Having worked in the Waipahu 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 Waipahu, 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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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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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'!