Every event is different, we can tell you that; we’ve planned corporate events and booked entertainment for every type of party, and every company holiday party, corporate event, anniversary party—every event was its own with unique and different details. At the end of the day, however, the basic elements of every event are the same; the direction you take while planning (or the direction you give your event planner) is going to give your event that unique, over-the-top feel you’re going for. So where do you get started with planning? You can start by using this basic checklist, and customizing it into your own, unique event:
Budget. Your budget is a key detail in every step of your event planning process, and a question you’ll find every vendor asks about. Break down your budget into categories, such as venue, décor, etc., and create a budget tracking system that you can utilize easily throughout the process. Though many would see budget-tracking as a process exclusively for corporate events, even private parties can benefit from an expense tracking system.
Date. If you do not have a confirmed date, choose several possible dates that work, and contact venues to see what date are available. Make sure your date is suitable for your audience, and set with maximum attendance in mind. The perfect on the wrong date is a recipe for disaster.
Venue & location. Choose a venue that fits the formality of your occasion and budget, and has ample space for your guests. If you need a venue that needs to fit multiple functions (tradeshow, dance, dinner, cocktail hour, etc.), map out the different halls and areas before you make a formal confirmation.
Theme. A party without a theme is an event without direction. Obviously for large corporate events, you don’t want to get too “themey,” but you can choose a color scheme for your event details. Use your theme or color scheme to plan your refreshments, decorations and entertainment, even if you use it in subtle ways.
Food. If your event includes meals, cocktails or hors d’oeuvre, find a venue or caterer that can provide the appropriate refreshments that fit your budget. Keep your audience and theme in mind. For example, a corporate crowd is going to expect a much different meal than guests at a wedding.
Decorations. Choose decorations that fit the theme or color scheme, and the occasion. Make sure you check with the venue if you want to put up decorations that attach to the wall or ceiling. Many venues have specific guidelines for decorations. If you can’t hang decorations, consider décor like table centerpieces and lighting. If it’s lighting you wish, check with your entertainers or an audiovisual company lighting that sets the mood of your event.
Entertainment. There are very, very few events that don’t require entertainment. You don’t have to be in the midst of planning a rockin’ party to need entertainment; we’ve secured entertainers for corporate events, grand openings, etc. If you want to locate the right entertainers for the occasion, contact an entertainment agent. An entertainment agent can handle all your entertainment details, saving you time and matching you with entertainment that fits your guests’ demographic. With one call, the entertainment agent can book all the acts you need and handle all the details that come with hiring entertainers. They’ve also seen what works and doesn’t work, and good entertainment agents only hire the best entertainers for your unique event.