Event planning is a hectic profession, but when done right it can be extremely rewarding. Venturing into professional event planning is not an easy feat. Many successful planners took years to hone their craft, and it takes sweat, dedication, and tears to put together a successful event. But this article is not for professionals; instead, this is a guide for DIY planners who want to save money and at the same time put together a party that they can be proud of.
Step 1: Coming up with a theme or vision
A vision for the event is what makes it cohesive, and it involves all the aspects down to the smallest detail. Many professional planners always say that details are critical because it is often what guests and clients notice first. In coming up with a theme or vision, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of event are you planning?
- What is the goal of the event?
- How many guests are expected?
Focus on the atmosphere you want to evoke during the event. If the event is personal, like a wedding, work closely with the couple to determine what they want, but be careful in saying yes to all their requests. Tone down the details, and keep the best ideas to incorporate in your final vision.
Step 2: Setting a budget
Finances can be the most challenging aspect of planning an event. You need to thoroughly determine how much you can allocate for key elements of the event. The biggest chunk of the expense goes to the following:
- Event venues can be expensive especially if the location is popular. To save money, you can look for a place that has full amenities such as lights and sound, chair rentals, and parking.
- This does not include only food but also beverages and table settings.
- Decorations are more expensive if you are planning a themed event. If you want to use fresh flowers, buy from a reputable florist and choose local blooms which are cheaper.
For organised budget planning, you can use an app or a spreadsheet to keep track of expenses.
Step 3: Choosing a date and venue
After locking down the budget, the next step is to select a date and book a place. To choose the perfect venue for the event you are planning, consider the following:
- How much parking do you need?
- Is weather an issue for an outdoor event?
- How much space do you need?
- How much time do you need to book the venue?
- What are the terms for paying a deposit, cancelling, and refunding?
- Do you need rooms or will an open space work?
- Are the amenities complete?
These are only some of the factors to take into account when searching for a location for the event. Remember that a large portion of the budget goes on this component, which is why you need to be wise in setting your priorities before booking a place.
Step 4: Finding vendors and suppliers
Third-party vendors will take some of the work off your hands when you are planning for an event. But certain suppliers, especially the caterers need to be carefully selected. Sample as many tasting menus as you can and check the caterer’s availability. Be sure that you are not competing with another event on the same date.