Dos and don’ts for a perfect event

Holding an event can be stressful for any sized business. Whether it’s a client thank-you function, the grand opening of a new store or a staff Christmas party, everyone wants to get it right and make the event memorable for the right reasons. 

As an event specialist, I see people making some rookie mistakes over and over, but with a little foresight and some planning, you can minimise the risk of things going wrong and ensure you and your guests have a wonderful time.

Here are my top ten do’s and don’ts for a successful event:

  1. Do have a budget – and stick to it. Make sure you have a little extra to accommodate last minute or unforeseen costs.
  2. Do think about the attendees and make sure the venue and ambience are suitable for them and the type of event you’re planning.
  3. Do send out invites in plenty of time and make sure the guest list is exhaustive.
  4. Do have a running sheet. It’s a critical part of planning that benefits the event host and the guests.
  5. Don’t pick a time or date that clashes with a holiday or major event. No-one’s coming to your grand opening on the same day as the AFL Grand Final.
  6. Don’t let your guests get bored or you could be in for an early night. Ensure your entertainment elements hit all five senses and throw in a speech.
  7. Don’t try and do everything yourself – if you need professional help, get it. If you need help to serve food or drinks, hire some wait staff from a catering company.
  8. Don’t under-cater, there’s nothing worse than hungry guests or running out of champagne at 8 pm.
  9. Don’t forget to organise someone to be the official photographer, especially if the event is one that might be considered a business milestone. If your event has some high-profile personalities attending, see if you can get a social pages’ photographer to attend.
  10. Don’t forget to cater to non-drinkers and guests with special dietary needs.

Tamara Cook, Director, Known Associates Events

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