The Washington Post

‘Ambassadors Ball,’ new kid on inaugural party scene, tries robo-call ticket sales

Trinidad & Tobago's Ambassador H.E. Dr. Neil Parsan. (Lester Liburd/KidMix Photography)

“This is Ambassador Tebelelo Seretse of the Republic of Botswana to the United States. I have the honor of serving as a co-chair and host committee member for the 2013 Ambassadors’ Inaugural Ball,” she reads from a script. She goes on to say that tickets to the “illustrious event” are “moving fast.”

The ball is one of the many new entries into the inaugural party fray, which is why organizers hoping to sell 1,500 tickets ($100- $750) tried the unusual sales strategy. “This is a unique ball with a fresh perspective, so we chose to employ a variety of methods to market aggressively,” said PR director Trea Davenport.

Nana Meriwether, the new Miss USA. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Why would an accredited ambassador dive into the ball business?

“From my understanding, several charities have been identified” as beneficiaries, said Neil Parsan, ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago, who also did a robo-call. “We are looking forward to having the diplomatic community celebrate the president of the host country.” Davenport said the ball would benefit, among others, the Keno Foundation, AthleTECH and Meriwether’s personal foundation.

Will they pull it off? Some planned balls for Obama’s first inaugural were canceled when demand did not meet supply or other issues; Davenport told us Monday sales were “going well.”

Earlier: Inaugural balls: Our guide to the official bashes, unofficial parties and too-good-to-be-true pitches, 1/8/13

Going Out Guide’s inauguration coverage

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