noir is coming to (my city)...”

  • Make clear that you are a Dîner en Noir - EventName organizer, and not an employee of Dîner en Noir, the company.

  • Ensure that all of your staff, performers, community partners, etc, abide by these guidelines as well.

Dîner en Noir logo

  • You should never use the Dîner en Noir standalone logo in any communications or branding.  Always use the logo with your Event Name that we provided to you.  Never design or create any Dîner en Noir logos.


#DEN Hashtags

  • Organizers are encouraged to create a social media hashtag for your event.  The "DEN" in the hashtag and the first letter of the unique identifier should ALWAYS be capitalized with the remaining letter of the unique identifier being lowercase. ("#DENDallas, #DENHowardUniversity).

Sponsors + Funding

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Not for profit event:

  • While #DEN is not a 501c3, it is a community-based fundraising benefit endeavor.

  • All #DEN events should allocate a portion of its net profits to be donated to a local arts programming as well as a small business development organization.


Admission and fees:

  • You can charge an attendance fee for a #DEN event. Event registration pricing is determined by the organizer and should go towards the event production and operating costs unless otherwise noted for your event type.  Registration must be for two (2) people unless otherwise approved by #DEN Corporate.  Event registration may only be done via Dîner en Noir main ticketing site via your Dîner en Noir, [unique event name] event registration page "".  Check your event type for details.

  • The Membership and ticket Transaction Fees go directly to Dîner en Noir Corporate and are used to cover the inherent costs of training, support, and technical services to all host-organizers nation-wide to enable them to organize their own events and offered by Dîner en Noir Corporate. 

  • Revenue from Dîner en Noir, [unique event name] registrations, minus ticket Transaction Fee, will be dispersed to organizer weekly via means determined by the organizer.  

Fundraising and crowdfunding:

  • #DEN events cannot organize separate ticketed #DEN-branded fundraising events or use crowdfunding platforms -- such as IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, or other local platforms -- to raise money for any aspect of a #DEN event.



Performer fees and ineligible speakers:

  • #DEN events may pay performers but many never charge performers.

  • Sponsors of your event can never speak from the stage. See Sponsorship rules for more.

  • Organizers may serve as sponsors for their own event granted the appropriate sponsorship fee is paid.

Eligible sponsors:

  • You may not approach any sponsors that fall under our prohibited sponsor or prohibited industries lists.

  • You may contact prospective sponsors not included on these lists without prior approval from Dîner en Noir Corporate.


Creative independence:

  • Sponsors must have no creative control or influence over your #DEN curation.


Sponsor logos on stage:

  • Sponsor logos cannot be displayed on your #DEN stage. You can thank your sponsors in a slide, but the logos cannot remain on the stage for more than a few seconds—or be in any team photos.


Products and giveaways:

  • You may give away or sell Dîner en Noir & #DEN branded products during your event and during the period of your license; however, they must contain your unique event name, year and hashtag, not the generic “Dîner en Noir” logo. All profits from these items must go towards supporting your event.

Media + Distribution

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Press releases:


News media and your event:

  • If you are interviewed for broadcast TV or radio, clearly state that your event is a Dîner en Noir, unique event name event, and explain what that means (it is independently organized, etc.). Represent yourself as a participant in your specific Dîner en Noir, unique event name event.

  • Dîner en Noir Corporate staff should be the sole spokespeople for Dîner en Noir and the Dîner en Noir national events program as a whole. Route requests for interviews with Dîner en Noir Corporate staff to Please ask all journalists and/or bloggers be respectful of the difference between the Dîner en Noir and Dîner en Noir, unique event name brands. The "unique event name'' in ''Dîner en Noir" stands for "independently organized events." Inform all media that any headline or text which implies "Dîner en Noir" is coming to [location] is misleading. Any inquiry regarding Dîner en Noir should be directed to: Dîner en Noir Corporate Media Liaison,

  • Members of the press are not allowed to film or videotape your #DEN event.  Once events are edited, you can share your selections with the media.

Content beyond the stage:

  • #DEN organizers should not make content that attempts to represent the DEN national events program or official #DEN national events program platform.

  • You may create audio and video content specific to your Dîner en Noir, unique event name event. Any content - whether audio or video - including documentaries - must abide by the following:

    • No use of the Dîner en Noir and/or plain Dîner en Noir logos without your unique location qualifier

    • No remixing or re-editing of Dîner en Noir events

    • No filming is permitted inside the event except the filming of your #DEN event; the only film crew that is allowed into the #DEN event is the designated crew recording for the official #DEN event video.

    • Media can shoot b-roll of guests walking in the event, but not inside the event.


Creative commons:

  • Photos of  Dîner en Noir, unique event name must be released under a creative license ("Personal", "Commercial" or "Extended Commercial"), so they can be freely shared and reposted.


Rights to distribute #DEN event excerpts:

  • You can use up to a 60-second excerpt from a #DEN event for video or audio content, including documentaries, promo videos, TV segments, and podcasts with prior written consent from #DEN Corporate.

Web + Social

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Website domain:


Website homepage: 
Your site's homepage will include the following:

  • A visible link, on your event's homepage, to the #DEN National Events Program.

  • Language that describes :

    • What is Dîner en Noir, unique event name

    • Le Dîner en Noir’s mission is to promote the city's business, hospitality, and arts communities by uniting friends and strangers alike from diverse backgrounds for a night of elegance, great food, music, dancing and communion at our unique events. Founded on a concept of inviting and partnering with local businesses,  to come together, pull resources and promote t community involvement, Dîner en Noir has become both, a networking opportunity for its guests, as well as a chic elegant way to support the local community. In the spirit of Dîner en Noir,  #DEN has created a national events program which is a community of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a #DEN-like experience. Our event is called Dîner en Noir, [unique event name], where unique event name = independently organized #DEN event. At our Dîner en Noir, [unique event name] event guests will experience the beauty and value of some of the city’s unique hosting venues by participating in the unexpected. Beyond the spectacle and elegance of the 3-part event itself (Aperitif Cocktail Hour, 3-Course Dinner & Digestif After-Dinner Party), our guests will take solace in knowing that they are brought together from diverse backgrounds by good taste and a love of the cities dining & arts community. Dîner en Noir encourages our guests to engage one another, knowing that they are taking part in a truly magical experience. Dîner en Noir Corporate provides general guidance for the #DEN National Events Program, but individual events, including ours, are self-organized.

  • Text in the footer that states, "This  Dîner en Noir, unique event name event is operated under license from  Dîner en Noir Corporate."



Website content:

  • Your site needs to include information about your Organizing Host, Table Hosts, Group Leaders, Performers, date of the event, the price of tickets, additional info. 

  • Sponsor or partner logos or names may not appear on your site's homepage. Instead, create a separate page dedicated to your sponsors, and link to the page from your home page navigation bar. Anywhere it appears, the sponsor's logo must be smaller than your Dîner en Noir, [unique event name] event's logo.


Social media profiles:

  • Social media properties, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, will have names that mirror the official, licensed name of your  Dîner en Noir, [unique event name] event and will be created and supplied by Dîner en Noir Corporate.

  • Organizers must use the officialDîner en Noir, [unique event name] event logo as your social media profile image (including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Dîner en Noir Corporate will give organizer/proxy admin rights to these accounts.

  • If there is an "Info" tab, include the "About Dîner en Noir" and "Dîner en Noir, [unique event name]" copy.

  • Rules regarding naming, sponsorship, and branding apply to all social media platforms.


Sponsors on event social media:

  • Mentioning of your event's sponsors on social media accounts—including but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, or a blog can be done up to once a week. This also includes sharing or re-posting content originally shared by sponsors.

  • Sponsor names/logos may be included in the footer of your email newsletter but may not be integrated into content or other parts of your communications.


Email list:

  • Never use your Dîner en Noir, [unique event name] customers email list for any purpose other than communicating information specifically about your Dîner en Noir, [unique event name]event.


Uploading and crediting photos:

  • Official photos from your Dîner en Noir, [unique event name] event must be uploaded to social media accounts and must contain Dîner en Noir, [unique event name] logo watermark

  • When posting photographs anywhere social media, clearly credit the photographer in the metadata, captions and tags.

  • Do not put text or other labels onto your photos.

  • Do not superimpose your photographer’s information or logo on the photos.

Uploading Dîner en Noir Event Videos

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Editing #DEN event videos:

  • #DEN events videos should not exceed FIVE minutes. Any video exceeding 5 minutes submitted is subject to review by the Dîner en Noir Corporate team and may not be published to the official Dîner en Noir YouTube channel.

  • The videos should not have any text or images superimposed on any main part of the video. This means no event logos, videographer logos, watermarks, subtitles, text or other labels.

  • Title of the video is required to be in the following format: Dîner en Noir, [unique event name][4 digit year], Official Video (example: Dîner en Noir, Washington, DC 2017, Offical Video).

Recording and sharing content:

  • You must record all mainstage content (live talks, performances, etc.) on video

  • All of your speakers, performers, and other stage presenters must sign our #DEN Release Form, giving Dîner en Noir and others the right to edit and distribute video of their presentation or performance.

  • Please keep all releases for your records, and send to #DEN only upon request.

  • After your event, you must make your videos accessible to #DEN and the public by uploading them to the #DEN Media Uploader via Dropbox, which ultimately posts to the #DEN Youtube channel.

  • Talks from Internal or Business #DEN events should not be uploaded to the #DEN YouTube channel or be distributed publicly.


#DEN Videos Video Sequence: 
All #DEN videos must be edited in the following sequence:​​

  • Pre-roll that includes general event intro graphics, the #DEN event logo, event date, event location, and event homepage URL all together should not exceed 10 seconds. Any video with pre-roll exceeding 10 seconds submitted is subject to review by the #DEN Corporate team and may not be published to the #DEN YouTube channel. (required)

  • Event B-Roll (required)

  • Post-roll event graphics with names of event hosts, special that to each group leader, table leader, table host, venue, city, entertainment/performers, service providers, etc. Sponsor slides and event graphics at the end of the video should not exceed 15 seconds when used. Any video with post-roll exceeding 15 seconds submitted is subject to review by the #DEN Corporate team and may not be published to the #DEN YouTube channel.  (required)

  • Sponsor slide that includes Special Thanks to National and Local Sponsors and THANK YOU to all guests.  (required) 



Sponsor logos on videos:

  • The sponsor slide may be static or contained in moving graphics/credits

  • No commercials are allowed. 

  • If you have both National and Local Sponsors, you must feature all National Sponsor logos first, then all Local Sponsors after. You may not feature different sponsor logos on different videos.

  • Video and production companies who are paid to produce the content cannot be credited on the sponsor slide or anywhere else in the video. Sponsored production may be credited in the post-roll of the video.


#DEN YouTube channel:

  • #DEN events videos should be uploaded to #DEN Dropbox Media Uploader for sharing from the official #DEN YouTube channel through an embed or link.

  • #DEN event videos cannot be uploaded to any other platforms or channels. Organizers may not share the video file with anyone or entity other than Dîner en Noir Corporate; instead, the link to Youtube video should be shared.

  • Adhere to YouTube's Terms of Service and Community Guidelines with every video sent for uploading to the #DEN YouTube channel.

  • Before you upload any video, you must confirm that all the images, music and video clips used in your video are cleared for distribution on YouTube. Securing rights to any copyrighted materials are entirely the responsibility of the #DEN event organizer.

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