How to Plan an Event
Planning an event for a large number of people is never easy, but it’s a skill that many of us have to learn at one point or another. Whether you are planning small charity event at a school, a medium-sized conference for teachers or a large-scale wedding or concert, following the proper steps will ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.
The first element of event planning to consider is the venue. Make sure you find one that is appropriate in size and that can handle all of your technical requirements. If you are planning a large wedding, for instance, make sure you find a venue that has enough room for tables and a dance floor, if that’s what you require. If it’s an outdoor event, make sure the venue has contingency plans in place in case it rains. You should also inquire about technology that you may need, such as a sound system. An event can be ruined if a speaker or presenter finds out too late that a computer system he needs is suddenly unavailable.
Once you have booked a venue that seems appropriate for the event, it is time to take care of food service. If you are hiring a catering company, ask people you know for recommendations for a good one. Meet with the caterer and discuss what kind of food you want. Think about whether there will be places for attendees to sit and eat, or whether they will have to stand. If you are going without a caterer, find volunteers well in advance to contribute food items. Don’t forget that you will need plates, cutlery, napkins and drinks. Be proactive and plan ahead for people who might have food allergies and dietary restrictions. Always make sure you have a vegetarian option available for those who don’t eat meat.
Perhaps the most important aspect of event planning concerns the logistics and clean up. Once you know how many people are going to attend, think about how many tables, chairs and other equipment you will need. If you are organizing a craft fair, for example, you will need to consider how many tables you will need and where they will all be placed. Exhibitors might need tape and pens at the last minute, so be sure to have extra supplies on hand for their use. Be sure to coordinate with the venue about who is in charge of cleaning up afterwards. If you are responsible, ask for volunteers in advance to stay behind to help you restore order.