A problem-free event is the goal of every host, hostess, or event planner; whether you’re planning a small dinner party for a few close friends, or an elaborate fundraiser for hundreds, we all want a smooth-running event. We’ll help you learn how to plan a successful event with the following tips:
- Detailed planning is a must; even small events involve dozens of details that someone needs to handle.
- Write it all down; no one can remember everything. Every event needs a detailed checklist so nothing is forgotten.
- Avoid last-minute problems by developing a timeline to ensure things get done in proper order, and in plenty of time.
- For larger, more complex events, assign duties and responsibilities, and establish deadlines for the completion of each task.
- Follow-up to make sure things are being done as they should be, and on time.
Communication is key; establish clear lines of communication early on, and maintain good communication as your planning progresses.
- It is important to clearly communicate your expectations to everyone involved in the planning and production of your event so misunderstandings can be avoided.
- Larger events typically involve numerous vendors who will need to work together as your event takes shape. If possible, schedule a vendor meeting at the event site in the early planning stages. Be sure to provide each vendor with complete contact information for all of your event vendors.
- Don’t hold back on the details; give all your vendors an overview of the event, and make sure each vendor has a clear understanding of their role. Your vendors should be interested in hearing about your entire event, not just their part of it. Sharing the “big picture” with all vendors helps everyone to see how all the pieces of the event puzzle fit together.
- Don’t assume anything; everything should be spelled out for everyone. If you assume something is going to happen, there’s a good chance it won’t.
- Get it in writing; oral agreements may be fine for some things, but when you are planning an event, written documentation of all important agreements is a must.
Outdoor and Tented Event Planning
For outdoor / tented events, have a backup plan; we suggest you plan for the worst and hope for the best. More often than not, the weather cooperates and outdoor events are the most spectacular parties you’ll ever experience. Be prepared; don’t let inclement whether put a damper on your event.
- Consider weather factors that might adversely impact your outdoor event, (wind, rain, heat, cold) and plan for them. Also, consider the drainage at the tent side; if it rains, will water run under the tent? All of these things should be considered and discussed in the early planning stages to avoid problems on the day of the event. Tent accessories such as walkway canopies, sidewalls, fans, heaters, air conditioning, flooring, carpeting, etc., can make the difference between a spectacular tented event, and one that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
- Do you have the power? The electricity needed to power an event often exceeds the power available at the site, especially in residential situations. Be sure to ask each vendor for their power requirements, and then make sure you have that available, as well as additional power for things that may have been forgotten, or may be added later. In many cases, you’ll need a “whisper quiet” portable generator to power your event; for smaller power needs, have an electrician run temporary power to the event site from a nearby home or building.
- Restroom facilities – Make sure the site you have chosen for your outdoor event has adequate restroom facilities based on the number of guests you expect, and the length of the event. In some cases, there are no facilities, the house is on a septic system that may not be able to handle the volume, or the facilities aren’t convenient to the event site. Or maybe you just don’t want 200 people in your house. Whatever the situation, we have access to a variety of portable restroom options to accommodate events of any type and size.
With proper planning, you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself, knowing your special event will be memorable for all the right reasons.