Are you organising a birthday celebration, Christening or office Christmas party? No matter if you oversee a small family gathering or large corporate event. Planning an event can be a stressful process. It can often leave event organisers feeling overwhelmed. But worry not, we have your back! Stick to our insiders’ list of do’s and don’ts put together by our event profs.
Call us, book and send some invites. That’s it. Well, it’s not. Don’t get lulled by the task ahead. No matter how straightforward it seems. Start planning as soon as you can. For larger events, we recommend four to six months in advance. The smaller ones can get away with at least one month to plan.
Top tip! To keep the final run-up to the event flowing, ensure that all contracts are ‘signed, sealed and delivered’ a few weeks before the event.
Stick to Your Budget. Firmly.
We have highlighted the importance of planning your event as early as possible. But it’s equally important to estimate your budget as early as possible. Remember that with every event, things will get in the way. Unforeseen costs will mount, and you need to account for this from the start.
Top tip! Despite what many suppliers will tell you, everything is negotiable. Try to negotiate as low a price as you can. Set your budget before meeting a vendor and offer to pay 5-10% lower than that figure. The vendor wants to win your business, so if it’s at all possible, they will try to work with you.
When planning the event, things are going to change. Whether it is event times, locations or even the type of event you’re hosting, you need to ensure that you’re flexible and can meet the changing demands. Look out for companies with more venues in their portfolio, like our Cedar Court Hotels located across Yorkshire. If your event needs to reschedule for some reason, you have more options to move your booking to a sister venue.
Top tip! Have a plan B. Rarely an event is ever pulled off without at least one issue. An item may not turn up, or an important person may arrive late. Assess your event’s most important assets and create a backup plan for each.
Choose a Venue.
The location of your event is a crucial part of the event experience. It can make or break your success. You might be looking for something unique to wow your guests. But you also want one that’s safe, trustworthy, easy to deal with, and with a good reputation.
Venues that provide seating, catering, or lighting can take some burden off your back. But what about Wi-Fi? On-site accommodation? Or any other technology perks that a venue provides will only simplify your planning.
Top tip! Contact professional venues and speak to them about their offering. You will be surprised what you find like our Cedar Court Hotel Harrogate. It’s a reliable venue close to the city centre. With famous Stray parkland on its doorstep plus has a fantastic Tipi set within its gardens. What’s not to like?
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!
Create an event plan, including a timeline, venue information, a guest list, and audio/visual requirements. Break up the elements of the event into manageable chunks (like registration, catering, parking). Assign a section to each member of your team. And voila! They’ll be on top of minor detail changes as they’re responsible for their little bit.
Top tip! Hold regular calls and meetings with your sub-teams. It helps you stay on top of everything and gives you a real sense of control.
An event is a perfect way to build up your social media presence. Create a custom hashtag for your event on Twitter and encourage your followers to tweet about it. Set up an event on Facebook, and ask your followers to tag the event in relevant posts. Upload your photos once the event ends and inspire guests to tag themselves.
Top tip! Don’t miss an opportunity. Ensure you and everyone involved in the event is busy on social media to draw attention. Prepare easy-to-share visuals to make this easier for everyone.
Pictures paint a thousand words. So go ahead and snap snap snap. Posting positive photos online is an excellent way to showcase your event. Suppose you have the budget to hire a professional photographer. Ask for a few shots to ensure you cover all bases, such as the entire room set up, event branding, and lots of photos of attendees enjoying themselves.
Top tip! Even on days, you don’t feel like saying “cheese!” ensure you take a picture. You will find these photographs handy for your social media. For event planning tips for the future. For securing sponsors, and even for yourself to remember the planning process.
Stay Calm, Have Fun and Enjoy the Event!
With our very best event planning tips, your function will surely be a success. After all the preparation, budgeting, negotiating, and stress of event planning, remember to enjoy it. Have fun with your guests. Relax and take in the achievement of the finished event, helping set the atmosphere for a great experience.
Speak to our friendly events team and see how we can help you deliver an outstanding event. Contact us via 01274 905 620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com