If you’ve ever attended a memorable shindig, you know just how much fun a well-planned event can be. What you may not realize, however, is just how much goes on behind the scenes. Planning the perfect event is an art, and at Cornerstone Theatre our team of planners can partner with you to see things through to the finish line. From corporate events to receptions and festive parties, our team is here to help! For those beginning the event planning process, here are a few pieces of advice to get you started!
Budget, budget, budget!
Knowing your budget upfront is one of the best advantages you can give yourself from the start. Having a hard line (with your wiggle room already built in) allows you to quickly narrow down your list of potential venues, catering details, and more. It also helps you set more realistic goals for the entire process, differentiating the wants from your needs. To lock in your budget, there are a few things you’ll want to know first: how many guests you’re anticipating, whether your event is taking place in peak or slow season if you want alcohol (expect a bigger bill), and what kind of food you want to serve. From here you can sit down with a planner to finalize the details, and get to work on the rest of the details!
Communication saves the day
With so many details involved in putting on an event, even on a small scale, it’s no surprise that strong communication is a key component of success. To avoid confusion, if you have more than a few people collaborating ideas, delegating certain tasks is a good idea. Have a shared way for everyone to keep each other updated, and report back on any major changes or challenges ASAP.
Build bridges, not burn them
We all know that planning a function can be stressful, but it should go without saying that forging positive relationships with vendors is the best approach. Lead with constructive criticism when necessary, but avoid letting your emotions boil over. Keep things polite and professional, and there’s one less headache for everyone!
Watch out for other industry events
This one is more for our corporate clients, but it’s applicable to personal events as well. There are peak seasons for every industry, alongside the typical busy times (Christmas, New Years, etc.). If you’re relying on solid attendance numbers to justify your spend, do yourself a favour and check out your top competitors for any key dates on their calendars. Sometimes, waiting a week can make a huge difference in terms of people’s availability.
Know when to send out invites
Once you’ve got the basics covered for your party, you need to make sure people know when to come! Tradition mandates that at least three weeks notice should be given via invite, but if you’re dealing with executives or with guests coming from farther away, more time is better. Once you have a venue and other core details lockdown, you can send out a precursory note, followed by a formal invitation and a week of reminder. Remember to keep things concise and clear, and while it may be tempting to send lots of updates, do your guests the courtesy of keeping their inboxes clean unless you have vital information to share.