Just because you’re organizing a private event, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have an agenda or that you can afford to be too spontaneous. As a host, you’re in charge of the logistics. There are certain expectations that your guests will have, and living up to these expectations, as well as surpassing them, is your responsibility.
With all of this in mind, here are several tips that should help you make your next private event planning instance a great success.
Plan Your Catering
One of the first things you need to worry about is the catering. Now, before you even start looking for catering companies, there are two things you need to know:
- Catering budget for the event
- Food allergies and preferences of your guests
These two items are something that you’re bringing into the negotiations. These are the topics you need to ask your catering company, and the answer they give might determine whether they’re hired or not.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the importance of scheduling a tasting session. After all, this will be the only reliable way to know that you’ve made the right call. Other than this, you should check references and reviews, ask to see certifications, etc. At the end of your day, you’re going with your guts.
Remember that timing of activities and the number of guests may also be a huge issue here. Moreover, you may want a sit-down meal or a buffet-style service. Overall, your personal preferences and other logistical issues regarding the event (and the venue) might make this choice quite obvious.
Setting the Mood
The first thing you can do to affect the mood is choose a proper venue and decorate it wisely. People act differently in indoor venues than they would act outdoors. Theme parties (Halloween, Christmas party, etc.) have their own unique décor elements. Keep in mind that this is a way to boost morale from the moment they set food to the party site.
According to experts behind a venue renowned for live music in Minneapolis, the playlist can drastically affect the mood of the party. After all, music changes the way in which we see the world. Different genres can evoke different emotions and memories. In other words, you should use the playlist in order to follow your schedule.
Finally, you need to be the right host for the evening. Greet everyone and give them your full and undivided attention, if just for a couple of seconds at a time. Lead them through the venue, introduce them to other guests and make sure they are comfortable at their arrival.
Focus on Making It Convenient
Keep in mind that as a party organizer/host, you’re the one calling all the shots. This means that you get to choose the date, the location, the activities, etc. What this means is that it’s your job to pick the most convenient solutions for everyone.
Picking the middle of the week will drastically lower your attendance. If not, it will make people leave early, avoid alcohol, or have to curb their enthusiasm by quite a bit. The choice of venue will force people to reinvent their commute and make plans. You can make it very easy or very hard on your guests.
Remember, it’s all about guests having a good time, which means that choosing with their convenience in mind might be huge. It doesn’t make the party into an instant success, but it does give it a boost. It also makes some people adopt a positive mindset even before they arrive.
Choose the Date
The next crucial task on your to-do list is setting the date and time for the private event. Sometimes, you’ll have the complete freedom to pick any date you like. Then again, if you’ve just moved into a new neighborhood and want to throw a move-in party, you might be pressed to host it sooner rather than later. So, the first question you need to answer is how flexible your schedule is.
The next consideration is the amount of work that has to be done. The further away the date is from the current moment, the more freedom you have to tend to all the little details. Also, the more leverage you get to negotiate when you know you’re not in a rush is not to be underestimated either.
In the end, if you’ve set your eyes on a particular venue, it might be worth your while to check if it’s available on that date to begin with. Vendor and venue availability is a huge item on this list and something you should definitely focus on from the very start.
Remember that the event is not over when the guests leave. You also want to have proper feedback to create an end-to-end positive impression on your audience. You want to thank everyone and get some feedback in order to see if they had a good time.
The simplest way to do this would be to get online and ask people. However, creating a public status that they should respond to (comment below) or sending a circular email are really lazy ways to do so. Instead, what you want is to go for something direct. So, send a personalized message to their inbox, text them, or even call.
Your expenditures might have taken an even bigger dent than you expected. This is something you need to address as soon as possible. It can also be quite valuable if you plan to host another event in the future. Financial projections and budgeting will be a lot easier to forecast this way.
In the end, every event is different, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t develop a reliable systemic approach to the planning stage. Divide all your problems into categories and assume a step-by-step approach that should help you solve them individually.
However, always have the bigger picture (your vision of a perfect event) in mind. This can help out with the motivation, seeing as how planning the private event can be quite stressful and, at times, even disheartening.
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