It’s 2019 and the start of a new chapter for all of us and no doubt with the start of a new year comes a new hunger to celebrate life in varying formats; the birth of a child, a birthday, valentine’s day, a wedding, graduating from school, a baby being christened, the purchase of a new house, or generally celebrating “just because”... the list is endless, cos that’s just what we do. So we class the product of these celebrations as "Events".
Now, I’m not officially an Event Coordinator or Wedding Planner or Party Planner, but I have gleaned a bit of insight from attending and suppling cakes for countless events. To ensure that you're better prepared before your next event, and seeing as I’m in a sharing mood J, I’ve captured 5 Points that in my opinion are very important at ensuring your next event is successful... you're welcome :-)
“Oh wow, I didn’t know that my birthday party would cost so much…”
How many times have you heard this, or something similar? Worst still, how many times have you said it?
Budgets are super important, and definitely a foundation for the next 4 points I’ll mention below. You don’t have to be geeky about it, all you need to do is look at the available amount that you are willing to spend on your event and start from there.
A Coordinator is your point person or persons, before, in the run-up to and during the event who is in charge of ensuring that all parts of your event are tied together seamlessly.
Often times, people would assign a trusted friend or family member, and in very few and exceptional cases, depending on the event (please and a louder PLEASEEEE excluding your own wedding), you could act as the Coordinator of your own event
I can’t overstress the importance of this role.
Generally, the Coordinator liaises with the different vendors which could include; your venue manager, caterer, baker, decorator, entertainer, make-up artist, and the list goes on. This liaison is to ensure that your vision for the day (Point 3) is executed with excellence….. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it… now think about it, do you reallllllllyyyyyyyy want/trust your best friend to be responsible for all this? Or if you’re like me (control freak J) can you imagine excusing yourself from your own wedding when you’re just about to say your vows, because the delivery of your bouquet was delayed and now you have to rush home and sign for the delivery so you can rush back to carry on with the ceremony,…. I think not. Ok ok extreme situation, but trust me I’ve seen and heard of crazy occurrences at many of the occasions I have graced in the past.
Discuss your budget with your Coordinator so that you’re both on the same page. Often times, experienced Coordinators would have a list of contacts that they could recommend.
I mentioned earlier about your vision for the day. This is when you walk through your event, at first in your head (don’t worry it’s not madness), then secondly on paper or in your trusted gadget, from start to finish.
Remember you’re just visualizing so you don’t have to be detailed about it, the details are covered in Point 4.
Think broad, for instance if you’re planning a party for your 60-year-old dad, visualise close family and friends, entertainment that could involve flashing back to dad’s earlier years, foods that take dad and his friends back to their childhood days, entertainment probably in the form of a comedian that could carry all generations present at the party along with their jokes… you’re getting the picture now, aren’t you?
Once you’ve captured your vision, assign ballpark figures to the different areas based on priority. So in the example of dad’s 60th, if the Comedy is the most important factor of the night, then it could get 30% of the budget (just an example). Again do this with the help of your Coordinator.
The main things that many people remember after an event are;
This leads me nicely to what I call the “3 Cores”, and these could go either way, parking could be an issue meaning people have to walk 20 minutes or more (extreme I know) to the venue, but if the food was exceptional and the vibe was great, you’ll be forgiven
On the flip side, if both food and vibe are bad and the parking was great, then I don’t expect them to attend your next party. Hard truth.
This is the location where your event would be held. It could be at home or in a hired venue. 3 things to note about the venue are:
Whether it be light nibbles and a cup of tea, food and drink are really important if you invite people to your event, else if you planned a 3 hour event with no food or drink to keep tummy monsters at bay, then after 1 – 2 hours, don’t be surprised if people start trickling out of the venue.
You don’t need to have the X-Factor Winner singing to your guests unless that’s what you want and your budget allows for it, but entertainment in whatever format that speaks to you and your guests is very important.
Imagine soft music playing in the background during a networking event to ensure there are no awkward silences or even a child Entertainer taking the kids imaginations on an adventure whilst parents have a break to chat and relax.
Sounds obvious…. Let me use this point to re-cap.
If you’ve assigned a budget and spelled out your vision to your coordinator; who is currently ensuring that your dreams are coming to a reality…. food is available and the drinks are flowing… then you deserve to put your dancing shoes on, pour yourself a glass of bubbly and dance the night away…