Many of our clients don’t plan events every day, so they’re learning best practices along the way.
- The very first thing anyone planning an event should do is make your guest list. This will allow you to focus on venues that fit your guest count and determine your budget. Wouldn't it be terrible to find a venue you fall in love with only to realize that it's far too small or too large for your guest count? Keep in mind that 20-25% of invited guests will send their regrets, which will greatly increase the amount you have per person to spend!
- Plan ahead - last minute changes create last minute problems (that is actually a famous Jim Zilli quote). "Throwing things together" at the last minute many times results in details being overlooked. I ask clients to "help me help you" by giving me their event specifics as early as possible. This allows us to plan ahead and allows time for changes and adjustments that might come along as the event date draws near.
- Make your RSVP date seven days prior to when we require your final count (in other words, the RSVP should be three weeks prior to the event date). This is especially important in weddings. Let's face it, people don’t always RSVP until they actually plan a large event of their own. I can't tell you how many friends of mine have said, "I used to wait until the last minute to send back the RSVP card, but after planning my own wedding I make sure to send it back the day after I receive it." There will be people that will simply not respond. Allow an extra seven days to call these people to confirm whether or not they are planning on attending. It would be a disaster if the guests who did not respond showed up and we weren't prepared for them (no seating, not enough staffing and not enough food).
- Listen to your event planner when they offer a suggestion - we do this for a living. We know what works and what doesn't. It's as simple as that.
- When budget is a concern, it is best to focus on a more economical menu/package with many enhancements rather than a more expensive menu without any enhancements. Think of your event as a novel. You want a compelling beginning that creates excitement, a middle that keeps the momentum going, and an ending that leaves a lasting impression.
- Pay attention to due dates - they have been established for a reason, which is to ensure your event is successful. So many "behind the scenes" components go into executing your event and these take time.