Event Planning 101

Planning gatherings of any size can be a lot of work.  From food to entertainment, you’re under the pressure and scrutiny of everyone who attends.  If you’re new to planning events, that pressure can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.  Here are some simpler things to keep in mind when you’re in charge of planning any event.

Guests

Making a guest list isn’t as easy as it seems like it should be.

Deciding on who you want to come to an event may be simple, but people will inevitably want to bring guests, and some people won’t show up at all.  How many people are you expecting at the maximum amount?  If a couple of other people show up, would you be able to handle that?

Plan in a range, like 20-30, or 100-130. Don’t try to get the numbers exact- even if people RSVP, there’s no telling whether they’ll actually show up.

Entertainment

Planning this can be the fun part, figuring out how you’re going to thrill and excite your guests throughout the event.  There are tons of options, from DJs to singers.  You can even hire actors for events where you’d like a live performance.

Consider if your event has a theme, and what your guests will want from it.  Do they want to dance, or do they want to laugh?  Is it more of a mingling party where you’d like the performers to be out working through the crowd?  There are more options for entertainment than there are for any other part of your party, so make sure to consider it carefully.

Venue

This ties in with the guest numbers.  Don’t get a place that comfortably seats several hundred for a party of twenty, and make sure not to invite a couple of hundred people to a room that can fit twenty.

Although space can be expensive, venues are something you have to be ready to lay down the money.  Your guests will need to have room to move and be comfortable, or nobody is going to want to go to an event you plan again.

If your event is themed, try to go with a location that goes with it.  For instance, a mermaid themed party for a sweet-sixteen birthday would be fun, located on the water or a beach.  It’s easy once you give yourself some time to think about it.

Food

Although allergies are essential to know, you can’t make everyone at the event their own custom menu.  Three options are more than enough if you’re serving by the plate- if it’s a buffet, you have more wiggle room.

You must have a caterer you trust, who has had good reviews and does this professionally.  Although it may be helpful to pay someone’s aunt to make the food and bring it out, if any of your guests get sick, you and the aunt may both be liable.  With professional caterers, they’re more usually the ones found at fault.

By keeping your guests in mind, and giving your event some careful thought, you can make sure that you’ll throw a successful gathering that people will be talking about for ages.

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