Monthly Archives: February 2012

Enjoy Yourself!

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I get it, an event is hard work but during the event take a moment to look around:  Look at the people at your event, look at the decorations, listen to the music, and try to relax.  Take the time to enjoy the event you have worked so hard to organize, even if it’s only for a second.

The feeling after the event is very rewarding.  Feeling like you have accomplished something and have made an impact on someone’s life is a great feeling.  So remember to take a second to appreciate your work before getting back into the event process.

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Be Prepared and Be in Contact!

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An event takes a lot of work, so make sure you are well prepared and have all the help you can get!  It is important to plan ahead.  Write out what you are going to do when you are going to do it.  Have a schedule and allow more time than is necessary.  If you think setup is going to take an hour, allow yourself an hour and a haft in case anything goes wrong.

Last year, I planned a beauty pageant for my sorority and did everything I could to be prepared.  Prior to the dress rehearsal I made stage directions for those working backstage, to inform them when the curtain would open/close, which talents needed a microphone, etc.  During the dress rehearsal I worked out any kinks in my stage directions to make sure everything was perfect during the pageant.  It is always important to be as prepared as possible.

Being organized and prepared will allow an event to go more smoothly and less stressful for all of those involved.  Have a list of your volunteers and their contact information with you at all times.  It is important to make sure your volunteers show up, and if they don’t, be prepared to have a plan of action of how you are going to get everything done with less people.  It is important to brief your volunteers to make sure you’re all on the same page.

Keep in contact with those involved at all times.  If you’ve ever watched a fashion show, you’ve seen the people back stage with headsets on talking with the other people around the show, to keep in contact with what is supposed to happen when. During any event it is important to keep in contact with those involved to make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing.

The Guest List

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As much time and effort that goes into an event,  you want people to actually show up and enjoy themselves, that’s why it is important to make sure your event is well advertised.  Whether you’re planning a formal event and the guest list is by invitation only or if your event is open to the public, the event needs to be well advertised. 

Invitation only: For an invitation only event, the invitations need to be well thought out with all necessary information including; who, what, and why– description of the event (i.e.-birthday party, wedding, date night), when– time & date, where– place (some may need directions), how-what to do…possible theme.  If the event is well secured, guests need to know if identification or the invitation must be presented at the time of entrance.  The time of the event is also very important.  If you’re trying to plan a surprise birthday party, I would advise you to inform the guests that they NEED to be at the location by a specific time.  Also specify if the event is an “open house” that guests can come by whenever they are free during your specified times.  If a party is later at night and you only want guests to stay until 11p.m. make sure you state the end time on the invitation so guests aren’t lingering around.  Another important tip is if you want guests to RSVP; make sure to state on the invitation when you want to know if they will be in attendance.  Also make sure to include if a specific dress is required.  For formal events, make sure to state if it is a black-tie or casual dress.  For theme parties, make sure to include what the guests need to wear, for example- “wear your favorite pajamas for the sleepover party!”

Open Events: For events that are open to the public, it is important to get your advertisements where people will see them.  ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, AND ADVERTISE.  Some common advertisements are fliers, email invitations, Facebook posts, banners, radio commercials, TV commercials, etc.  Get your message to the people and make sure they attend.  Or if you’re having a hard time getting people to your event, have an incentive for them to come.  “The first 500 people will receive a free t-shirt”.  People love free stuff, so if you offer it they will mostly likely come.

Keep a Budget $$$

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Keep a budget!!! Before you start to plan an event, think about how much money you can spend on the event.  Depending on if you’re planning an event for someone else (using someone else’s money), or your own, think about how much you want to spend.  When compiling a budget keep in mind the following aspects: location security deposit or location fee, decorations, food & drinks, entertainment, security, cleanup crews (any workers/volunteers), invitations or advertising.

Location fee: As I said before, when planning the event and looking at locations make sure you can afford to have your event at your desired location.

Decorations: Any event you’re planning should have decorations, whether it’s a wedding with flowers or a birthday party with streamers and balloons.  Remember to reserve enough money to have decorations.  Some people may go a little crazier than others, but when shopping for decorations stay in your budget and don’t make excuses to spend more money than you need to.

Food & Drinks: Every event should have food or drinks.  This year I planned a two-mile run and was required to have water present at the event, so it’s important to budget for food and drinks just in case of an emergency.  It’s also a common courtesy to have food and drinks at an event especially if your event is more than two hours.

Entertainment: Remember to budget for entertainment.  Whether it’s a band for your wedding, a deejay for dancing, or a clown for your son’s third birthday party it’s important to remember that people get bored easily and need to be entertained.

Security: Large scale events are going to need security.  Whether you hire police officers or bouncers to work the entrance of your event, security needs to be present.  With that being said the security most likely isn’t going to work for free so make sure you budget enough money to pay for their services and even tip them if they do a good job.

Clean-up and Set-up crews: usually the clean up and set up is done by volunteers but for larger events, hired help might be necessary.

Invitations: Like the decorations, you should budget for invitations or flyers to advertise for an event.  For even larger events paid advertisements might be necessary to attract more participants.

Happy planning and save money!

Location is everything!

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Hello again, this week I am going to talk about the importance of the event location.  It is CRUCIAL to pick a location that best suits everyone’s needs and to PLAN enough in advance to make sure your desired location is available.

Renting a space– It is always a good idea to explore different options when looking for an event location.  Depending on your event size and guest list try to choose a location that will accommodate everyone.  Also try and have enough seating for your guests, guests usually get uncomfortable when they have to stand throughout an entire event.  Next, keep in mind safety and handicap accessible accommodations.  Safety is very important when event planning because you won’t want to deal with a lawsuit or breaking out your crisis communication skills.  Also keep in mind the weather conditions.  If you’re planning an event outside, have a backup location in case of inclement weather.  It’s better to re-locate an event rather than cancelling it.

Reserving the location– When choosing your desired event location first make sure it is available on your specific date.  Work with the employees of your desired space to make sure it is available and that enough staff will be there to assist in the setup and cleanup of your event.  As a courtesy to those who work at the location please do this with enough time in advance so people can rearrange their schedules if necessary. 

An in-door event space