Planning events (if you aren’t a professional) can seem daunting. They might make your head sweat and your hands clam up. Breathing becomes difficult. It’s hard to think straight… if you aren’t prepared for throwing events.
Thankfully, help is on the way. Let’s take a look at some practical, common-sense ways for hosting and throwing a successful event or party.
1. Take Suggestions With A Grain Of Salt
Your friends and family might have good taste, and they may even know a thing or two about quality. But don’t let their opinions and ideas dictate your event. I had an aunt that would always get sour over no one using her unsolicited advice. (Remind you of anyone?)
When we get right to the heart of the matter, an obvious observation needs to be made – in the event that you DO end up with a lot of third-party suggestions… If you do decide on heeding a beloved one’s advice, in order to take some of the mayhem and craziness of “the big day” off your shoulders…
Be sure not to use all of their suggestions. (Let’s face it, a lot of people provide invaluable insights we never think of on our own.)
Stay firm and stick to your guns. Remain strong. Keep your ground whenever you sense a heated debate about to happen. (Some people I know insist their personal style accounts for everyone’s opinion. How stupid is that, right?)
2. Choose A Vendor That Gets You
Yes, it’s true: vendors are a reflection of you. So, you don’t want a bunch of sourpusses who are stinking up your day with shoddy quality, do you? Perhaps, when you were meeting with them, they gave you one impression… but on the big day… went a completely different direction. This is no good.
That’s why having vendors who you mesh and gel with is not only crucial, but vital.
The fun part about this is going over a list of what you want, from each particular vendor. Things and ideas that you collected with your loved one, can be shared with vendors. Hey, they just might use them – if they’re any good. Quality professionals help people make their dreams a reality, and you deserve nothing less than pure perfection!
Speaking about that… There’s something important we have to discuss:
3. Be Real About Guests
When it comes to inviting guests, this is something your planner (if you’ve hired one) might not be able to help you with. Simply because the planner might not know your friends and family. (There’s always the chance that a few lurkers and crashers might mosey in.)
Given that, there is an insightful nugget you need to keep in mind: when you’re contemplating whom to invite… how long will they be in your life? By this I mean inviting people who will be in your life for countless years to come. While it’s great to invite important people in your life – family members, certain friends, pals you grew up with… if you can’t see them in your life in the future, the waters get a little tricky.
Speaking of which… Which areas of your life had they affected the most? Have you generally had a bout of happiness, and created countless good memories? Or have experiences largely been a rollercoaster of wet-blanket negativity that makes you want to to give up… mixed with needing to climb aboard a table and dance the night away?
4. Familiar Much?
I’d hazard the guess that we’re creatures of habit. We stick with the morning coffee we know, we prefer the same clothes week after week – and only “shake up the wardrobe” on a planned day; we’re creatures of routine – and there’s nothing wrong with that. (It’s when you never shake things up that the issue gets dangerous.)
This familiarity extends to friendship, too. I’ll bet you’ve had the same friends for months or even YEARS – and probably not looking around for another one. Even if I’m wrong about you, even if I’ve made a giant embarrassment out of myself, the concept of familiarity is still there.
To put it simply, we stick to what we know. What we’re comfortable with. Who and what we see on a daily basis. The same goes for events. Let me throw a suggestion your way: When you went out to dinner to celebrate someone’s milestone, did you go to the restaurant you went to for a birthday? For another celebration? Just because?
5. Talk Cash Limits
It seems like there is absolutely nothing we can do, these days, without money. Have you heard those stories about people who live on a dollar a day? What do they eat, mice? Where do they travel? How do they pay for gas? Do they live in their own home? I’ve heard of penny-pinching, but that is ludicrous.
… An ovation is in order, though, for people who are as resourceful as that.
Moving money around in your budgets is crucial, these days. Now more than ever. You’ve probably been handling your own budget (be it business or personal) for a while, now. So, planning and sticking to a budget has probably not been a problem for you.
Regardless, as this budget concerns an event, the stakes are high – incredibly high. This event will make or break your reputation among your peers, and so it’s advisable you find a high ceiling for the budget.
Now, “high limit” doesn’t mean expensive. Lord no. There’s a million and one ways of using the money you have, resourcefully. Being resourceful is a great path to success, in fact. Part of being resourceful means moving funds around – you might have to cut back on a luxury item, for the event. Just until the big day comes and goes and you can get back on track.
6. Wedding Events
If you’re in the market for professionals who will ensure your weddings go off without a hitch, there’s something special to consider. Do you have a wedding planner?
These qualified pros can help you find expert services, perfect locations, and take A LOT of the headache out of actually planning the big day.
7. Speaking Engagements
If you’re slammed with the task of having to speak – whether it’s at a conference, or in a board meeting, or simply shoved into a moment that requires you to speak in front of people…
You’re going to want to ace your speech, right? Everyone does. Here’s a few steps you can take in your next speech to help you do that:
● Tell a story – people love stories, we were built to tell stories and engage with each other; talking for the sake of hearing your own voice is the best way to ensure people tune out and ignore you
● Be succinct and don’t use this moment as a soapbox (speeches should be 1-2 minutes, unless it’s a TEDtalks-type situation)
● Make the “story” personal. Relate your own experiences to what you’re talking about. Be sincere about it. (You can start with a “I’ve gotta be honest with you.”) Because, I’ve gotta be honest with you, what inspired me to write this article was being asked by my spouse, “We should throw a party this year for Valentine’s Day.”
This list is by no means exhausted, but is a GREAT start towards ensuring your event – whatever it is – has you