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Having worked in the Aiea 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 Aiea, 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?

Varieties in Catering Services

Centerpieces

When planning an event, you must think about if you need centerpieces. Personally, centerpieces are one of my favorite parts of an event. They can be big, small, quaint, or flashy. Centerpieces can really add something to the event and make it look complete. There are some things to think about though. You don't want to make a centerpiece too tall that you can't see through at a social event. One time, we were planning a Christmas banquet and we thought it would be a great idea to use mini Christmas trees as the centerpieces, though we were wrong. The trees were too thick to see the people across the table, so the guests took the trees off of the tables. Talk about a centerpiece disaster. Another time, we planned centerpieces that had big, tall branches painted silver. These worked out fine because the branches weren't too flourished. You really have to think about the setting and events happening at your event when planning centerpieces, otherwise they can hinder the success of your event.

Invitations

Invitations are not as simple as they appear to be. Invitations are the very first impression you make on your guests. You make the first impression completely without even seeing them and weeks in advance. Your invitation sets the tone for the event. Your guests get a feel for the event before attending.

How soon should you send them out you ask? If planning for a wedding, it is suggested you send them out 8 weeks before the wedding. If planning a party, it is suggested you send them out 3-6 weeks before the event depending on the specifics. Make sure you give people enough time to plan. Make sure to include all important event info, as well. Who, what, when, where, why, what to wear, and how to RSVP.

Get creative with your invitations! Personally I love invitations that are an actual object to be used. Maybe you make a mixed CD of your favorite songs and send that as an invite? When I was a kid, my mom always had the coolest invitations for my birthday parties. One time she laced shoe laces up a paper roller skate for a skating party. Another time she wrote all of the party info on a beach ball for a pool party. Your invitations don't just have to be paper sheets. Think outside of the box! It will also make your guests more interested and excited to come.

Food

Some people argue that the best part of any event is the food. When choosing food for your event, you really need to think about the audience you're catering to.

Are you planning a kids or family event? Pizza is always a safe option for kids. Most children like pizza and it is easy for you. Planning an event for college students? College students just like free food. You're pretty safe with anything. As for adults, it depends on the formality of the event? A black tie affair, then of course you will have a course meal. A wedding? It's up to the couple if they'd rather go the buffet route or the plated meal route.

You also have to decide whether you want your event catered or if you will make the food in house. Of course this depends on the size of your event. The bigger the event, the more food you need, the more likely it's better to have it catered. A smaller party could be taken care of in house.

Overall, the food should be a high priority on your planning list. People love food and expect it to be delicious.

Venues

Your venue truly depends on what type of event you're having. A wedding? Your options are very very broad. A corporate meeting? Your options are a little more narrow. Maybe you're just throwing a party? You can really choose wherever fits your theme. Your venue sets the tone of the event.

Venue options include:

Conference center

Barn

Church

Banquet Hall

Restaurant

Outdoor event space

Ballroom

Meeting center

Your options are really endless, but you need to put some thought into the feel you are trying to go for. You also will always want to have a back up plan for outside events. Maybe you'll want to hand out fans if it's hot outside? Or maybe you'll have covered awnings in case it rains? Whatever the case may be hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

Decorations

Decorations can change the feel of the entire event. Your decorations can make or break the event. But remember sometimes less is more as well, so don't think that you have to use a million different things. Also the type of event you're planning might not need decorations. Evaluate the type of event you're having and the level in which you want to decorate to. Good luck and happy decorating!

Follow these guidelines and your event is sure to be a hit!

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Event Planning - Time Management For Professionals

Catering is the economic activity of providing food service at distant venues. A mobile caterer from his vehicle or cart directly serves food. Mobile catering is popular at events in the outdoors (like concerts), downtown business districts, and workplaces.

Event ranges from full-service catering in Dallas to box-lunch drop-off. When people say "caterer", they refer to, a caterer who with his staff at serves food at dining tables or sets up a self-serve buffet. The food is usually cooked at the venue, i.e., made entirely at the event, or the caterer may bring cooked food and give the final touches once it arrives. His staff is not responsible for cooking the food but they help in setting up the dining place. The catering in Dallas service is typically provided at weddings, banquets, and conventions. Any event where all are served with drinks and food or occasionally with hors d'oeuvres is known as a catered event.

In many events set up with color scheme or an entire theme is needed. A catering company is expected to know the art of cooking the food and serve it with elegance. Now a days catering in Dallas are focusing on a full-service business model. They take charge of cooking the food and also decorations, like lighting and table settings. The trend is to satisfy clients' with food as a centre point. With the right atmosphere, professional caterers can make an event memorable and special. Perfectly prepared food can appeal to senses of sight, smell, and taste, - perhaps even touch people's heart, but the ambience and decorations can play a vital role in the success of a catered event.

Make a list of your catering needs for a caterer to give you an accurate estimate for your event; you must state your needs very clearly. Do you have a venue for party/event with a kitchen on site? How many guests are expected to attend your event? Know if the caterer has requirement of minimum number of guests. Take into account that some guests of yours may have dietary requirements and make sure you tell this to your caterer. A professional caterer will be ready face anything unexpected that may come up at the event.


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