Having worked in the Pearl City event planning industry for almost 7 years there are not many surprises left – but occasionally I still get the, “They did what?” pass my lips! Why am I not surprised anymore – because over the years the number one rule for event planning is putting time into the pre planning of the event, and then planning contingencies for the exceptions that may happen?
So where do you start? As far out from the event date as possible as getting space is the first step. In Pearl City, where we do a lot of work, it is not unusual to be booking one year out at some of the venues, as they are booked solidly every week.
The first few decisions are the easiest. What is the budget? What is the event about? A party, corporate seminar, convention, festival, wedding, or an anniversary – the list is endless, but one thing remains constant once the event has a name and the type of event is decided, the next step will be to decide where to hold the event. This is where the real event planners stand out from the crowd. So you have an event – okay lets book a hotel is normally the next answer but why would you miss out on an opportunity to create a unique experience?
Event Planning - Where Do You Start?
One reason you might not socialize as much as you could with your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, or others may be the barrier of supplying them with food and drink. There is stress in planning any summer outdoor party when you must purchase large quantities of food and prepare it for your friends in a way that will impress them. What is lost in the process is your time speaking, dancing, and catching up with the people you invited. With a top-notch catering team, you can forget the preparations and mingle until your feet tingle in your backyard, by the pool, in the gardens, or wherever you choose.
Enjoy the summer weather and the palate-pleasing fare whipped up by people like Chef Carl of the Franklin Market Basket. In states such as Michigan, we live for the few nice summer months where the flowers are in bloom, the sun is bright, and the trees are not bare. Don't miss the opportunity presented by this weather and the company of your friends; seek out a reputable caterer in your region and let them take care of the most problematic aspect of any party: the food.
Just as you would take a large group of co-workers out to lunch at a restaurant rather than to your house, apply the same thinking to your summer gathering. It comes down to how you want to budget your time. You can spend hours at the grocery store overloading a cart with odds and ends, and inevitably forgetting something; washing dishes in the kitchen while you watch the party progress outside in your yard; and having the blood vessels in your eyes explode when you hear a cousin complain about your cooking skill. Hand the job to a professional and head outside, umbrella-adorned drink in hand. Remember: no one moves to Michigan to shovel snow. A good party catering service can move you in the right direction in the summer months-outside.
Event Planning Guide: What Equipment Do You Need for A Successful Event?
You've been tasked with planning an event and don't know where to begin. Take a deep breath, anyone with any level of event expertise can take an event from good to great. Here is how:
For beginners, it is imperative that you do your homework. You must first generate an event plan and consider the building blocks of any event: target market, situational analysis, the 6 P's and planning.
Let's get started. Think very clearly about the people you are trying to attract. Ask yourself the question: Who is your target market?
Once you identify those that will be attending your event, allow yourself time to travel into the hearts and minds of your potential audience. Believe me; knowing what kinds of things they like to see, do, buy and eat will be helpful as your event plan begins to come to life.
Now that you have your target market in mind, let's take a look at your situational analysis. You will need to examine your internal strengths and weaknesses and your external opportunities and threats as they relate to whatever you are planning to do. You must be brutally honest with yourself when analyzing the various components of your event.
The next step in taking your event from good to great is to identify the 6 P's of event planning: Purpose, People, Product, Place, Price and Process. Outlined below you will find the questions related to each P that you should answer prior to diving into the planning phase.
- Why are you doing this event? (Purpose)
- Who will attend? (People)
- What are you going to do? (Product)
- When and where? (Place)
- How much is it going to cost you? (Price)
- How are you going to get the job done? (Process)
Now that you have identified your target market, have performed a situational analysis and have answered the building block questions of planning an event, you are ready to develop a formal event plan and begin execution shortly thereafter.
A formal event plan has several interrelated components: goal, objectives, strategies, tactics, budget, timetable and evaluation. Your written detailed plan of action will serve as the backbone to your master event plan. Keep it close at hand and refer back to it often.
Congratulations, at this point you have finished your homework and can now move into the imaginative, fun side of event planning! Take your events to the next level by identifying a theme and carrying that theme from start to finish.
Planning a successful event is no walk in the park. It is tedious work and requires an individual who always keeps their dancing shoes and party hat nearby. One who is forever excited about the adventure and who remembers that problems that will inevitably arise but the beat must go on.
You've got a plan, now the let the event begin. You are on your way from good to great!