Tips for Planning a Memorable Event
Every event, party or celebration is unique, from small company holiday parties to black-tie fundraisers, and everything in between. While the size, occasion and audience may vary, well-planned, memorable events all have the same formula for success. Read on for a list of event planning tips to make your next one a success!
Define the Purpose
Define the event's clear, concrete objective before planning starts and ensure all stakeholders are on board. A defined purpose helps to create a cohesive event strategy and serves as a guide for decisions in the planning process.
Set a Budget
Your budget will dictate the scope and aesthetic of your event. Identify every potential item and give it a dollar value: food, beverage, rentals, venue, entertainment, staff, marketing, transportation and gifts are a good start. You may need to scale back on the guest list, revisit your venue selection or compromise on food and beverage offerings, depending on which factors are most important and the budget you're working with.
Create the Guest List
Who is your desired audience for this event? Inviting the right people will determine its success. Keeping in mind your event’s purpose will help determine the number of guests and specific invitees. The type of event will help decide your invitation method: is this an invitation-only black-tie affair or a product launch event open to the public to maximize attendance?
Select a Date and Time
The when and where are very important. Check other local events calendars before committing to either a date or place to avoid unwanted competition for attendees. Your guest list and aesthetic will help determine the venue, which will ideally allow enough space for guests to mingle without feeling crowded, yet still foster an intimate feeling.
Pick a Theme
The fun part! Brainstorm with your team to establish a pervasive theme across all aspects of the event; invitations, decorations, menu items, beverages, and the items that tie the entire event together. Consider high-end custom branded swag for the guests, which can include unique crowd-pleasers such as tech items, decorative accessories or even branded sweet treats.
Decide on Food and Beverage
The most carefully planned event in the most gorgeous venue will flop if the food and drinks don’t meet the standards you’ve set for every other aspect. Select a trusted, local caterer or restaurant, and meet with them to taste the food you're selecting for the menu. Make sure your budget allows you to order enough for your maximum number of attendees, rounding up rather than down.
Pro Tip: When selecting an event venue, consider choosing one that has a kitchen and a bar to mitigate extra tasks for your caterers!
Entertainment & Engagement
If it’s an option, live music or other performances across the venue will keep guests engaged and entertained, and coerce them to stay for a longer period of time. Fun, active decor such as photo booths and branded backdrops give guests a reason to interact with each other and your brand.
Pro Tip: Creating a hashtag for the event and posting it visibly throughout the venue will encourage guests to share photos on social media!
It’s inevitable, things will go wrong or slower than you might expect with any event you plan. Remember to be flexible, patient and plan ahead. There's no perfect party, but with thoughtful advance planning and an eye for detail, you can create a truly memorable event that resonates with your guests and meets your goals.
Ready to pick a venue for your next event? Contact our coordinators at Captain Anderson’s Event Center in Panama City, Florida to tour our spacious banquet halls and waterfront views. You can also view our photo gallery that showcases some of our past events. We can’t wait to be a part of your next function!