Planning an event yourself is not an easy undertaking! There are many little details to consider, and some of those little details can become big problems that may keep you from enjoying the party! While it’s difficult to remember everything, and plan for everything, there are a few things you can think about how to save you some potential headaches later on!
Here are eight secrets of professional event planners that will give you a little something extra that will be sure to put your guests under the perfect party spell.
Start with a focus on numbers
Start by making your guest list early on. Consider having an “A” list of people you want to invite, and then a “B” list of extra guests who you are not sure about or maybe are over the guest count limit. As the A list guests start RSVP’ing, and you see that you might have more room in the party plan, then you can start inviting the B list guests to fill it in. Once you have an accurate headcount, you’ll be better able to start planning the other big details like food and drinks. Depending on the numbers, you can decide to stick with a buffet or appetizers or go in a different direction like having waitstaff and plated food courses.
Think about thoughtful touches that can leave a big impression
Every year, every season presents new things that every event or party needs to have. There could be many things like a complicated signature cocktail or a 10-foot tall inflatable igloo photo booth! The complicated or costly details might distract you from the overall purpose of your event. It can happen especially if you have a lot of guests. Professional event planners forgo trendy add-ons in favor of thoughtful touches that leave a big impression without the high maintenance. Things like useful favors for the guests, Polaroid cameras on the tables instead of a photo booth, etc. These small touches can provide moments of fun for the guests without too much hassle or cost on your end.
Chefs, bartenders, and servers aren’t always the most effective way to staff an event. One way professional event planners can help the clients to save money is knowing when you can forgo formal service for self-service options.
At a small gathering, you can skip the bartender option and offer a wine or cocktail bar. This way, the guests can help themselves. You can use a central location, or strategically place trays of pre-poured champagne and sparkling water.
A buffet dinner is much easier to plan for and staff as well, giving your guests the options of eating whatever they are in the mood for! A professional catering company will be able to help you identify the right menu for your party, and with your guest count locked in, they will be able to recommend just the right amount of food as well.
Children are important
These days it seems like there are fewer events involving guests of all ages. Whether it is a birthday party, a wedding, or a company’s annual family party, the event’s littlest guests are often overlooked. Consider having a specific area set up with games and activities. This will keep kids engaged with each other and allow the adults to enjoy themselves.
You can cover the tables in butcher paper and provide the kids with bundles of bright pencils or crayons. Let the little ones’ artistic spirit shine. If you are outside, consider placing pails of kid-friendly items like noisemakers, costumes, and bubbles within easy reach.
Arrange more glasses
It is a sign of a true party pro. Nothing could be worse than running out of party supplies, especially glasses. A professional event planner knows when and how to be prepared. If you are offering different types of beverages (juice, coffee, water, wine), keep in mind that each change in drink requires a new glass.
One of the easiest ways to give an event polish is to match table linens. Party rental companies can be a one-stop shop for all your rental needs like linens, tables and chairs, and other decors such as fancy couches, thrones for the guests of honor, and much more. When you have a cohesive style of matching decor, it will give your event a touch of class that guests won’t soon forget.
Choose logistics over décor
No one will remember the gorgeous centerpieces if there was nowhere for them to sit. Before you invest too much into décor, make sure you think through the seating and traffic flow for the event. Professional event planners think about who will go where before arranging flowers. You can provide the guests with plenty of places to engage, sit, gather, and enjoy the food. If the event is designed for mingling and networking, a good rule is to have enough stools, chairs, and other seating options for at least 85% of the guests.
Bringing in reinforcements
Pros never take on 100% of the event execution and planning all by themselves. Experienced event planners almost always have a team around them, letting them focus on the more important details, or just having fun! Whether it is whisking away discarded napkins and glasses or checking in guests, make sure to delegate where it makes sense. Also consider what could be a big investment of time on the day of, setup and cleanup! Make sure to assign those tasks or hire help.
Putting together a memorable event isn’t a tough task, but a bit of experience and understanding can make it a grand success. A good event management agency can help to make your event a successful one. If it’s in your budget, consider hiring a planning pro to help you relax and breathe a bit, and have some fun yourself!