No matter what type of event you are planning, no matter if you have planned 1,000 events or you’ve never planned one before, there are certain pitfalls you should be aware of. Keep reading to learn from the pros some of the most common mistakes event planners make, and then learn how to avoid them.
Do Not Take on the Food Yourself
Unless the head count is less than a dozen, or you are an experienced chef or caterer, do not try to take on the food yourself. You will have enough to worry about on the day of the event, the last thing you want is to also have to keep an eye on the quiche in the oven. Choose a caterer who will clearly label all food and explicitly state what is in it so that people with allergies know what is safe to eat
While it will depend on the specific event, it is generally better to have a variety of dishes or small plates people can choose from rather than one large meal. You will likely have vegans and vegetarians, gluten-free eaters, and others with special needs. It’s easier to meet those needs when you have a variety of dishes.
Have a Well Serviced Bar
This will obviously not apply to all parties – such as a children’s birthday party – but if the majority of your guests are going to be adults, make sure you have a well serviced bar. You need a bartender who is licensed to serve to avoid any legal issues. Consider hiring an additional bartender or two – people who have to spend half an hour in line to get a drink are not going to have as much fun.
Hire a Professional Photographer / Videographer
We see too many people assuming that the cost of a professional photographer is not necessary. After all, everyone has cell phones and is constantly taking photos for social media. This may be true but it ignores several facts. First, your photographer has the equipment and training to capture the event much better than even the most talented iPhone user.
Second, the photographer is there for nothing other than to get the best possible shots of your event. They are not going to get distracted talking to someone at the bar and they are not going to focus all their photos on people they know. We are an unbiased bystander who will take photos or shoot video of the entire event with nothing missed.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Organization
There is nothing more important in hosting the perfect event than ensuring that you stay organized. It is better to have “too many” flow charts and lists than to simply try and fly by the seat of your pants. The better organized you are, the better able you will be to deal with any surprises that come up on the day of the event.