Summer is finally arriving and that means event season will be in full swing before we know it. The lovely weather makes for some unforgettable shows and exciting moments of entertainment. But sometimes pulling off a successful event is not as simple as it sounds and the many aspects of a single event can leave most of our heads spinning.
We see it at our venue constantly! The utterly stressed out, overly caffeinated, mess of a coordinator that can’t keep all the entertainment in order and handle the many responsibilities that have befallen them.
Luckily for you, we have gotten tired of seeing those poor souls suffer and we hope we don’t have to any longer. And that’s why we have created a quick and easy guide to help with the planning and organizing of your next event.
Each step takes a question into consideration in order to fulfill what it’s needed in that aspect of the whole event. Once the question is answered, you can go on to the next step. Anyways, let’s get going!
Step 1: Why would you do that?!
First you must determine your objective. What’s the purpose of doing this event? What is it you want to achieve by hosting this event?
Think about guest satisfaction and how you want them to feel during and after the event.
Make sure you keep an eye out for milestones such as anniversaries and birthdays that can potentially be celebrated at the event.
Consider what the guests will enjoy as far as music, theme, prizes and other forms of entertainment. This analysis will help you maintain a clear objective for the event.
Step 2: How much do you have to play with?
Secondly, define the budget. How much money do you want to spend on the event? If this is something you’re putting on by yourself, it should be easy to figure out how what you can afford.
However, when planning for someone, it is crucial to do an analysis of how much money they are making available for you to use.
In order to do so there are some major aspects of the event you need to consider; how many guests are you expecting? Set an approximate figure. Where do you want to hold the event? (You better be thinking Cultura Event Center right about now!) How much will the entertainment cost, or what is your limit for it? Will you be serving food? What about drinks? These are all things to think about when determining a budget.
Step 3: Where are we doing this?
Next, choose a location. Create a list of your favorite venues in which you can possibly host the event. In order to do so, you will need to outline the event requirements such as your desired date, the number of guests you are expecting, food and beverage needs and the type of space desired.
Once you have 5-8 venues, begin to cut the list out by digging deeper into each venue through their websites and social media pages.
After you’ve narrowed your list to three possible locations, arrange a meeting to inspect the space and speak with the event planner or coordinator.
When you’re there keep an eye out for the overall appearance of the location, the amount of parking available or the proximity to public transportation, the attitude of the staff, size of the location and the type of flooring if dancing is expected.
After you’ve seen the places, select the location that best meets your event needs. Afterwards, negotiate a written contract with all details included including the entire cost.
Step 4: Are you not entertained?!
Now that you have a place in mind, you have to figure out how to make the most use of the facilities so that your guests will have a blast. That means they can’t be bored, which means you have to determine the entertainment.
This is a critical aspect of your event and will be a major component to the success or failure of it.
What will your guests enjoy the most? Some options to consider are a live band or musical artist, a comedy show, karaoke, a disc jockey for dancing or participating in a variety of games.
It is worth noting that some events dictate the entertainment, such as a wedding.
Take your event to the next level by matching the theme of the event with the entertainment. For example, book a fortune teller for a Mardi Gras theme or jugglers and magicians for a carnival or circus theme.
Confirm in writing (Very important!) with the entertainers; include all details in the contract including the costs and what is expected from them.
Step 5: What are you going to stuff them with?
Another critical form of entertainment is what you will be offering for consumption. Therefore, one must select the food and beverages.
This part will be largely dependent on the venue you have chosen. Some venues, like Cultura Event Center for example, allow outside food catering. Others require you to use their on-site catering.
As the coordinator, talk to the catering services manager to determine what your options are.
We recommend you go with a buffet if possible because it will provide guests with several options. Otherwise we recommend you offer two or three entrée choices for a set menu.
Finally, determine if alcoholic beverages will be served and who is responsible for picking up the tab.
Step 6: Wait, when was the band playing again?!
Event day can be a chaotic and hectic mess of people running around aimlessly with their heads chopped off without a clue as to what’s supposed to happen and when. But it doesn’t have to be! Create the event schedule.
Map out specific times for various aspects of the event such as what time you will open the doors, when the entertainers will perform, etc.
Figure out who will speak or MC the event.
Set an approximate time for how long the meal will last if you’re serving food.
Try to consider and set a time for everything you want to execute. Once you’re finished, provide the schedule to everyone involved with the event so they know what to anticipate.
Step 7: How will the people know??
Now that you have most of the logistics down, you might want to start reaching out to your people to make sure you don’t get stuck drinking those 50 bottles of champagne by yourself. That means, send out invitations or start marketing campaign.
What’s the point of all the planning if no one shows up?! Try to choose invitations that match the event’s theme if applicable.
Let guests know if they can bring others. Inform the guests about the theme, entertainment and dress code for the evening through the invitation or flyers.
Consider including a map if the location is unfamiliar to guests and directions on where to park.
If you want guests to RSVP, make sure you include a name and contact number for guests to contact by a stated date.
Finally, disclose whether there are any costs associated with the event such as an entry fee or cash bar.
Step 8: Can we just get through this already?!
The moment of truth has arrived. But thanks to all your preparations you are confident and ready for anything! Now just execute the plan and enjoy.
Just know that unexpected setbacks will occur so consider what could possibly go wrong and how you can mitigate that risk. Don’t let minor inconveniences deter from the overall enjoyment of the event and keep moving forward.
Oh yeah, and be sure to enjoy your show too!
And there you have it. You are now ready to become the next best event coordinator alive with these instructions! You’re welcome!