Top 10 easy ways to plan a successful event
1. Let a professional company help plan your event: Event planners do events every day and they know the ins and outs and little things to look for and think about when planning an event.
2. Think about the date you plan the event for: Watch out for holidays or seasonal events like 'Back to School' or a holiday like 'Mothers Day'. If you are planning an event and it falls around a holiday or special time of year when many people traditionally travel out of town or spend time at home with the family, then you may have a low attendance. Think very carefully about the date you choose. Birthday parties especially!
3. Think about the time of day your event will occur: Families don't like to stay out late or get going too early. 10am or 11am is the earliest you should plan for and dusk is usually a good time to end your event. Many people don't like to drive at night and families need to get home for dinner. Again it's all about attendance which is key to having a successful event.
4. Know your budget and let your planner know what you have to work with: Don't waste your time looking at entertainment that is not in your budget. This will take all the fun out of planning your event and could lead you to spending more than you planned on.
5. Plan ahead: Waiting to the last minute to plan your event will limit your choices. For most items like moonwalks, clowns, petting zoos and birthday type items start planning at least 1 month before your party or event and more than that if you can. If you wait til the last minute then many of the rental items or favorite performers may already be booked at another event. For festivals or large corporate events start planning at least 3 months prior to your event. Be aware, there are some specialty items or rare items that may need to be reserved as much as 1 year in advance.
6. Ask for Ideas: Don't be shy, ask your event planner or events company for ideas. They go to many of their events and know what is a popular item to have at your event. Some items always seem to have long lines while other items are barely used. Event's companies know what items and performers are really hot!
7. Make a map: Map out your event. Whether you are having your event at home, church, or park, get measurements on the items you rent and make sure there is enough space. Also be sure to leave some room to get around. Most events companies can provide you with space requirements on all their items. If you can't make a map or your event is small enough that you feel you don't need one then at least get dimensions on the items you are renting.
8. Make sure you have the proper power requirements: There is nothing worse than having all your items arrive and not being able to plug them in. An events company will ask about your power availability but don't leave it up to someone else. Make sure you know how many outlets you will need for the items you are renting. Many times a rental item will use all the power from one outlet even though it has two plugs. You may need a separate outlet for each item you rent. If you don't have enough outlets then you may want to rent a generator. Distance is a factor here also. I would not try to place an item more than 100 feet away from an outlet. Also many large carnival rides require 3-phase power and you'll need 3-phase generators.
9. Lighting: If your event is in the evening you will want to make sure your party goers can see their way around. Check to see if your event stop time will occur after dark. There are many places online where you can check to see what time it gets dark on a specific day. Lighting can be expensive so make sure you factor that into your budget and keep your event in the daylight if it's feasible.
10. Advertise: Make sure people know about your event and make sure they know early so they don't make other plans on the date of your event. If it's a birthday, send out invitations 3 weeks early if possible. If this is a larger event then take whatever appropriate steps to get the information out to those you wish to attend. Remember Email is fast and free so to get the message out early use email. You may want to follow up with a phone call or a mailed invitation as some spam filters may keep your email from being delivered.
Remember to have a good time at your event as well. Party planning can be stressful but if you and your attendees have a great time it will be worth it. Everyone loves a great party planner!
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