At some point in our lives, event planning becomes a necessary skill and unless you are planning to outsource it – you will need to throw one for something! A child’s birthday party, dad’s retirement party, fundraiser for your local school, New Years Eve party… The list goes on. Here are some key steps to start planning your event:
What do you want to accomplish with your event? Are you throwing a fundraiser? Are you celebrating something/someone? i.e. Wedding, Baby Shower, Retirement. Is this event just for fun? Perhaps a holiday party or theme party.
Who is your ideal guest? The importance of knowing your audience. I can’t imagine a situation where this advice isn’t applicable. If you want someone to attend, what would that person appreciate? This will effect 90% of your decisions. If your attendees all prefer to drive, does your venue have parking? If they are the kind of people who go to bed at 10 on the weekdays, maybe a weekend event is more preferable. Can they afford to attend your event (if you are planning to charge)? Is it a family event? Weekends during the day may get you more attendees. The more your event can accommodate your ideal guest, the higher your attendance rate will be. Are your guests the type of people who go away on holiday weekends? Maybe a Labor Day Weekend event isn’t in the cards for you.
What can you spend? Establishing a budget. At the end of the day, what you can afford gives you the final say on everything. It determines how many invitations you can send, the venue, any activities you have, food and beverage, and decor. What can you realistically spend to pull this off. Based on your audience you can determine things you can skimp on and things that should definitely be included.
After you have these three questions answered you can worry about the details. How do you want the invitations to look? What kind of centerpieces are you interested in? What favors you give out? Theme, decor, dress code, etc.
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