Having worked in the Maui 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 Maui, 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 - Take Your Event From Good to Great!
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!
Event Planning Facts
You are recently engaged, and now it is time to start researching wedding reception ideas. But where should you start?
All good weddings start with a plan, and listed below are 6 tips that you can use to make sure you plan the wedding of your dreams.
Start looking for a reception location early
The first step is to figure out when you want to get married. Summer and fall weddings open the opportunity for an outdoor wedding reception; however these are also the most popular times to get married.
You need to move fast and start early to make sure you get your first choice of reception location during the busy seasons.
One way to narrow down your choices is to choose either an indoor or outdoor wedding reception. Then, make a list of potential locations and start visiting them as soon as possible.
Think about your budget and only look at options that fit your budget
Your budget will play a big part in deciding where to have your wedding reception. Depending on where you live, the average wedding can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000.
If you are having a large wedding with a limited budget, you may want to stick with indoor wedding facilities that offer reasonable wedding reception packages.
Outdoor tented weddings tend to cost a little more. Things like silverware, chairs and glassware will have to be rented, and you will have to work with a caterer that specializes in tented weddings.
Book wedding vendors early
In addition to booking your wedding reception location early, you should book your other wedding vendors like photographers, bands and florists as early as possible.
Good wedding vendors are booked up more than a year in advance. To ensure you get your first choice, start researching and meeting with your vendors shortly after booking your wedding reception space.
Choose a wedding theme for a unique reception
If you want to stand out a little from the crowd, consider incorporating a wedding theme into your reception. A wedding theme can be as simple as a certain type of flower, like daisy, or a season, like fall harvest.
More elaborate wedding themes include Cinderella or country western.
A popular option with any type of wedding theme is to include a signature drink. Different types of martinis, like apple or blue, are great options.
Ask a family member or good friend to take your gifts home
The last thing you want to be worried about when leaving your reception is the location of your wedding gifts.
Ask a good friend or family member (preferably someone reliable and sober who won't forget) prior to the wedding to be in charge of collecting your wedding gifts and moving them to a secure location after the reception.
Take a few moments to look around and enjoy the reception
Weddings take a lot of time and effort to plan. During your reception, take a few moments to look around and enjoy the results of all of your hard work.
Eat the food from your caterer, have a few signature drinks, admire the floral arrangements and enjoy your family and friends. Wedding receptions only last a few hours, so make sure you step back and soak in the atmosphere.
The above 6 ideas aren't everything you will need for planning your wedding, but it is a good start towards the perfect end result which is a wedding memory that will make you smile for the rest of your life.