Purpose is key...are you fundraising, are you celebrating a wedding, did you invite some friends over for a dinner party? What is the focus and how are you presenting that to your guests, because regardless of how large the event and celebration you are planning there is always a message to convey.
What is your Purpose and how does that look to your Guests...
- With our economy still struggling and in a slump, cost definitely has to be a focus. I have always said any event, big or small, has to be planned with a budget in mind. There are always cost cutting ways and their should always be a focus, one or two highlighting elements can make an event while still saving you money. For instance, spend a little more on your food and less on your decor. A great, simple centerpiece of candles can save you a ton, but people are going to remember your food. Are you raising money for a great cause, spend a little more on your sound and entertainment, because if people can't hear you what's the point and if they don't have a good time, they won't come back next year. If you are planning a wedding, celebrate your love, make it personal, less is more, less people is more.
- What about message? What about goal? Shouldn't that always be a focus? Every event should have a goal, even a dinner party with close friends. What's the point? Having a great meal, great conversation with amazing friends. What can ruin that...for me, kids screaming, animals in my face, dinner not on time, lack of food, lack of beverage, and the television on. Is this SuperBowl or a great dinner with friends? Think of that the next time you plan, even something so simple.
- One point of every event that will kill the experience for me is whether it is on schedule, on time. If you are late, what message does that send to your guests? Tardiness is no excuse, just like bad manners, which we will get to. An event has to be planned and planned accordingly. If you know you have a long week, long day, don't plan a dinner party for a week day evening. If you are exhausted, run down, have spent too many nights late at the office, ask for help when planning a big fundraiser. And, if you are freaking out at others, reaching the bridezilla moment, hirer a Wedding Planner! Your guests will thank you for being on time, if you are not, they will remember just that, that you wasted their time.
- If you are inviting anyone to anything you must be polite. Right?!?! You are inviting them for one reason or another. Yes, arterial motives are one thing, but if you want to keep this guest happy, to keep the focus on your goal, then you HAVE TO BE POLITE. Whether you want to believe it or not, manners still matter. Customer service goes a long way and can make or break your event. "Yes, you did not RSVP your additional guest, but of course YES, they can sit at your table." "We would be happy to have your best friend's, uncles, dentist come and visit and tour." "Of course your mother's aunt who is hear can come to dinner." Is this going to make or break your event, no, when planning an event you are planning on something unexpected. Roll with it...make it happen...smile and BE POLITE.
- If you are doing a fundraising event or sit-down dinner here are my key points to save you in unexpected circumstances:
- PS I do not think I have ever shared these...
- Know your event. Not like you sorta know it, but know it so extremely well that when guests approach and say their name you know it. You know their first names and you know where they should be sitting. How incredible do you feel when someone knows your name? SPECIAL!
- Know where you have space. Plan it. Plan where you can sit unexpected guests, where and who you can move, and where you have no room. Plan it. Put it into your event scheme. It will save you!
- Have an incredible check-in/check-out team and setup. Everything should be ready the night before. All nametags, all seating, all notes setup by alphabetical, table name, and table number. This may seem extreme but people come up and sometimes don't know where they belong. More is key here. The faster you can find a guest, the happier they will be.
- Remember, focus, goal, purpose is key to any celebration. Just plan it out accordingly.
In the mean time, here is a team, minus Curtis Ray, that can take your event to the next level with incredible purpose, on budget, organized, and message met. And, we certainly know how to have a great time!