Being A Good Party Planner Organizer Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide

A well executed event can bring in as much as $704 per participant. Even more important, it can introduce your organization to powerful sources of ongoing support, from newfound audiences to bedrock sponsors. And each successful event makes the next one more successful.

Think about the last event you attended. How did you find out about it, and why did you go? Was it easy to get there? Was the location comfortable? Were you served food and/or drinks? What did you see and hear and buy and try? Who did you meet? Did you learn anything, enjoy yourself, come away with new contacts? Did it impress you? Was it worth it?

Everything that goes into making an event happen is the job of an event planner. Everything that goes into making it memorable is the job of an excellent one.

Learn the ground rules

The touchstone of event planning is that you never launch an event without a clear plan for how it will run from start to finish. Simple as that sounds, it’s a foundational rule that guides all professional event planners.

Get in the trenches

In addition to learning event planning fundamentals, the sooner you can get some hands-on experience, the better. The ability to handle pressure and hit deadlines is key to success on every project, and there’s no substitute for real-world accountability.

Choosing the Right Vendors for your Company Event

Choosing the right vendor or vendors can be a painstaking and burdensome task when planning a large corporate event such as a Company Picnic or Family Fun Day.

Decisions, Decisions!

You are now the quarterback and it’s Super Bowl Sunday. You have to find something fun and unique to satisfy not only your boss, but hundreds of your colleagues and maybe even their families. On paper it sounds fun, but once you start to dig into each aspect of the event, things start to get real. Finding the right caterer, entertainment company, logistics specialist, décor and arranging payments can turn this task into a full time job that requires an exhausting amount of organization and attention to detail.

Cheap vs. Expensive

Everyone knows the saying “You get what you paid for”. This could not be truer in the event industry. You have a budget that you have to stay within, but what good have you done if you come in under budget and the event is a disaster? Things to consider

Customer Service and Communication

Perhaps this should be # 1 on the list. The worst vendor you can hire is the one who has you sign a one page contract and says we will see you on your event day. You never hear from them again until it is time to collect the final payment. The event planning process is very much a living, breathing creature that is constantly changing and adapting to ensure one aspect of the event fits the next.

Ambition

Your vendor should be as ambitious as you are when trying to achieve success. A good event planner understands the value of teamwork. Things to consider

qualities every great event planner should possess

Embracing future technology

Technology is constantly and rapidly evolving and changing, ergo being in touch with new trends can be key ease your workload. Technology can help you get your work done faster, more efficiently and more organized, which in the end can make you an exceptional and happier event planner. Social Media is also constantly evolving, and what were new and hip yesterday, might be old and outdated tomorrow. Making sure you recognize your audience and their media trends, can give you an edge over your competitors. Related post: How to embrace future technology

Be Creative – Be Different

The key to success is the ability to do things differently, to do things new ways you need to be creative and innovative. Are you the kind of person who enjoy solving problems creatively, who wants to make every event unique and special, or who is not afraid of doing something new, then you are destined to become a successful event planner. Your ability to improvise, and your flexibility is what will make you stand out from the crowd. Related post: How to be creative

People Skills is my middle name

As an event planner you are going to talk to lots of people, a lot! You are the liaises between vendors, clients and suppliers, therefore a key component, to becoming a successful event planner, is being able to give clear and precise communication and understand what the client wish to achieve in the end. You are going to be social, and build a network of professionals, who can help you out, when problems outside of your expertise arise. In the end, knowledge and charisma are going to help you win a client. Related post: People Skills Are Essential To A Succesful Event Planner

Self-motivation behind the desk

Hollywood has painted a glamorous picture of event planners traveling constantly to exotic locations. The reality is, you are sitting at your desk from 9-17, responding to requests for event proposals, calling venues, hotels, and restaurants asking if they have available dates and satisfying rates. Self-motivation is the answer. It will keep you from going insane with mundane tasks, and will guarantee that you are not slowly killing your mood and creativity, when sitting in front of a screen 8 hours a day. Related post: Motivation Creates the Best Event Planners

Procrastination? Not on my time!

Event planners must have excellent time management. Between the mountains of details, you need to remember, the various people you have to communicate with before an event, and other tasks you are assigned, you will have no time to procrastinate. Remember your schedule for an event start at least 6 months prior to the event, therefore if you are the kind of person, who does every task at the last minute, you are not going to achieve much success. Multitasking is an essential process, when working as an event manager, as you are going to switch your attention back and forth between different assignments. The event industry is stressful, so make sure you use every available option you got, to make your workload easier to overcome

The Complete Guide to Hiring a Destination Wedding Planner

It may come as no surprise that destination weddings require more coordination than local weddings. Paying close attention to detail is critical because not only are you planning an event from afar, you are also likely to be hosting multiple events over the course of the wedding weekend, not just the ceremony and reception. The good news is, destination wedding planners can help you with just that.

“I am obsessed with details—logistical details, styling details, the smallest details down to the placement of a fork,” says premier destination wedding planner Kimiko Hosaki. “Timelines and seating plans are strategic puzzles to me that I love obsessing over for hours until they’re just perfect, ensuring the most enjoyable experience for everyone.”

Reasons to Hire a Destination Wedding Planner

In addition to the comfort of knowing your wedding is in capable hands,

Peace of mind.

Destination wedding planners ease the stress by being able to answer your questions, lay out the facts, and offer an unbiased, professional opinion. They are an invaluable asset if you have to make hard decisions like rain contingency plans, postponing your wedding date, or how to handle unforeseen road bumps.

Hands-on experience.

A top destination wedding planner has years of experience, connections, and relationships that they’ve built over time. They can handle any problem that arises with grace.

Beginners Guide to Event Planning

Hosting a large event like a trade show or an industry conference takes a lot of planning. Sometimes, you can get so focused on the big picture that you forget about the details. Before your next event

Choose a Location That is Easy for Attendees to Access

When deciding on a location for your event, first begin with access. Are you looking to locate your event in a city that attendees can easily fly, drive, or catch a train to? Once they’re there, how will your attendees get around? Do your research and coordinate with your event partners (your local CVB or DMO is great for this) and ensure that your attendees have all the information they need to find the venue, networking events, and hot spots to visit while they’re in town.

Share the Event’s Schedule With Attendees

Let everyone know your event’s schedule by sharing it via email or a mobile event app. Use hashtags like #eventprofs and the name of your conference or trade show to share information on Twitter. You should also post schedules at the event to help attendees make the most of presentations and other opportunities

Check for Inconsistent Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi quality can drop quickly as more people arrive and connect to the internet. You probably can’t do much about a venue’s Wi-Fi quality, but you can use a mobile event app that stores information and regularly syncs with its database to make sure attendees get updates as soon as they can connect. (Good news, PCMA says that these convention centers are upgrading their Wi-Fi soon!).

Provide Good Signage to Help People Navigate the Event

The bigger your event is, the harder it becomes for people to find booths, stages and vendors. Posting large, colorful signs will make it easy for all attendees to navigate your event without constantly asking staff members for help.

Benefits Of Hiring A Party Planner

How to Find the Right Wedding Planner

If you’re a brand new bride-to-be, you’ve probably already discovered that planning a wedding involves a tonne of organisation. We’re talking over 100 hours of planning for the average wedding. That’s probably a little more than you anticipated, right?!

From creating your wedding budget (and sticking to it!) through to sourcing quotes, liaising with vendors, and creating your seating chart. There’s definitely a whole lot of work required in the lead up to your wedding.

And let’s not forget about the big day itself. Who exactly is going to set up your furniture, meet with suppliers, and be able to deal with any last minute emergencies that might arise? Wet weather, power outages, last minute guests…are you feeling a little bit panicked just yet?!

No matter how organised you might feel, wedding planners are honestly worth more than their weight in gold. Hiring the right wedding planner might just be one of the best investments you make in the lead up to your day.

Do you need a wedding planner?

Are you unsure if you really need a wedding planner in the first place? After all, wedding planners come with a price tag so it’s just going to mean another expense for your big day, right?

Party planning checklist: A step-by-step guide to putting on an awesome event

Planning a party but don’t know where to start? Take the guesswork out of your planning with our easy-to-follow party planning checklist. Our venue experts have set out the essential steps to help you host a memorable event without breaking a sweat. Leave the stress behind with our comprehensive party planning checklist and get the party started!

Select a date and time

Keep a date in mind, but don’t narrow yourself down to just one day. Be flexible and check whether the most important guests are available for your chosen date. If you have a favourite place where you want to organise your event, it’s also good to check with the venue beforehand to see if they are available for hire on your selected day.

Hire a venue or host it yourself

Choose whether you’d like to host your party at a specific venue or at home. Bear in mind the number of guests you plan to invite and the activities you will organise. Hosting at home can save you a lot of money, but hiring a venue can also make your life easier and alleviate the pressure

Book entertainment and extras

DJs, bands and photo booths are all popular options – just be sure to let the venue manager know what you’re planning in advance.

Organise home cooking or hire a caterer

Consider everyone’s needs. Do your guests have allergies or special dietary requirements? If you’re taking charge of the cooking, devise a menu that’s easy to prepare and will also accommodate all your guests. If you’re using external caterers, be sure to let them know all the important details before they begin proposing a menu

Tips for Choosing the Best Event Vendors

Every successful corporate event relies on a combination of trustworthy vendors. It can be a challenge finding the right vendor you need for each piece of the event you’re planning. If one vendor makes a mistake, it could reflect on you and damage the relationship you have with a client or other vendors. This is why vetting vendors and knowing exactly how to negotiate with them is such an important part of the event planning process

Determine your needs

First, have a brainstorming session and come up with what you want each vendor to provide on the day of the event. Sometimes, it’s as simple as an individual running an activation; other times, it’s an entire team armed with truckloads of theming or AV equipment to transform an entire venue. If you have a solid list of things you want the vendor to do and provide, it’ll be easier to judge their proposal.

Google isn’t your only resource

When Googling, don’t be surprised if some vendors’ sites aren’t very stylized or responsive. You’re looking for an industry expert, sometimes a one man band, who may or may not have the resources to keep a nice website up-to-date. The best way to get the information you need from the vendor is to simply reach out to them directly to find out their capabilities. Of course, reaching out to tons of individual vendors can be a daunting task… and really, who has that much time? Event planners sure don’t. To narrow down your options, look into familiarizing yourself with Yelp, event industry blogs, and other sites related to events to help you find the perfect vendor for your event.

Make a connection

When first approaching a vendor, make sure they meet your predetermined requirements and first see if they have availability for the day(s) of the event you’re planning. There’s no point in wasting anyone’s time, and if they aren’t available, they can probably give you suggestions for other vendors.

Request multiple quotes 

Don’t get a quote from just one vendor. Even if you’re sure you’re going to use a specific vendor, getting more than one quote is a great best practice. These quotes will serve as a benchmark for comparing vendors now and in the future. You’ll also get to see what the industry price standards are by looking at multiple vendors. The quote from one vendor you may not like might have some inclusions that your preferred vendor overlooked.

Party planners: questions to ask when choosing yours

First, set your goals and expectations.

Before you pick up a phone or send an email, you should set down your expectations for your event: what must there be? What final impression do you want to leave on your guests? What is your budget?

Can your party planner arrange the right venue as well as the catering?

Do they organise transportation or accommodation for guests?  Can they source lighting as well as security? Make sure you’re clear where their service begins and ends.

How do you charge?

There should be no ambiguity around how much you are paying and what you are paying for. To find out if they work on a cost-per-person, flat fee, hourly rate, percentage basis. Make sure you’re also clear if expenses will be included or billed separately.

Who will my day-to-day contact be?

It’s essential that you meet the party planner you’re talking to. If they are your main contact during the planning phase then you need to like them and establish a working rapport. If they’re not going to be your go-to man or woman, then who is? Find out and meet them, too.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?

Whilst no-one likes to think about things going wrong, it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities. So get clear on what happens if you have to cancel your party, change it dramatically from the original brief, postpone or move it to a different date. Will you be charged? Will your party planner handle vendor cancellation costs? Will they supply cancellation insurance for you?

Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner

In the first flush of joy after your engagement, you probably began browsing wedding websites, social media sites like Pinterest, and magazines. If you soon felt buried by a blizzard of checklists and a daunting array of decisions, you and your fiancé might want to think about hiring a professional wedding planner.

Depending on your budget and needs, you can contract:

a full-service planner to arrange every detail

someone to assist you only in choosing your wedding location and vendors

a day-of coordinator (which really means 30 days before your wedding)

Getting to Know a Planner

Do you have our wedding date open? If so, do you anticipate any issues with the date such as weather, travel for our guests, difficulty booking a venue, etc.?

What made you want to be a wedding planner?

Describe the most challenging wedding you planned and how you handled the problems that came up.

How would you rate your problem-solving skills?

How would you rate your communication skills?

Are you a certified wedding planner? If so, where did you get certified? What is your educational background?

Are you a member of any wedding association(s)? If so, does your association require you to satisfy yearly education requirements?

How long have you been in business? Do you have a business license?

How many full-scale weddings have you planned? When was your last one?

How many wedding clients do you take on in a year? How many do you expect to have during the month of our wedding?

See Why The Coolest Parties In Town Are Now Held On A Party Bus

How To Save Money When Booking Wedding Party Buses

Whether you are one of the couple who wishes to book a suitable party bus for his/her guests on the wedding, or a guest itself who wishes to make arrangements for your group, you need to know certain important points relating the transports.

Of course, you already know that party buses are highly cheap, secure and superb means of travel with your group. However, did you know that you can save yet more of your overall travel costs when you keep certain factors in mind?

Yes, this is true.

When you hire a wedding limo service or a party bus to travel, the charges incurred by the service providers depend on certain factors such as:

  • The number of guests
  • The time of the year
  • Difference between booking and traveling time
  • The kind of area to travel to
  • The type of vehicle
  • The day of the week (most of the times)
  • Extra services offered etc.

And it is important to keep all these factors well in your mind before you book your wedding party bus for the group.

What are the tips for saving money on a party bus?

The reality is that, if you’re not careful, renting a party bus can shake your bank account. Depending on your location, the limo renting prices can be a bit higher than in other areas. However, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you get high-quality services at an affordable price. Not all party bus services that are expensive, have the best services and not all cheaper limo companies offer poor services. Go for what is worth your money, but make sure you get quality services by the end of the day. The following tips will help you save some cash when hiring a best party bus or limo;

 Make sure you ask about what the price quote covers:

Many party busses customers mostly agree to price quotes even before knowing what they are paying for and end up paying for some costs that are not ideal for them. Therefore, when given the price by the party bus service provider, request for the pricing breakdown. This will help you in negotiating the price since you can remove some of the items you don’t need in your party. For instance, some limo rental companies might charge you for customization of the party bus, drinks offered and sometimes parking fee. If you don’t need all that you can always get rid of them and deduct their costs from the price quoted.

Avoid hiring party limos during busy seasons or days:

Normally, party busses or limousine companies charge according to seasons or days. For instance, weekends or during holidays the majority of the rental bus companies charge higher than on regular days when the demand for their limos is down. Off days and off-seasons are the best time to hire a party bus , if you are planning to make some savings. Here, the majority of the limo companies have offered, others even slash their prices, making it cheaper for you. However, days like Fridays to Sunday, hiring a party bus service could be a bit higher. On Mondays to Thursday, the party busses prices are down because the demand drops.

Choose the Services Which You Really Need

If they are charging too much apart from the rental and the tip of the driver then you might think to skip one or more services. If you think that you can get cheaper alcohol from the market then don’t ask them to provide it on the bus instead, bring your own. This way, you’ll have all the fun without having to pay anything extra. You can look for other such things as well which you can manage on your own without having to pay a considerable amount to the bus service.

Make your party bus booking early enough:

Typically, when you hire a party bus rental in Toronto while in a hurry, you will end up paying more than you should. The party bus companies understand the art of taking advantage of your situation to maximize profits.

Split the cost of hiring the party bus between your friends:

Another best way to save some dollars while hiring a party bus is by splitting the cost. That means you contribute with your friends and you will end up paying a very small amount of money. This will work well if you’re going to have fun with peers. You will enjoy the best limo transportation while paying less. For instance, if you’re going out, five of you share the cost among yourselves, and things will be easier for all of you. You will have more money to buy some extra drinks or even foods.

Take your time and do proper research:

There are various party bus or limo service providers in Toronto, and that means you need to do the appropriate research to get the best fair price on the market. Transportation can be costly if you just pick any party bus rental company you come across. Shop in different limo service providers in Toronto and evaluate what they offer physically.

How To Save Money Renting A Limo

People rent limousines for a surprisingly varied number of reasons. Touring an area, showing property or accommodations and amenities of an area, traveling from an airport to a meeting and, of course, for big events like shows or the high school prom are common uses of limos. Limousines offer comfort and can relieve the pressure of parking and exiting from crowded venues.

But, each of these uses and other custom uses requires a different service and therefore a different fee. For example, does your use call for a stocked bar or full food service? Satellite tv? Internet connection? These considerations cost money. By understanding and explaining your needs, you are taking the first, important step in controlling the cost of your limousine.

The second step in controlling cost is to define the size limousine you need. Will three people be touring potential real estate sites in the area or will 12 persons be attending a rock concert, athletic event or prom? You can find limousine services that can accommodate surprisingly large or very close-knit efficient groups. If you need a small limo, why pay for the biggest vehicle on the lot?

Another way to save money is to see what vintage limos the service offers. They may have older models that rent for less money than their newer models. You should not be afraid to ask about discounts for limos that have miles and years on them. Assuming the limo company is protecting their investment and maintaining the car efficiently, you can save money by using an older model. Be sure to ask about this because the provider is likely to try to rent the newer, more expensive models first.