Have you ever attended an event that was so beautifully executed and well-planned that you had thoughts of the event details long after it was over?
“Suzy thought of every detail. How did she think of everything? That wouldn’t have crossed my mind.”
Or maybe you have experienced a poorly organized event that left you feeling uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed for the people trying to pull it off.
Special events can go both ways. The key to hosting an event that is memorable in a positive light is planning and proper execution. The best events often involve a team of people rather than just one person doing it all. Here are some of our best event planning tips from years of special events at our venue.
1. Start planning early.
2. Establish goals/purpose for the event.
3. Establish the budget for the event.
4. Define your audience/create your guest list.
5. Invite people early/Market your event well.
6. Create an agenda for the day of the event including the clean up after.
Start planning early.
Once you have selected the date and the venue, start planning the details of the event as soon as possible. Effective event planning wastes no time in fleshing out the most important pieces of the event early. Many mistakes can be avoided along the way with early planning of all details.
Establish goals/purpose for the event.
Whether you are planning a wedding, bridal shower, engagement party, corporate banquet or corporate meeting, the goals and purpose need to be clear and understood by all people involved in planning the event. The planning is the key to success. Once you have your date and venue, establish the goals or purpose for the event, and share it with everyone involved.
Establish the budget for the event.
How you view the budget can change the outcome of the event entirely. It’s important to see the budget in terms of what you have available to spend rather than seeing it as a limiting item. Determine early what’s most important to the planning team and set aside a portion of the budget for each priority. For example, when planning a wedding reception, the food, flowers and table decorations may be the top priorities to you. Be sure to set aside specific amounts to create the atmosphere you desire. If you are planning a 5k fundraiser, you would set aside specific amounts for chip timing, shirts, medals and snacks. Make sure the budget is realistic and stick to it. Give yourself room for items that may go over due to unforeseen circumstances.
Define your audience/create your guest list.
Now that the budget is set, you can work toward the guest list or the intended audience for the event. After you establish the budget, it becomes easier to determine the people you want to invite to an event like a wedding, reception or shower where you are paying the bill for attendees. A fundraiser banquet or even a 5k run will have an entirely different audience, and they will likely be paying customers. As a result, they won’t necessarily cost money against the budget, but rather they will be paying their way and cover the cost of items they will enjoy/use/consume.
Invite people early/Market your event well.
Whether you are sending invitations to a wedding, birthday or shower, or you are marketing a special fundraising event to a specific population, start early. In the digital age, it would be ideal to send an email blast to your audience with a “Save the Date” message attached. If you are inviting people to a wedding, a digital “Save the Date” is also a great idea.
Marketing should be consistent and frequent leading up to the event. Communication with guests will help the event to run smoothly and answer questions for guests in advance.
Create an agenda for the day of the event including the clean up after.
Start your agenda for the event the day or night before in order to accommodate any set up items that need to occur the day before. Follow through the day hour-by-hour and even by the minute as necessary. For example, at a wedding reception, it would be essential to include a detailed timeline of when the guests will begin arriving, what they do upon arrival, instructions for the MC or DJ to communicate as they arrive, and then music selections for when the bridal party and bride/groom arrive.
Your agenda for the day of the event cannot be too detailed. If you’re wondering how Suzy (see above) knew to think of this or that for her gorgeous, amazing wedding…it’s because she planned every single detail down to the minute.
Be sure to include plans for clean up after the event. Clean up is the least fun part, but it’s still necessary. First, be sure to know exactly what part of clean up is required for you and your team to complete in order to get your security deposit back. For example, for a 5k race at a city park, you may be required to empty all trash receptacles and remove from the site or place into a large dumpster on the property in order to receive your deposit back. Overlooking these types of details can be costly and hurt your budget.
Our team at Royal Affairs has years of experience in event planning and execution. We have seen great events as well as the opposite. Our team is ready to assist you in planning a truly remarkable event that exceeds your expectations. Whether you need a venue for a baby shower, bridal shower, wedding, reception, photo shoot, corporate event, fundraiser or school banquet, we are ready to be part of your team. Call us today at 972-221-6565 to schedule a private tour of our facility.