While event and party planning may look like a ”fun” career choice, there’s actually so much more that goes into it. It’s a high-pressure job that focuses on a myriad of moving parts.
The truth is, you’ll need to be a level-headed and organized person who works well under pressure in order to pull off party and event planning as a career. Not only this, but you’ll also need a serious eye for detail — because every well-planned, flawless event comes down to the details.
As an event and party planner, there are certain ways to prepare so that your job is as stress-free as possible. If you’re new to the game, here are some of the top party planning mishaps to avoid.
1. Not Starting Your Party Planning Early Enough
Here’s the thing — time is never on your side when you’re planning a party or event. It’s always best to assume that things might run a little late or behind schedule, especially when it comes to relying on your vendors. That’s why you need to start your party planning way earlier than you think.
To add to this, procrastination is never going to help you — even if it’s the smallest tasks that you put on the back-burner. When it comes down to it, this type of procrastination can come back to hurt you.
All in all, you want to begin your party planning as soon as you have a set date for the event. And the best place to start is with securing a venue. This is because most venues are pre-booked for events months or weeks in advance. So you need to ensure that you find and secure the right venue in the right timeframe.
Once you’ve secured the perfect venue, it’s time to make a detailed party planning checklist that you can sink your teeth into right away. This checklist helps you to map out the planning process, keep track of completed tasks, and stick to a realistic timeline.
2. Neglecting Your Technology Setup
In today’s day and age, technology plays an integral role in almost any type of event. Whether it’s the music, speaker, and dancefloor set up, or a podium set up with a slideshow, you need to prepare it all before the day of the event.
Don’t want to make the mistake of leaving your technology set up for the day of the event. This is one of the biggest oversights any party planner can make because if you run into tech issues, this could totally derail the rest of the setup on the day.
Another important tip is to pick one operating system (i.e. Windows or Mac) and stick with it when using technology for an event. The last thing you need to stress over is incompatibility issues.
Make sure you set up all the required tech for the event at least the day before. Then, test it out thoroughly to ensure it’s all working properly. Always have a technician’s number on speed dial in case of any hiccups on the day.
3. A Lack of Communication Before the Event
Without your guest list, what type of event do you really have? You need to make your guests a top priority when planning a flawless party, and that means regular and timely communication.
One of the most important party planning mishaps to avoid includes failure to communicate with your guests before the event. Your guests should not be left in the dark, confused about details, or a lack of information.
It’s a good idea to think about communication from their perspective. What would you want or need to know in the lead-up to the event? Make sure you provide all the critical information they need, well in advance, but not too far in advance — you don’t want them to forget it!
This includes address details, parking availability, directions, local resources, the event/party agenda, the party theme or dress code, food and drink options, etc. Send your guests a comprehensive email reminder of all these details a week beforehand, plus a follow-up reminder a day or two before the event.
4. Failure to Prioritize All Five Senses
One of the best ways to create an amazing first impression, as well as an impression that lasts, is by engaging the senses. When planning a party that you want your guests to remember, you must consider all five of their senses.
By doing so, you can create the ideal environment that allows your guests to feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. And this is not something they’ll forget in a hurry.
First and lasting impressions rely on how you stimulate the sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch senses. This means your venue must look visually amazing. It should also smell pleasant and inviting. You could offer a welcome drink on arrival, enjoyed with a soothing backdrop of music. Your guests should have access to comfortable, plush areas of seating for maximum relaxation.
5. Neglecting the Quality of Catering
If there’s one thing that can derail an event faster than anything else, it’s bad food and poor service. Some event planners might even say that catering is the single most important part of any event. It’s what your guests will remember, above many other aspects of the event.
Make sure to do your research on the catering company you hire. Where possible, test out some of their catering beforehand. Ensure they use fresh ingredients and can serve their food in a timely manner on the day.
Communicate clear instructions with your catering team to ensure everything runs according to schedule and your guests aren’t left hungry or thirsty for too long. Finally, don’t forget to prioritize certain dietary requirements and make sure there are fresh and delicious options for these people too.
6. Not Having a Backup Plan (aka Plan B)
When you plan out your party, you want to think about all the scenarios that might require a contingency plan. For example, if the party is outdoors, what is your backup plan going to be in case of poor weather?
If something happens to the event space, i.e. a fire, do you have a backup event venue secured? Some other important backup plans to consider include power outages, overflow parking space, tech issues, seating issues, and food and drink mishaps.
Make sure you have a contingency plan for all the potential scenarios that could go wrong on the day so you have yourself and your guests covered!
In Need of a Top Class Event Space?
Party planning is not rocket science, but it does take plenty of forethought, preparation, and time management. If you can keep these key mishaps in mind when planning your next event, you can rest assured that your guests will walk away impressed!
Are you planning a special event in the near future? The Midlothian Conference Center is your go-to for all event types. Offering a 39,000 square foot facility, we can adapt the space to suit your specific event.
Whether it’s a large-scale conference or a small and intimate wedding reception, we’ve got you covered! Get in touch with our team for more.