Successful Event Planning
Begin With the End in Mind
- What is the goal of the event?
- What type of event is it and what should the focus be?
Identify a Location That Suits the Event
- What location best suits the informality/formality of the event?
- Will the location comfortably accommodate the group?
- Remember that convenience is important to your guests.
Establish the Guest List
- Develop a great guest list that will promote your purpose.
- Be sure to incorporate guests that will stimulate conversation for the purpose you have in mind.
- Spark excitement with your invitation. The invitation should be indicative of the theme of the event.
- Allow adequate time for receiving responses to the invitation.
- Include critical information that will guide the guests though the event. Include a map, parking instructions, appropriate attire recommendations, and an event agenda.
- Make it easy for guests to RSVP. Offer options such as a return card, email address, or a phone number.
- Follow up with a personal phone call to reaffirm or confirm their attendance.
Color Sets the Ambiance
- The color and texture selections will set your mood.
– Reds and yellows are bright and energetic.
– Blues and greens are calming.
– Pastels offer softness and warmth.
– White, copper, and black will shine.
- Utilize complementary colors to accent your floral, candle, linen, support decorations, and food selections.
Review Your “Table Dynamics”
- Don’t let table settings overwhelm and detract from the socialization.
- Centerpieces should not block the view of your guests across the table or interfere with service.
- Candles create a wonderful enhancement. Unscented and dripless work best.
- Tapers should be minimal to keep the flame from meeting the eyes of your guests.
- Follow the etiquette guidelines for the correct flatware and linen requirements to fit the menu and style of service.
Create an Exciting, Yet Familiar Menu
Understand your guests/audience and provide a menu that speaks to their likes/dislikes. Consider ethnic or religious preferences.
Themed menus can be planned around the topic of the function.
Use the tastes of the season.
Look Beyond the Room at the Details
- Become a guest and “walkout” the event from start to finish.
- Pay attention to the grounds, parking, and entryways to the location.
- Review with the building coordinator housekeeping aspects of all areas with which the guests may come into contact.
- Ensure that climate controls are set to a comfortable setting for the time of year.
Keep a Diary
- Establish a system for recording your events.
- Include pictures, recipes, guest lists, menu cards, seating arrangements, and general notes. Make notes on how the food tasted and looked. Also consider keeping a file of new ideas for future use.