In order to ensure that your event turns out as well as you have planned, it is important that you make sure that you communicate well with your venue contact or coordinator. Even if there are issues that arise with the planning of your event, you want to be able to iron out as many wrinkles as you possibly can. Oftentimes, this is not as difficult as it may seem. Venue coordinators are usually very willing to work with you, providing your requirements are not outside of their ability. Here are some ways to smooth things over to ensure that your relationship with your venue coordinator works out wonderfully.
Set realistic goals. The last thing you want to do is disappoint your guests or yourself by not setting realistic goals. Don’t over promise, but always deliver on your promises. Write down what you wish to accomplish, and do your best to make sure that it happens, without excuses. When you’re realistic about your goals, and you don’t over promise, you always give room for small surprises that make you look like a superstar rather than a disappointment.
Research. Your research is most important in your planning process, and it’s the key to making sure that your event is a great success. Research what you’ll need, and work with your vendor coordinator to ensure that your ideas are suitable for your venue. Your research will provide you with information necessary to present the best ideas for your event, and will ensure you a higher response rate.
Make it fun. People resent stuffy and boring events, so plan yours to include fun. Find ways to inject appropriate activities into the event that will keep your guests interested. Your planned event can include examples of humorous stories, skits, fun raffles or drawings, if they fit. Talk with your venue coordinator about these ideas so that accommodations are readily available.
One signature game that I have done for various events is Win, Lose or Draw. The speaker writes down the name of one item on a slip of paper (one for each table at the event), and places it in a box, hat, or something to pick from. Each table will represent a team, and will need to choose someone from their team to pick from the hat. When the nominated person picks, he will need to draw, on a whiteboard, a representation of what is on his paper within 30 seconds, and his table will have to guess what he’s drawn. The table who guesses the fastest wins. This game has been a lot of fun for guests, and it is a great ice breaker.
Create and Stick to a Budget. I can’t emphasize this enough. A good budget is a part of good planning. When you did your research, you should have included the cost for your needs. This is what helps you to create your necessary budget. Find sales and discounts to save money and stay below your budget. Occasionally, you may find that something comes up that you did not anticipate. Researching the best price and saving where you can will help you to make amends for those things that come up, without going over.
Solicit Help. Grab a few friends and family members to help you do some errand running and setting up. You will find that people are more than willing to help you with decorating and picking things up. Make sure you are communicating with your venue coordinator so that she knows who will be there to help you, if need be. This way, if something arises while your help is on site, the venue coordinator knows who to talk to. Your job is the bigger picture, and having help will enable you to feel accomplished without the stress.
Add A Personal Touch. If you have a signature style that you add to your events, Go with it, but make sure that whatever element you add is a tactful and suitable addition to the event. For example, if your signature is to add a special element to the floral arrangements, be sure that element matches the decor and the theme of the party.
Market. Your outreach is fundamental in getting the most out of your event. Use your marketing skills to reach the targeted group. Contact local radio stations to see if it’s possible to get a quick mention. Place an advertisement in your newspaper. Send out beautiful invitations. Many venues offer marketing support, ask you venue coordinator if this is something they offer. The more channels you use, the better your turn out. If you are planning an event that is more of an internal gathering, and it requires an RSVP, send out invitations early enough to get a good response.
Stay Calm. The calmer you remain through this process, the better you will get things done. You have a great job, one that requires your head, but also requires that you have fun. Try to unwind when you feel yourself getting tense. Take a few moments to clear your mind before getting back to business. Every event planner needs to step away for a minute.
Event planning is not an easy job, and everyone, including your venue coordinator, is counting on your success. With proper planning, communication, a little help, and a lot of fun you can pull off the best event ever.