No matter what type of event you’re planning, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. With this in mind, here are some tips and a checklist for organising an event to help transform your ideas into something fantastic and make managing an event a breeze.
GATHER YOUR TEAM AND BEGIN PLANNING
Depending on the event size, pull together a team to work together in the preparation and execution of the event. Arrange regular catch ups, assign each person to specific tasks so everyone will know their focus areas and can provide updates as required.
Whether you have specifics in mind or need some inspiration to take your event to the next level, the first step is to gather all of your ideas and creative vision in one place that works for you and your team.
Think about events you’ve attended in the past – type of venue, location, ideas for a theme, catering, entertainment – and see how your ideas begin to build.
CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET
Before you get too carried away, it is a good idea to do some research on typical costs for key areas: venue, catering, drinks, entertainment, transport, photographer etc. How many people are you expecting and what is your cost per head? Once you have your budget in mind, you can start making serious enquiries and get booking!
MAKE A LIST
Once you are clear on what you want and what can be achieved within budget, it’s time to make a checklist. This is a simple and easy way to keep on top of everything and make sure that you are organised for the day. Here is an example:
Selecting a suitable venue can take time, but two things are key: size and location. Look for a venue that will accommodate everyone without leaving too much empty space or will have your guests scattered. Whether this be a restaurant, ball room or rooftop bar, consider the space and where possible, have an inspection.
If you’re planning a wedding, consider finding a venue that can be utilised for the ceremony as well as the reception. This can be a great way to save and to keep track of your guests, making it easier to organise transport.
Catering is typically charged on a cost per head basis. Knowing your budget will make this process simpler and your options clear.
Consider what kind of food will be suitable for your type of event. Is your event an all-day event that requires a meal, an evening birthday party that would benefit from light refreshments, or somewhere in between? Depending on how formal your event will be, consider whether a sit-down meal is appropriate or would stand up cocktail style be more suitable?
It is also helpful to consider the space your venue provides. Can food be cooked on site or will you need to hire outside caterers? Food, catering and bar equipment can all be hired by mobile caterers.
Keeping all of your guests entertained can sometimes be tricky, especially when cutting across different age groups and the type of event. Perhaps some feedback from a few of the attendees is a good idea while also selecting to remain true to the event, your style and of course, your budget!
It is also important to consider the venue. Is there room for a DJ or five piece band, or does it have a great sound system for background music to be played? Whatever you are planning, consider the space and equipment the venue provides.
– EQUIPMENT HIRE
For weddings, corporate events and birthdays, there will likely be speeches or a presentation involved that will require Audio Visual (AV) Equipment. Your venue may have these services available, so be sure to clarify with them, and if not, there are hire options available.
If you are setting up an event venue from scratch, then you may need to hire items such as a marquee, dance floor, furniture, linen, glasses, cutlery & crockery.
And how about some entertainment? Perhaps a photobooth or some games could be in order.
How will you and your guests be getting to and from the event? Depending the number of attendees, there are plenty of options, including limousines, vintage cars and buses.
Lock in your preferred photographer well in advance of the event. Check out their previous work and obtain a quote. If for a wedding, think about time – whether you want them to photograph getting ready, the ceremony, bridal party and reception or just a selection of these.
Remember, photographers also cater for corporate events, birthdays, gala dinners/balls, engagement parties and plenty more!
Consider whether you require event styling, decorations, accessories and flowers to brighten up your event. Venues may provide some of these services but be sure to clarify prior to.
Depending on your event, other key services which might be required are hair and make-up artists to help you and your squad look fabulous, the all-important celebrant to make your big day official, and to keep the event ticking over nicely, entertainers and guest speakers.
Combining a bunch of the above services together, can create an experience individual to your style for everyone to remember – celebrating that we are all different and have our own little quirks.