Event Planning is not for the fainthearted. The expectations on the Event Planner are high, and regardless of whether the event is really a fundraiser, a corporate event, or perhaps a special social event, there is usually a lot riding on the success of the event.
In my experience, this expectation will be the same whether you are volunteering or getting for your services. Your Client has a vision, and expects you to deliver the dream.
This article is being published within two parts to keep it at a fair length. Part One will look with issues such as venue choice, event decoration, seating arrangements, and food and drinks.
So , where do you begin?
Get as much information as possible from the client about the type of event that they want. To do this effectively, you must develop a rapport with your client. You have to get inside their head. During this process, you need to glean the following information:
The purposeof the event i. e. informational, fundraiser, social, special event etc .
The nameand or theme of the occasion. Sometimes the Client would already have thought of the name, at other times, they might want you to definitely come up with a name. The challenge is to make sure that the name is catchy and relates to the purpose of the event.
The date plus timeof the event – there are some general dates to avoid, and a good planner should advise the client of these schedules e. g. it is well known that will July and August are not good months for corporate events, whilst recent surveys have shown that in the year 2010, September weekends were the most popular for weddings.
The key featureof the event e.
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g. is there likely to be a popular performer or Visitor Speaker? Perhaps there is some specific fundraising activity e. g. a good auction of holiday destinations.
Consider the physical needs for the occasion as this will help you to set the atmosphere. For example ,
A wedding would be better suitable for a banqueting hall, or hotel venue;
Seminars, conferences or workout sessions might take place at a special conference room or business centre;
A ball or dinner dance might take place in a dance hall.
Failure to choose the right venue can make or even break your event. If the venue is too small, guests will be unpleasant and there is the possibility of disgruntled guests leaving before the end of the occasion, and perhaps asking for refund of their solution costs. On the other hand if the venue is actually large, it becomes difficult to build up atmosphere and rapport between the guests, making glum event.
The fact of the issue is, there is a venue to suit every single event so develop and maintain a listing of the most popular venues in your area!
The decoration at the event, goes a long way towards providing the right atmosphere for the event. Some venues get their own event decorators and often periods the quoted venue hire charges will include an element for decorations.
Particularly, in the case of social and special events, it really is well worth investing in getting the venue tastefully decorated. That way you are guaranteed not only a lovely atmosphere, but beautiful photographs to remind you of your special day.
Beware of family and friends who volunteer to manage the decorating. Try to advise the customer that it is well worth spending the extra cash on engaging a professional to do this. Unless the friend or family member is a professional, the work is always usually rushed or substandard.
Personally, I do not take on work opportunities where there are likely to be family and friends involved, unless I am providing on the day co-ordination services where whatever happens before the time is not really within my remit.
Dining tables and chairs
Again, the right choice of furniture is essential for creating that particular effect. So for example:
A workshop set up in theatre style will only need chairs, apart from the table for the guest speakers.
On the other hand, it is now common place to cover banqueting chairs for weddings, decorated with either sashes or bouquets or a combination.
One of the problems that I use encountered as an event planner, is that the seating capacity quoted by place hirers for table sittings can be very unrealistic. They might tell you that a desk will take 8 to 10 chairs, when in reality, you could only comfortably fit 6 to 8 chairs around the desk. If this is not verified beforehand, this may significantly affect the seating arrangements of your Guests on the day.
Food and drink
This can be an additional tricky area. Some events come with a cheap hire rate on situation that you have to use their catering providers and or bar. The result is that a venue that first appeared very reasonable, could suddenly become too expensive. The key here is to shop around , nor be afraid to negotiate prices along with venues based on the package that you get from each.
In the case of fundraising events where you might want to sell refreshments, it is important which you find out from the outset whether any special licences are required. Sometimes the venue will sort this out for you, other times you might have to kind this out yourself and a good planner should be able to assist you with this.