A lot of detailing and planning goes into making an event a grand success. Many people try to plan events on their own, or with the help of an assistant, or a family member. Some succeed beautifully while others find themselves going crazy. The truth is that even simple events have so many things to organize that event planning can be highly demanding, even stressful.
Oh yes, planning an event may seem fun and easy, but did you know that a typical wedding, social affair, or corporate event requires at least 200 hours of planning? In planning an event, you need to wear many hats: Finance Manager, Social Coordinator, Vendor Manager, Stage Designer, Catering Manager, and Guest Relations – you are the ultimate quarterback of an army of people and a thousand little details that all need to come together precisely on time. Planning an event can be exhilarating and it can be overwhelming.
There are quite a few factors that cause stress while planning an event. Here is an overview of the top 3 factors to manage carefully to keep your blood pressure from spiking:
Factor No. 1: Budgeting
You need to create, organize, and manage your event budget. Pretty much every decision that gets made in the event planning process relates directly to your budget. When you consult with vendors such as the providers of: Venue, Flowers, Linens, Centerpieces, Tables, Chairs, Lighting, DJ or Band, Dance Floor, Catering, Beverages, etc…you must balance quality, features, and budget.
Make sure your budget is comprehensive and that you have factored all expenses before signing contracts for services. If you commit a large portion of your budget to venue and forget to allow enough funds for a DJ, your guests may have to dance to music played from your smart phone. Not ideal!
The most common event disasters stems from poor budgeting. It doesn’t matter if this is Grandma’s 90th birthday and hundreds of relatives have flown in from all over the nation, if you forgot to pay the caterer, you won’t have anything to feed the horde of relatives. Vendors don’t work on charity or donations. Quality vendors are experts in their field and have very precise contracts on payments. Manage your budget carefully to make sure all payments are sent on time.
Factor No. 2: Controlling Timelines
Speaking of being on time, managing different vendors when planning an event can be difficult and stressful. There are critical timelines that need to be in place months before the event. Securing the services of high quality vendors typically needs to happen 6 to 12 months before the event. There are free online programs and even software you can purchase to help you properly manage the timeliness of your project.
On the day of our event, timelines become even more critical. There are significant details to manage: How early do the Caterer, Florist, DJ, and Décor team need to set up? Will the venue allow them access 4 hours prior to the event? Who is transporting guests? If only one shuttle is available, how will you stagger the arrival of guests at the venue? Who will receive them? How will they be entertained? Every minute of the event needs to be carefully planned and every vendor needs to be aware and on board.
Factor No. 3: Have a Back-Up Plan
Here is the ugly truth of Event Planning. Once in a blue moon, everything will go perfectly. All the vendors will show up on time with exactly what you wanted. But as even planners with experience, we can tell you that things can go wrong. The DJ can get sick, the weather can go drastically wrong, or the venue may suffer an electrical short. Every part of your event has risks. To avoid a crisis, do your best to have back-up plans. Who do you call if the caterer’s food truck overturns on the way? Do you have an iPod with great music and speakers in case the band ditches your event for a gig in Vegas?
No two events are the same. No matter how much planning you do, there is always the possibility of something going wrong that is not within your control. Yes, crisis moments like these can be stressful, but if you have contingency plans for every major component of your event, you will save yourself from cardiac arrest. Want an outdoor wedding? Make sure the venue has a covered alternative for rain. Bartender doesn’t show up? Have a charming cousin who loves mixology on standby. Protect your event with back-up plans!
Best Way to Avoid Event Planning Stress
We commend anyone who takes on the responsibility of planning an event. As event planners with over 30 years of combined experience, we know what it takes to put on a flawless event. By flawless, we mean that the event guests see everything unfold smoothly before them. They don’t see the months of planning, hundreds of phone calls, dozens of vendors being managed, and the last minute replacements that happen quietly behind the scene.
There is where professional event planners thrive. They bring lots of experience in etiquette, vendor management, contract negotiation, logistical planning, and crisis management. The desire to ensure everything is just perfect for clients is at the foundation of everything the event planner does. From assisting clients in fine-tuning their vision to ensuring the event is successful, every detail is carefully managed. Expert planners save their clients from the many sources of planning stress and deliver a logistically seamless and memorable event.
If you find the task of planning your event intimidating, or you are halfway through planning an event and just can stand it, contact us. Let’s have a casual conversation about your event. We are glad to share ideas and if you want help with your event, we are glad discuss our services. Remember, you can make sure your event is great, but we can help you make it GRAND!
Hiring an event planner will save you lots of time, hassle, money and most importantly stress.