Planning an event—whether it’s a wedding, a graduation party, an employee gathering, or a community gathering—requires some serious foresight and careful planning. (It’s much harder than it looks!) Truly special events usually involve a high level of creativity and dedication. If you are putting on an event here are some tips to help you make it spectacular.
1. Identify Your Target Customer
Whether you realize it or not, you have a target customer, even for a children’s birthday party. The theme you go with, the entertainment you procure, and the marketing message you choose will all be dependent on who you are trying to attract, so don’t start planning before you know exactly who that is.
2. Determine The Event’s Purpose
You can celebrate your graduate’s many accomplishments or you can try to sell more gym memberships. A stellar event will help you reach both of these goals, but if you plan to attain your goal, you must first set one. Don’t be afraid to say, “The purpose of my event is fun!”
Don’t expect that the best vendors, caterers, etc. will just show up at your door. Take to the internet, as a friend, or hit Pinterest. Do whatever research is required until you feel that you have some pretty great ideas and the best people to work with.
4. Take Notes
You don’t have to be a Type-A personality to understand the importance of a to do list. Write everything out, step by step, and you’ll be far less likely to leave out the little details. Taking notes during meetings with vendors or while tasting food will prevent you from forgetting things and keep all your thoughts in perspective at decision making time when you may have otherwise forgotten which things struck a cord.
5. Choose A Stellar Location
Location really does matter. For example, if you’re throwing a Christmas party for your staff on a Saturday night, chances are that the office is the last place on earth they want to gather. Admittedly, the best location may be your backyard. That’s cool. Just make sure that your location is ideal for whatever kind of event you are hosting.
6. Get The Word Out
If you are hosting an event for your community, you want it to fill up, so produce some marketing materials and alert the media. Just because your event is a wedding or an anniversary party doesn’t make this advice any less applicable. You want everyone to show, so give them some time to prepare!
7. Get Vendors Booked
It’s not an uncommon practice for event planners to wait until the last minute to secure their vendors in an attempt to get the best last minute pricing. This tactic is all well and good, but we highly suggest that you search for quality and secure it. Where will your event be when others have scooped up your top tier picks and you can’t find service providers at the last minute? It’s not a pretty picture.
8. Check… And Then Check Again
You should double check to make sure all the details have been accounted for. While you’re at it, maybe you should check one last time.
9. Stake Out The Competition
So, it’s not actually as dramatic as all that, but spending some time reviewing what others have done for similar events is a great way to trigger your own creativity. You never know what you’ll come up with!
10. Do Things Differently
Once your inspiration has been sparked, you’ll be able to plan some really cool elements for your event. Some places to throw out convention are decorations, entertainment, games, and even food. Antique Pacman arcade game at a graduation party? Yes please.
11. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel Here
Offering your party guests a unique experience is welcome whether it’s at an anniversary party or at an end of year bash for the office, but there’s no reason to completely buck convention. Although the format and delivery may change, tasty food and good music should be a requirement for every event, no questions asked.
12. Keep Records
Usually I’ll be the first one to call up the receipt and toss it in the trash heap that’s the back seat of my van, but when it comes to planning an event, you really need to have all your ducks in a row. Keep receipts handy and assign a trustworthy person to manage the money.
13. Know When To Hire Help
If you are throwing a shindig hoping to get community members to sign up for a gym membership, you might be able to get by just with your own employees running the show. You might not. Even if your event is something simple like a child’s birthday party, it’s important to recognize when enough is enough. Besides, how much easier would your life be if you just hired a caterer? You’d be free to do nothing all afternoon other than snap a bazillion photos of your little one covered in cupcake frosting. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
14. Aim To Excite
Always keep in mind that the whole point of throwing an event is to make an impact. You don’t want your event to feel like more of a chore than a party. Keep things lively and entertaining, and you might just help your guests to make some memories.
15. Say Thank You
You know what’s severely underrated? Appreciation. You may want to say thank you to your guests for attending and making the day wonderful, or maybe you could spend a little time sending feedback to your vendors. Ideally, you could do both. Write a review, put some cards in the mail, or stop by to show that a person or company’s participation meant a great deal and made your event a success.
You’re Ready To Plan The Perfect Event
Congratulations! Now that you’ve read through our tips, you’re ready to make good things happen. Go out there and start planning! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.