The one thing that I have learned about events over the years, is that there are so many moving parts and no matter how prepared you are, there is always going to be surprises. Planning events takes a lot of patience, organization and creativity. Weddings, birthday parties, launch parties, any sort of event, all need to have a well thought out plan. I was born to plan. I plan my social life, my professional life and my trips; I am constantly making lists and getting all my ducks in a row. My tendencies have led me to a basic structure or formula, when planning events.
Choose a Date
Build a Concept
I am a visual person, so I love Pinterest Boards. They are an amazing organizational tool. I use it to brainstorm, get ideas for decor, layouts, you name it. All the items I need to buy for the event I usually add to the Pinterest board so I can have it all in one place. When Pinterest created secret boards and allowed you to add collaborators to your board, they definitely had event planners in mind.
Multiple Spread Sheets
I probably should of put Excel above Pinterest but it is not as fun. Excel is essential for organization. If you have paperwork for your event, be sure to make a check-list of all the paperwork that is required before the event. On a separate sheet make an event checklist. I like to separate mine into sections, dividing by timeline. I have one second of tasks that needs to be done a few months prior to the event, a section for a couple weeks, then a couple days and then the day of. On another separate sheet make an event budget. If your event has a guest list, I would also make a separate sheet for that. Add an additional sheet for the event timeline. Run through the agenda for the event to figure out the timing. This is especially important for speeches and planning meal service.The sheets can go on and on, but when everything has a place everything runs smoother and you have a more all encompassing view for your event. I have found so many wholes in my events after I go through this process. Little things like forgetting to rent bread bowls, or sugar spoons or organize parking tend to come to light.
The event plan is usually my last step and the key to success. The event should have a general framework and structure, but the event plan fine tunes all the timing. Each person involved in the event should have their own separate description of their role, where they should be and what their tasks are. I like to time everything, so everyone knows the place they should be at any given time. The event plan includes set up, the program for the duration of the event and take down. A mistake that I have made is totally forgetting to specify where everything goes when it is time for take down. Take down in the worst! Everyone is tired and they just want to go home, but like I said having a plan just makes it that much more bearable. This also ensures that you don’t have missing event rentals post event.