Planning an event can be a large task, it is important to have a checklist so that important details do not get left out. The first thing you want to do is start gathering the data that you will need to make the proper planning. Start recording all the data on paper.
1. The first bit of information that you will need is how many guests you are expecting. You can get a more accurate result when you send out RSVP invitations, then you will get feedback from your invited guests whether they will be attending or not.
2. Will the event have food served? Will it be a sit down dinner or a buffet? Or will you have hor douvres ?
3. What kind of event’s will take place at the party? Games, Casino Night, Award presentations, Entertainment?
Once you have all of your data collected you can go more in detail in the planning process. Now that you have a Party Plan List, you might want to review it on a regular basis. As things begin to get done, check off things that no longer need your attention, or mark done what you’ve done so far for any one thing on the list.
As the planner, you need to know how to communicate with all your vendors. That means you must have a working knowledge of catering, photography, lighting, tents, floral, contracts, and so forth and you also have to be aware of all the latest innovations in these industries too. A good planner is one who excels at his or her profession, understands that he or she is the team leader on any event.
The next step in planning your party will be the place. Depending on how many guests that you expect to be attending will be the determination of where the event will be held. Some ideas of common places that parties an events are held are Hotel ballrooms, resorts, or restaurants. For larger events of 100 plus guests try some non traditional venues such as Museums, Art Galleries, Aquariums, Universities, or Large Event Tents. A key thing to keep in mind is to always estimate up, it is much better to end up with too much space than not enough.
The next major item of the event planning agenda will be the food. One factor to consider for event planning is whether you need to hire a caterer. For small events, you could probably get away with most of the planning and cooking by yourself. However, for bigger sized events, caterers can provide invaluable assistance. Will it be a formal sit down dinner with servers. Will you have a buffet line that guests will go through, or will there just be hor douvres passed around. There are many things to consider when serving food at your party or event such as place settings, dishes, glasses and utensils, not to mention the cleanup afterwards.
The third major part of the event planning process is entertainment. There are many types of entertainment to consider including magicians, jugglers, hypnotists, fortune tellers to the traditional live bands or DJ’s. Which type of entertainment will best fit the type of event that you are planning for? When hiring entertainment it is important to ask for a demo tape or video before signing any contracts. And on the subject of contracts make sure nothing is left to question before signing any contracts.
Some questions that will help in the party planning process are:
· What is required from the event?
· What is known about the guests?
· Who is going to meet and greet?
· Who are the VIP’s and the ‘must speak to’ guests?
· Who already knows who?
· Who is going to talk to whom?
· What signals and gestures will be used for ‘parking’ guests?
· Who is going to introduce who to whom?
· What time are the various members of the team going to be there?
· What time do we expect the last guest will go home? 6 to 9 doesn’t mean anything to guests having a wonderful time!
Good planning and preparation is the key to any successful event. However, ensuring that you have attended to every detail can be exhausting and it is very easy to overlook something which may adversely affect your event outcome. Planning an event can be stressful at the best of times if you are not organized, but when we are talking about large scale events, like a wedding or business conference, it can become overwhelming. It is therefore essential that you, as the event organizer, have planned all the steps needed before embarking upon action.
Hopefully this article has given you some ideas of things that you need to think about as a party/event planner. The last thing is enjoy the party when it comes, there will be things that go wrong and little details that might be left out, but as long as you don’t broadcast this to your guests they will never know. Do not stress about it, because it will be too late to do anything about it, so chalk it up to lessons learned from experience and go have fun and reap the benefits from all of your hard work.