Events are ways we celebrate life’s special moments such as the birth of a child, graduations, weddings, and even retirement. Events help us showcase important things to the world. Planning an event can be fun and exciting. However, it can be an expensive and tedious task if not done properly. Here are a few actionable tips that you can use as you plan your event.
What’s Your Purpose?
You must first have a purpose for your event. That’s easy, right? It’s a step often missed, and you may think it won’t matter but it really does as you progress through the planning stages. You will be asked what you’re celebrating. It could be a birthday, new addition to the family or a marriage. The purpose of the event must be clear to your guests and those who may assist you with planning.
What’s Your Budget?
Secondly, you must determine your budget. This is another step often missed and so important. No matter what type of event you are planning you must have a well- thought-out budget. You will need to have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend. Having this figure in mind will help you determine what decor you may want or what vendors you can afford to hire. Keep in mind that what you can afford and what you may want to spend could be two totally different numbers.
What’s Your Plan?
Third, write out a plan for your event. This plan should include a timeline for planning, guest list, potential vendors, colors or theme and possible venue options. Having a clear plan helps you to stay on track and it helps when you are looking for vendors. Whether you hire an event planner or not, you must have some idea of what you want.
Who Do You Want to Work With?
Fourth, start to hire your vendors. The quicker you do this the better. Depending on the vendor and the task assigned, they could essentially take a lot off your plate which would give you more time to focus on other things. When hiring professionals, seek out reviews about them and sit down with them to talk about your event. Leave no stone unturned. Ask lots of questions and be sure to read all contracts thoroughly. Be 100% clear on all terms to avoid confusion later.
Fifth, notify your guests in a timely manner especially if you are requesting they RSVP. Depending on the event, guests should have at least 3 weeks to 3 months’ time notice. They may need to request time off from work or secure travel arrangements. Your invitation should include pertinent information such as date, time, location and if there is a dress requirement.
Let’s Have Fun!
Lastly, once it’s all done enjoy your event. This is the best part of it all. Your purpose and planning will be executed, and you can truly enjoy your event. After your event wraps up, look at cost spent versus budgeted so that if you plan this event again you’ll have a basis to refer to.
Event planning is fun and rewarding. Having a great event come to fruition all months of planning is an accomplishment to be proud of.
This guest post was contributed by LaKisha Mosley, who is a professional event planner.
Get to know LaKisha!
How did you get into event planning as a career?
After I planned my then 5-year wedding renewal (now divorced though), I saw that I liked event planning. I went back to the vendors and told them I was starting my own event planning company. The venue where I had my renewal invited me to their open house and signed me on as their event planner.
What are some tips you have for someone interested in event planning?
Do your research on the industry. Be committed to the process of learning constantly. Be passionate about the experience for the client and not the money. Get a mentor and be diligent about studying with them.
How did you get your first clients?
When I was a vendor at the open house, I sold myself very well. They had no idea they would be my first clients. I had done my research and had my business looking as if I had been in business for years. That day I booked 3 clients.
What are your favorite creative activities?
I’m not very creative. I’m more of an executioner. I make plans and get them done.
What do you see yourself doing/achieving in the future?
I want to train and employ other event planners. I want to grow my boutique to manage events all over the world.
Just for Fun
What’s your dream superpower?
If you were to go to a fancy dinner party, what celeb would you want to see there?
Cupcakes or cake?
Gold or silver?
What’s your favorite season?