BECAUZ Events has put together some great tips to throwing a fantastic party with maximum X-factor, while minimising the stress-factor! If you are planning an event as Spring turns in to Summer, this list will help ensure it comes off without a hitch.
Choose a date well in advance to be able to find a venue and ensure you have clear budgets.
Simple is best
Have a clear idea of what style/theme you would like at your party. Don’t mix loads of half-baked ideas together. A good idea if you are hiring in waiters is to get them dressed up in the same theme.
Walk the walk
When you are planning your party, walk through the party as if you were the guest. Can you find the location, the parking and the restroom easily? Where will you leave your coat? Where is the bar? Would you want to be greeted with a drink? Is your party fun and informal or formal? (And there is a fine line between formal and stuffy!) Remember the big picture and the details – many a well-planned outside BBQ party has actually smoked out the guests when the wind direction wasn’t accounted for!
Signed, sealed, delivered
Tried and tested suppliers will help your event go smoothly as they know the ropes. Choose good caterers and stick to the dishes they recommend; these will probably be the ones that will fit in well. Try to avoid the dishes volunteered by the mother-in-law and other family members that usually contribute to slow service and chaos!
It’s a numbers game
Make sure you know the numbers. Fewer people than planned and you might get hit with cancellation charges at short notice. Too many people turning up and you might run out of parking, food and drink!
The Party Cocktail
Be creative. Give yourself a signature cocktail. At a themed party, don’t stop at just wines and beers – why not have a themed cocktail list? It’s always a winner.
Location, location, location
Sometimes the small details can trip you up. In the colder evenings, coats take up an amazing amount of storage space and need organizing for guests leaving at the end. You can rent a coat rack as an alternative to a heap on a bed! It also makes good sense to position the bar as close to the entrance as possible so guests can get a drink as soon as they have let go of their coats.
Let the music play
The saviour or killer of any party. Choose music that will fit in with the theme. Do not cut costs on a DJ, no matter what budget you have. One of the signs of a good party is everyone is on the dance floor. If you want a band, go and see them perform before you book. See their interaction with the crowd, their energy, flexibility to change musical genres, to get people up enjoying themselves.
Come rain or shine
Seattle weather is unpredictable. Do you have shelter planned if it rains? How quickly can you get shelter when you see the short term weather forecast? Do you have a fallback plan? If it is a light shower that is passing, some umbrellas put around the garden might be the cheapest, most flexible option.
Getting people home quickly and easily can be as challenging as getting them there. Ensure you have some taxi numbers on standby. A suggestion would be to give them a call to prepare them – tell them that you are having a party and it is expected to end at an approximate time.
A helping hand…
Events companies can be involved as little or as much as you want, from just providing creative ideas at the beginning to coordinating everything on the day itself, leaving you time to relax and enjoy your own event.
If you are using an outside events company to help, trust your gut instinct when selecting one. They should obviously be good listeners and highly organized.
But you will be spending a lot of time talking and going through details together. So as much as valuing their expertise and ideas, you should also enjoy their company and be able to work honestly and effectively together.
And don’t forget, little unforeseen extras can soon blow your budget. An experienced events company will have a complete view of all the likely costs, from supplies to scallops and celebrity speakers. And they will have a large network of great suppliers you can tap into and help to negotiate great rates with.
So together you can manage the budget to plan.