If you’re planning an event such as an Anniversary, Corporate / Company function, Fund-raiser, College party, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or whatever the event, you should consider drafting a well designed and thought out plan from the beginning. The availability of the most popular services usually get booked well in advance, sometimes one to two years or more, so don’t delay, start the day you plan to have an event. To assist you in the planning of your event, we have outlined a few areas to help you get started.
Choose a date/time: Select a time of the year that suites your event properly. It’s important you choose a date and/or specific time on that date that will not conflict with other events (Holidays, etc.) that might hinder the attendance of your guests. Weekends are the most popular, of course, since the majority of people have more free time away from work.
Fact: Most Summer events take place on a Saturday (late afternoon into the evening). Most Winter events are either on a Friday or Saturday.
Create a guest list: Selecting your guest list is a task within itself. First, choose the maximum number of guests you’d like to invite. Then select the people you want to invite. Many times guest lists get long, so try to limit your list to family, business related people, close friends, and anyone important to you. Most of the time, you end up with more people on your list than the number you chose. If that happens, go through your list and cross out the people you feel you can eliminate. It’s tough sometimes when you have to eliminate someone, but it’s your party and your money (usually).
Select a location and venue: Be certain the location and venue you select can properly service your event and especially the number of guests you plan to invite. The location should be in an area easy to find and not too far away for most of your guests to travel. The venue itself must be able to handle your event without too many sacrifices. Personally visit the location and make certain it’s compatible for what you want to accomplish and is as close to what you had envisioned.
Invitations: Select the style of invitation that is best associated with your event theme. A more casual, and much less expensive approach (free services available), is an e-mail invitation (i.e. www.evite.com). Send out your invitations at least 3 to 4 weeks prior to your event date. Wedding invitations are traditionally sent out about 6 weeks prior to the event date.
Choose your entertainment: This is critical! The entertainment can make or break the success of your event. Consider the Disc Jockey or band as your entertainment ring leader. Your MC is the person with the microphone at the beginning of your event, but when your Disc Jockey or band takes over and provides the music entertainment throughout the event, they are the ones that make or break your party. So, choose your Disc Jockey (or entertainment service) very carefully.
Services: Other than music entertainment, additional services that might be appropriate or necessary at your event: Photographer, videographer, florist, caterer, event planner, and a rental company (tables, chairs, etc.), just to name a few.
Food & Beverages: Decide if you want to have food and beverages at your event. At most events, some sort of beverage is available and depending on the event type, food is served.
Decorations: Depending on the theme of your event and the venue, decorations may or may not be needed. Just remember, whatever the event, decorations are a nice addition to the surroundings.
Budget: Write down all of the services you require to make this event happen. Start by contacting 3 or 4 of each type of service to get an average price, so you know what you are going to need to budget for that particular service. Once you get a better idea of the costs per service, then you can set your budget within each area and get a good idea of what the entire event is going to cost.
In Summary – Outline your event in detail from start to finish: With most anything, pre-planning is the key. Take time to write down everything about your event, including the type of services needed, staff, venue, guest list, and especially your budget for each area. This will give you a better idea of all of the details of your event and most importantly the cost. Good thorough event planning will ultimately minimize the risk of surprise.
Frustrated? No time? Hire a professional: Many times it’s easier and more time-manageable to hire a professional event planner (i.e. Wedding planner) for your event. An event planner can cover all aspects of your event and take most of the stress and responsibilities away so you can enjoy your event before, during and after.
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