Planning an event is a stressful job. You are tasked with being hired to make this ONE DAY absolutely amazing. Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, or an extravagant party, the stress leading up to the event can be intense. There’s always more to get done and never enough time. Here are 4 things you MUST NOT forget as an event planner.
Invitations and Guests
Always put together a final list of confirmed attendees and always account for more than are reserved. Without a doubt, there will be a few extra guests that show up to the event uninvited and you don’t want them to be outcasted by not having a seat. If space is limited and this cannot be accomplished, having a few extra chairs on hand is acceptable. Squeezing an extra person into a table is acceptable or at least they can sit off to the side eating in their lap if need be. You don’t confirm, you lose your seat.
One Extra Staff Member for the Event
In conjunction, always make sure you have one extra staff member available when analyzing who on the guest list is coming. If this is a wedding, for example, you are likely going to have elderly family members attending the event and potentially other handicapped or disabled people coming to the venue. Having someone available at all times to help with one of these staff members or to carry something extra into the venue or just holding the door as a dozen people arrive can set your event apart. Common courtesy can go a long way and will be something the people attending will see as a good gesture to compliment the facility on. This is how you get repeat business.
Meet the Photographer
Photographers are integral to many large events and they each have their own style of working at an event. As the planner for the event, insist meeting with the photographer a few days in advance of the event to perform a dry-run of the event at the event center without all the commotion. This will allow them to identify the best venue lighting, where everyone will be coming in, where people are standing, and ways they can get the best photos of the event. There’s nothing more unpleasant than an unhappy host who’s pictures turn out horrible. Add this to your task list and you’ll rarely have any issues and photos will come out great!
Vendor Meals and Specialty Plates
Meals are one of the highlights of every event. Food can make or break it. Be sure to hire a caterer who can tailor their menu to your needs.
If the meal turns out great, everyone’s happy. If the meat is tough or there isn’t enough sauce for the potatoes, people go hungry and end up at Taco Bell after the event. Always make sure the primary meat dish is cooked to perfection. Everyone (almost) at the event will be eating it so overcooking or having a dry meat will ruin the meal. Roasts and other meals like this are hard to mess up as long as you give them enough time to cook. The meat will be moist and everyone will be happy.
Have one or two quick-prep meals that can be made in a flash for someone with a particular diet or allergy. It’s very easy to forget as a host that cousin Rudy’s son is lactose and tolerant because, well, you’ve never met him before. Salads are always an easy out but making some quick roasted vegetables or mac’n’cheese for the picky kid will go a long way and keep those guest quiet.