Having worked in the Waialua 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 Waialua, 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?
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A useful event planning guide needs a large section on what exact equipment you will need. Have you ever been an event planner at an event and had the spine chilling moment when you realised that a vital bit of equipment had totally been forgotten about? Yep me to. That is one of the reasons I put this article together. The amount of technical equipment you will need will depend on what kind and size of event you are organising. A good Event Production Company will be able to advise you. A good place to start is to think about what media you want to use to get across your messages? Meanwhile, here are a few things to get you started.
Ask yourself and your speakers/presenters:
- What visual mediums will be used in presentations? PowerPoint slides, video, DVD?
- What type of screen is needed, a simple screen, projector and lap top, or a more complex stage set with lighting and graphics? All of these may depend on the size of your audience generally the larger the audience the more equipment you will need.
- Plus, do you want, front, back or fly projection?
- Will you need a Public Performance License? i.e. for Videos or DVD's or music you plan to play?
Now for some practical stuff..
- What size PA System and how many microphones do you need?
- What type of microphones do you need: Lapel, Hand Held or Lectern?
It's handy to have backups too. I was at an event recently where there was a shortage of roving mikes available for a question and answer session. The audience was about 300. The client gave the organiser a significant grilling after the event. Remember that errors like this can often lose you and your company a significant contract. That is why planning ahead is so vital to run a successful event. Something that is necessary is a supply of mike runners, or mike stands. With many companies recording events to leverage afterwards having all questions on tape is vital. A few agile mike runners will ensure that everyone has a mike at the correct time.
How will the organising team communicate, can you use Walkie Talkies?
How many technicians will you need and can the Event Production Company provide the right amount of people resource as and when you need it?
Finally a really good event production company can tell your more about systems such as:
- Electronic badges,
- Data readers to collect bar code information,
- Credit card payments for offers made at events
All are increasingly being used at larger events. When you know exactly what it is used need, create your own mini event planning guide that is bespoke to your event. Sometimes the simplest
ideas are the best. Mine becomes my 'event bible'!
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A Wedding Planner was once thought of as a luxury, only used by the wealthy. Now an event coordinator is essential to a well planned affair. It is important to remember that your Wedding Planner is not there to make a decision for you but to guide and assist you in making informed decisions.
Every bride dreams about their perfect wedding but find it's not easy making that dream wedding a reality. Brides can average around 250 hours organizing their wedding. The engagement period should be a time of fun and excitement but most brides and grooms find themselves running around sourcing suppliers and reception venues, choosing invitations and arguing over guest lists instead of enjoying this exciting time in their lives. Combine this with working and is it any wonder, come the wedding day, they are totally stressed.
What will a Wedding Planner do
A Wedding Planner will do as much or as little as you want. If you want a completely stress free wedding your Planner will source and negotiate prices with all suppliers, assist you with decisions regarding themes and colors etc. for your wedding, basically they will do all of the legwork and you will only have to make the decisions regarding which suppliers to contract. Your Planner will also assist with any pre-wedding parties, if required. They will also be there on your wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly and on time.
You may prefer to organize some part of your wedding yourself and use a Planner to source suppliers for you or you might want to organize your entire wedding and just have a coordinator on hand for your wedding day so you can enjoy your big day without worrying about anything. Most Wedding Planners will offer a range of packages and hourly services.
This will just be an added cost
A Wedding Planner will save you valuable time and money as they can take advantage of discounts not available to private parties. They will do all the legwork and present you with a list of options within your budget. Their expertise in negotiating with service providers means they can secure the best deal for you. Wedding Planners build up a network of top quality vendors in the wedding industry and they only recommend the best as this impacts their own business. They negotiate very good discounts with these vendors and, in most cases, you will find that your Wedding Planner will not be an added cost on your budget as the discounts they obtain will cover their costs.
Where to start
When you first meet with a Wedding Planner they will provide you with a starter kit which will detail their services and costs, along with checklists and ideas and suggestions that will assist you to make a decision regarding themes, colors, flowers, number of guests etc. This is also an opportunity to see if you are comfortable with the Planner and if you will be able to work together. This initial consultation and starter kit is usually offered free of charge. When you make the decision to go ahead a contract will be presented to you detailing exactly what is expected of both parties and the cost of the services provided.