First Things First

August 12, 2018 at 6:29 PM

Have you been stuck planning the company Christmas party? Stuck with all the comments of “well, last year was ok but they really could have done better”.

No pressure right?!?

There’s always that overhanging cloud of needing to please everyone, as well as the hours it can take figuring out what venue to pick, what food to have, entertainment, drinks, guest list.....help!!

On a daily basis I get people coming to me in this position - often rushing out on their lunch break to see a venue, laden with a big stack of function packs in their hands and not even knowing where to start. I totally get it, and feel confident that I send each person away from a meeting with me actually excited (say what??) to plan their event.

So today, here is blog 1 of 5 on how to plan an awesome event, starting with first things first!

Tip 1  – have an ideal date

Although it’s totally okay to be flexible, it’s always good when approaching venues to have an ideal date or day of the week in mind for your function. Most venues aren’t too happy to hold/pencil multiple dates at a time, so this will save you a lot of back and forth while you try and figure out a date that work for both of you.

Tip 2 – figure out your guest numbers
The best and easiest way to figure out how many people will attend your event is looking at the previous year. However, if this is a brand new event, I recommend the following formula:

If 100 invites go out,

Approx. 80 will RSVP yes,

And about 60-70 will actually turn up.

Tip 3 – think about the time of day for your event

Is your event going to be a long lunch, or an evening soiree? An after work catch up or a formal dinner with all the trimmings? Knowing this will make your life so much easier when looking at menus, when choosing a theme, and when deciding on a venue. If your venue requires an hourly rate, I’d recommend 2 hours for a networking event, 3 hours for a lunch, and 4-5 hours for a Christmas lunch or an evening function.

Tip 4 – Decide how formal your function will be

Knowing how formal you’d like your function to be is extremely helpful for a venue to know. It will also help you with decisions later down the line e.g: menus, invitations, style of dining and more.

Tip 5 – Decide on your dining style

There's three different dining styles that you can have for an event.

1. Seated dinner. Most event venues will have an area for you to kind of have drinks and nibbles before you sit down, so make sure you take that into consideration.

2. Walk and fork style menu. This style of dining is for a standing style space, but feeding guests a dinner sized meal served ‘canape’ or ‘platter’ style. Because people standing take up a lot less room than people seated at tables, sometimes this style of menu will get you a cheaper function hire!

3. Casual drinks and nibbles. This is for events that are a little bit of a later start, e.g: 7:30pm, so guests have had dinner before they arrive, but still providing the courtesy of some snacks available if people should want them.

Our 2nd blog of five helping you to plan an awesome event is about how to find a venue. This can be extremely stressful and take hours and hours to do, but I am going to narrow it down to five minutes for you – stay tuned!

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Category: Awesome Event Planning

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