When it comes to organising a successful event, there are no shortcuts. There are however steps that you can take to take away some of the stress and financial problems you may encounter. There is a great feeling you get when you see your event that you spent days and weeks planning come off. Planning your own event is a great way to save some money and do things the way you want them done.
1. Plan your budget
One of the biggest mistakes people make is under budgeting for an event. If you want something to stand out and be different, you have to be prepared to pay a bit more for it. Can you save money on one area and free it up to spend on another? Do you really need those very expensive invites when the money could be spent on better catering? Think and prioritise what you will spend your money on. Set a budget and stick to it. Having a contingency fund is always a good idea just in case you have a real emergency.
2. Use reputable suppliers
Where possible, try and use reliable suppliers. It is always good to check out reviews, be it from friends or online. Events Planned has a great list of all suppliers for your event, you can see them here. Social media profiles like Facebook normally have reviews left by customers. There are also website like Trustpilot and also testimonials on companies websites as well. Do your research. A little bit of time spent looking at reviews can help you avoid some major problems.
3. Don’t always go for the cheapest
Remember the age old saying, you get what you pay for? Well this pretty much applies to most things in life. Yes it is good to find value for money and shop around but don’t scrimp on the important things. Shop around, do your research, get a few quotes and compare what each supplier offers. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Give yourself plenty of time
Planning an event can be very time consuming. It is better to give yourself a lot of time, more than what you think. Unfortunately people don’t always come back to you as quickly as you would like, deliveries take longer and something things have to be ordered in especially for you and your event. Don’t rush around last minute pulling your hair out, plan early and relax.
5. Prepare for the ‘what if’ scenarios
Unfortunately, sometimes things never go 100% to plan. Things don’t turn up, things turn up wrong, someone let’s you down and so on. Have a plan that if something does go wrong, what can you do to stop it not ruining your event. Can you get another supplier at short notice? Do you have a back up? Sometimes things are totally out of your control and it may not be the end of the world if that center piece doesn’t turn up. Just try and relax and enjoy your event.
6. Use reliable helpers and staff
If you are putting on a large event, you will need some help. Find a reputable company that can staff your event. Most event companies will have back up staff in case someone is ill or you need extra staff at short notice. Do your homework and trust who you work with.
7. Think about a theme
Not every event has to have a theme but it can help you plan your event if you stick to one flowing idea. Festival themed weddings are very popular at the minute. So hire a tipi, a cool bar, a relaxed dress code, drinks in plastic cups and fun music. Are you planning your corporate event? Why not try a Masquerade ball? A Spanish theme? Super heroes? There are loads of ideas out there.
8. Make your event unique
Do something out of the ordinary. Hire something none of your friends of colleagues has had before. A sweet cart, Prosecco van, clown, dancers, fire eaters, well you get the idea! Decorations can play a huge part in the feel of the event and can really make it stand out from the rest.
9. Keep things in order with a To-Do list
Keeping on top of things when planning an event is a must. Use a notepad or jotter, or something like an online organiser like Google Keep & Google calendar. Use sticky notes, your phone or whatever you feel comfortable using. Keep a list of names, numbers, prices, suppliers all in one place so if you need to speak to someone quickly, you have the information to hand.
10. Get some help if you need some
If all else fails, get some help! Find an event planner and get some help. There are planners out there who can plan all or a small part of your event.
Most of all relax and enjoy your event. If something doesn’t go to plan, chill out, most people won’t even notice.