Challenges are only part of the many problems you may encounter when you begin planning a large social event. Whether the guest list includes 1,000 people or 100,000 people, a successful project relies on detailed and specific organization. Knowing how to handle a crisis that crops up will certainly help you weather the storm during event planning, but you also need to make sure you find all the cracks as you plan and that nothing slips into the void before you catch it. Here are seven steps you can use when planning a large social event.
Select a Date
Choose a date – and a secondary possibility. Then forge ahead. Most parties have a theme, format, and purpose. Hosting a fundraiser can be much different than a music bash, birthday party, or formal ball. Knowing which type of event you are planning can help with all the other details of the party as well.
Plan the Details
Your list should be extensive and include as many particulars as you can establish. Specifics such as the inclusion of Wi-Fi, restrooms, local vendors, community support, and parking can all be critical to a large event. For each of the many steps listed on your event sheet, break them down into mini-tasks to make sure you understand the minute issues involved in each.
Establish a Budget
Once you know most of the details, draft your budget. Make sure to have a large enough buffer to cover the unforeseeable possibilities such as rain, snow, or heavy winds at an outdoor event. There are several good budget templates online that can help guide you through this planning stage and prompt you toward a realistic event budget.
Choosing a Venue
You may find yourself walking around dozens of possible venues, or calling SteelMaster to erect a party structure. Whatever you choose, make sure it is weather appropriate, can hold the full number of invitees (plus a few hundred uninvited), and has all the necessary amenities. Parking is always critical to a large event, so having a valet service is often a good idea. You may also consider having a secondary venue, just in case.
If you are having speakers, a special musical group, or some other distinct presentation, make sure to send reminders. Include the date, time the guest is expected to be there, and include a handwritten note about the special features you have prepared for their comfort. Ask for a list of items they may require, including special drinks or food. Guest comfort can go along way in keeping them from canceling at the last minute.
Tasks always creep up two or three weeks before the event. Assign responsibilities as the problems begin to show themselves. If you stay on top of the snags, you can avoid unnecessary stress and last-minute panic.
Your final check may include phone calls with special guests, rearranging seating if there is a meal, or checking on audio and video equipment. If you have a final checklist, it can help with last-minute worries.
You can’t prepare for every possibility, but if you stay optimistic, you can make your way through any problems that arise. Remember to rely on your team, and your event will be a successful one.