How do I organise the perfect event?

So, you’ve decided to organise an event, fantastic! Whatever the function, spending time with family, friends, or colleagues to celebrate a special occasion always creates great memories. However, when you’re the one organising the event and you’re stressed, it can be hard to remember how to enjoy the day/night! 

We’ve put together a clear guide on how to organise the perfect event to prevent any anxiety and worry that comes from event planning, so you can enjoy yourself leading up to, and on the event day!

Firstly, what type of event are you planning?

Is it a birthday, wedding reception, corporate away day, engagement party, leaving do, hen or stag do, workshop, summer party, Christmas lunch, baby shower, conference, private dining, product or company launch or just organising a party to catch up with friends.

After this is decided then we can narrow the filter as to what requirements are needed for the event. From here you need to create a list. This list can be as complex or as simple as you need it to be. Maybe if you’re organising the event with others you create an online document you can share, or if you prefer to write things down on paper – whatever makes the organisation process easier.

Have you ever worried that you’ve forgotten something as you get closer to the event date? Well if you have a list from the beginning of the organisation process and tick off as you go then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about the day before or on the day of the event!

Are you ordering catering for your guests?

There are a couple of different options for offering food at an event. Finger food, Buffet style or a 3-course set menu. The biggest question we get is how much food should we give to our guests or if we have a price per head? The easiest way to work out the problem is how much do you want to feed your guests? A little to supplement their dinner that you told them to eat before or you’re wanting them to come hungry and are offering a larger portion of food to fill their bellies. 

From here it’s easier to work out how much food you need to order. At The Driver we also offer guests the option to eat in the Gastropub before an event (if you don’t want to provide catering for your guests) or you can have a private dining experience on the floor hired before other guests arrive. This all goes towards the minimum spend and this option can take the worry out of ordering food for others.

All food (other than eating in the Gastropub) needs to be pre-ordered, so if you’re ordering for other people then set a deadline or 2/3 weeks out from the event to get requests from your guests. This gives enough time for the event staff to iron out any dietary requirements or special requests and to ensure the event goes smoothly on the day.

Other little things to think about in regards to ordering food are: timings, name cards for table settings (with their food choices on the back), how you might want to present the food (especially if you’re having a themed event) and deadlines.

What drinks are you making available for your guests?

Depending on the event there are quite a few ways to provide drink options for your guests. If it’s a day function, maybe you only want tea and coffee to be available. If it’s an event in the evening or leads into the evening then you might want to offer an open bar or pre-order a limited selection of drinks. 

The most popular choices are: Full open bar tab, restricted bar tab (i.e. only certain drinks available), guests to pay for their own drinks, pre-ordering specific drinks or a combined option of guests paying for their own drinks in addition to a bar tab.

There’s always the option of doing a champagne/prosecco reception with wait staff or having the drinks pre-poured on a table. Or alternatively if you’re organising a sit-down meal then you could order some bottles of wine for the table.

 

What do you want for the space?

Perhaps you need a couple of balloons or you’re not sure what to do for a playlist. It’s always great to ask the venue to see what suppliers they have to make the event a little extra special.

Do you need extra chairs or tables? What furniture layout did you need? Did you want a DJ? Do you need the projector for a presentation? Do you need to bring it items to display/decorate? What about guests who need to smoke? Have you thought about door signs? Is there lift access? Can guests park at the venue?

The easiest thing to do is think about what you already have in the space and ask your event managers what they can add to it. If you’re looking for more decoration or theme inspirations please check out our other post here [hyperlink this].

How soon do I need to book the venue?

In our opinion the sooner the better! Some spaces get booked out quite quickly in advance, and it’s always better to secure your first choice of venue rather than a second or third choice!

After the venue is booked you can begin to really think about everything else that is needed. Most venues require a card authentication or a deposit and be sure to double check the Terms & Conditions of the booking.

It’s also handy to provide your event manager with the contact details of any suppliers or entertainers you are using, in case there are any extra conditions they might need to know about i.e. logistics.

 

How to remain calm on the event day.

This is where your list comes in handy (which you’ll have hopefully been ticking off in the weeks or months leading up to the event). There shouldn’t really be anything left to do now other than your keeping to the event day schedule.

Make sure to give yourself enough time on the day to drop off cakes, pick up costumes, establish transport timings, decorate the venue, print programs and of course get ready for the event itself! There’s nothing worse than running late if something hasn’t gone exactly to plan and you find yourself all flustered just as guests are arriving. Leave enough time in the day for little mistakes to happen and then if everything goes perfectly, you should be on cloud nine by the time everyone arrives.

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