Planning an event involves a lot of loose ends, and seasoned coordinators have plenty of horror stories to share about wedding receptions or awards ceremonies gone bad. Even if you’re just arranging a party for a relative or for friends, you’ll benefit from the tips and tricks event planners gleaned through years of experience. There’s the venue and schedules, the invites and the head count, the décor, the staff, the setup, and finally there’s the food, which is probably the most important element of it all. You’ll have a lot on your hands by the time your planned party comes into full swing, so leave plenty of slack to compensate for any mistakes.
Public places are the most convenient venues, although you’ll still have to secure permits for your setup. Parks and public function rooms can even cover for the ambiance of an autumn wedding or a children’s party. Private residences and properties are your next-best pick, especially if it’s owned by a friend or relative. You’ll either have the entire place to yourself, as a favor or at a sweet discount. Your last, yet still feasible option is to rent space built for events, such as hotel halls, function rooms, and resorts. These are usually fancier by comparison (depending on the budget you’re allowed to work with), but you’re guaranteed a venue and you have a right to complain about the smallest details.
It’s all about the Guest List
The details in your party planner depend on your guest head count. In formal gatherings, this is usually determined months before the event, as soon as the RSVP invites are confirmed. The head count reflects on the costs, since you’ll have to make room and prepare food for all the guests, plus spares to cover for emergencies. Food preferences are accounted for, as well as the party’s motif. The setup also considers serving preferences; plated meals will do for small crowds, but you’ll have to consider buffet stations if you’re accommodating a hundred people or so.
Rent or Purchase Equipment?
You’re probably experienced enough in the events industry if you have all the necessary equipment in place. It’s more feasible to have your own supplies if you regularly provide the service. Food is a crucial element in any event, though, and you have to ensure preparation and serving complies with safety standards. You can rent catering equipment online and ahead of time; you’ll need refrigeration units, displays, roasters, and food processors large enough for multiple servings, and you can’t purchase equipment you won’t use very often. Cover for every detail of your event without going over budget, or at the very least, make sure your client is well aware of the extra costs beforehand.