I. Define Its Purpose
If you or a client proposes to host an event, first identify what type of event it is and why you're throwing it. Is it a ceremonial bash (birthday, wedding, anniversary, graduation, retirement, etc.)? Perhaps it's a company party or fundraiser. Articulating your objectives will allow you to align every aspect of the event once plans are in motion while preventing you from veering off course. Begin brainstorming and sketching out your ideas. Think about someone else you might collaborate with and share your thoughts. They might provide you with some insight you never thought to consider.
II. Calculate The Budget And Favored Number Of Guests
Always structure the event within your budget. Google Docs or Excel spreadsheets are excellent resources to create a visual breakdown of costs. Nothing is set in stone up until the last minute, so utilize these calculated costs as a reference you will continue to update. Add as many guests as you can imagine having, and whittle down the list from there. Think about the kind of guest or audience you want to invite to help to shape the vision and vibes you're looking to create. Use the gjests app to create a digital guest list to help you along the way. There's nothing like establishing order amidst the chaos. These factors will act as a rule of thumb for the next consideration...
III. Book The Venue, Food & Beverage, and Entertainment, Before Anything Else
Of course we'd all love Pharrell to perform at our party but depending on the type of event and your budget, this may not be a feasible option. However, before putting limitations in front of you, get creative. Map out your plan and hunt down your resources to draw up comparisons for your top three to five venues to determine price and availability. Simultaneously reach out to caterers, restaurants, and independent chefs and get an idea of the food and beverage options you can muster. If you're booking musical talent, search for local bands or use platforms like Soundcloud or Gigawax to discover up-and-coming DJs in the area.
IV. Create A To-Do List
Keeping a list throughout the entire planning process is monumentally crucial. There is nothing too big or too small that can be overlooked. Once you get #3 in order, you can focus on the smaller tasks at hand. Though smaller, they are by no means less important. In fact, the decor, atmosphere, and gifting options are the aspects of an event which present the opportunity to truly 'wow' your guests. As the old adage goes, it's the little things that count.
IV. Enjoy The Hustle
Executing your vision is part of the fun. If you get mired down in the thick of it, step back for a second and think about #1. Remind yourself about the joy of creating a celebratory environment and the added value it brings to those who partake in the festivities.