This is a big one. You don’t have to have the exact date figured out but knowing what month and what day of the week you’d like to hold your event (weekday or weekend) will make step two of this checklist much easier. If your event is inside you can hold it any time of the year, but if you’d like to have it outside, you’ll need to consider the weather. One final thing to think about, make sure you leave yourself enough time to organise and your guests enough time to RSVP.
Planning an event is no small task by any stretch of the imagination, which is why many choose to involve an events company to take care of the details. Often when planning and coordinating an event, you don’t get much of a chance to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
If you are still intent on planning your own event, instead of hiring a catering and events company, here is a handy checklist to help you along your way.
Set a budget and stick to it. Things you’ll need to consider are the number of attendants, the venue, the style of food (sit down or canapes), beverages, staff, styling, entertainment, and lighting. Once you have received quotes for each element of your event, take a step back and reassess how much you are spending and where you are spending it. If the budget is looking a little tight, prioritise the things that are important and look for more affordable alternatives for the rest. Professional event managers have years of experience behind them and great connections; they balance budgets on the regular and know where is safe to save.
Once you have a date in mind and a budget, it’s time to scope out potential venues. Pro tip: choose a venue that matches the style/theme of the event to save on decorations and styling costs. Make sure you check with the venues what their maximum capacity is and whether the catering will be included in the price of the venue hire.
Time to decide on the guests you’d like to attend. It’s a tough task to put together a guest list, and it’s often where the budget wobbles. If it’s a corporate function, list all important stakeholders before you move on. If it’s a wedding or private event think about the style of the event, do you want an intimate gathering or a big party? Again, start with the people who are most important to you and then work your way out. Decide early on whether you’d like to extend your invites to partners as this can double your numbers.
Once your list is finalised, it’s time to design the invitations. Your invites set the tone for the event, if your budget allows, professionally designed invites create impact and generate excitement. But that will mean another conversation (or several), with another vendor regarding your vision for the event, an events management company saves you the time and energy and briefs all the relevant vendors for you.
Now you have decided on your events theme; it’s time to find vendors to execute it. Depending on the act, live music needs to be booked well in advance. DJ’s will require an example of the kind of music you’d like played. All elements of entertainment will need timings for the event so that they can accommodate intervals, speeches or awards.
When it comes to the decorations, you can be as detailed or brief as you like. At the very least, images that demonstrate a colour scheme or style of event (minimal and modern, rustic, colourful etc.) will be enough to help stylists and florists create a cohesive aesthetic. Pinterest is your friend, but know that the most beautiful events come at a cost.
Unless you plan on preparing the food yourself (definitely not recommended if your numbers exceed eight), you’ll need an events catering company. Sometimes the venue will have options to choose from, but if not, you’ll have to source your own. You’ll need to provide them with any special dietary requirements of your guests, whether it is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, or allergies (try to find this out when people RSVP). Another thing to consider is the style of food that is best suited, if it’s a product launch and you want people to move around, a sit-down-meal won’t be ideal. Alternatively, if it is a big event, with alcohol being served a sit-down-meal ensures that your guests have enough food in their stomach.
When it comes to getting everything prepared for your event, we recommend setting up the day before. It is possible to set up on the morning of, but it can be stressful and leaves you less time to get ready. Your venue might be able to assist, but it’s best to check ahead of time. The week of the event your vendors should be in touch with you to organise the final details, but if they haven’t, make sure you give them a call and confirm timings and the address of the venue.
The day has finally arrived, but the work isn’t over yet. Now it’s time to make sure your guests are comfortable, that the wait staff are doing what they should be, and that everything goes according to plan. A general tip from us: give yourself time to breathe and don’t spread yourself too thin. Ask for help and delegate.
As you can see, a lot goes into planning an event or function, which is why catering and events companies like Comestibles exist. If you are planning an event in Perth, we take care of every tiny detail, so that you and your guests can enjoy the bigger picture. You can find out more about how we envision, plan and deliver unrivalled events and fine catering experiences here.
We would be delighted to hear from you. Just fill out your details here, and we will be in touch to discuss your event.