Are you getting ready to throw a party and beginning to feel the pressure? If you are, you’re not alone, as many people turn into a ball of nerves pre-event.
Organising a party takes planning, planning and more planning! There are so many important factors to consider and it’s important you get it right!
Don’t worry though; with a little bit of thought and a lot of preparation you’ll be able to ‘WOW!’ your guests. We’ve put together a few great tips and guidelines to get you through the party planning process with your sanity and a smile!
Step 1 – Decide what kind of party it’s going to be
Be realistic about what is achievable with the time and resources you have. Does it need to be informal or formal? Large or small? Inside or outside? A reception or a seated dinner?
Step 2 – Determine your budget
The budget needs to be specific so you know what you can and can’t achieve. For some there might be revenue opportunities (ticket sales, sponsorship and donations, etc.) but one thing’s for sure – for all of us there will be expenses from catering to entertainment and staffing to printing costs, to name but a few. If you keep good records and plan ahead you will be halfway there – don’t be caught out though, expect the unexpected!
Step 3 – Guest list
Think about who you need to invite, not just who you want to invite! If you’re organising a corporate party make sure you include all the necessary people from all the relevant departments. It could be devastating for the individual missed off the list, so save yourself the embarrassment and double, triple check in advance!
Step 4 – Location, location, location
Selecting a suitable site is more than just finding out what rooms the venue has available. Think carefully about where you want the party to be. Where will the guests be travelling from? Is the venue easily accessible and is there any nearby public transport or parking facilities, it all makes a difference to your guests. You also might like to think about using a FREE venue finding service like the one we offer – will save you oodles of time and we know what’s hot and what’s not!
Step 5 – It’s all about the venue
Hotel, bar, restaurant or boat? Is there enough space for your guests and are there any noise restrictions? After all, we all like a good party and if you’re having a good time nobody likes to be told to ‘pipe down!’ Do you need disabled access, do you require a stage, dance floor or special equipment and if so is there enough room? And finally will you need any overnight accommodation?
Step 6 – Catering
Food and drink at your event is crucial! Think carefully about what style of food you want to serve; will it be buffet, bowl food, sit down, food stalls or canapés? What beverages will be available too – if you’re having a reception will you be having cocktails and canapés or some fizz, wine and soft drinks? How do you want things served and who do you want to serve them?
Step 7 – Pick a theme
I know themes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but for most they can be really good fun! A Christmas party doesn’t have to have a Christmas theme – we’ve done all sorts over the years from Winter Wonderland to a recent 1920’s Prohibition themed Murder Mystery, the Seven Deadly Sins to an outrageous Electric Eighties party. Entertainment, performers, table centres and full room décor really compliment a theme as well and really bring a party to life.
Step 8 – Entertainment
I can’t stress enough how important ‘good’ entertainment is. Research your performers, ask for testimonials and make sure they are reliable. A lot of entertainers and bands have footage or MP3 files online these days which help. Also think carefully about what type of entertainment you want; would you like something interactive like a game show or murder mystery or would you prefer a cabaret or solo artists such as stilt walkers
Step 9 – Itinerary
Make sure you have one, without one you are destined for failure. I have been a party planner for years and believe me when I tell you that there is no way you can retain all that information in your head at a live event. You need a detailed itinerary and all the necessary contacts numbers at your finger tips.
Step 10 – Inspired Invitations
The invitation is your guests first impression of what the party will be like and should include the correct information – your guests will need to know what the dress code is, the date, what time the party starts and finishes, if there is any food and drink available, the address, who to RSVP to and if you are having a cash bar later pop it on the invite as not everyone will think about bringing a pocket full of cash! You can also use chosen party theme to inspire your creation.
Step 11 – If in doubt, call us!
Make no mistake, organising parties and events takes MASSES of time! And we don’t do this just for fun you know; we do it because we’re extremely good at it! From concept to completion we can do it all. Free venue finding service, entertainment, venue dressing and theming, bar hire, catering and staffing solutions are all part of our service!