20 things I’ve learnt from 10+ years planning events

February 19, 2018

Inviting people to parties

As a seasoned event manager, I'm often told how I easy I make it all look. Trust me, it ain't easy! I've learnt so much over the past decade in event planning, so I thought I'd share the juiciest morsels of advice to make your next party seem effortless to guests!

  1. You will always have latecomers, no-shows or random people turn up. Acceptance is the key here, plan to start things late (if there are formalities), and always cater for extra guests - this comes in handy when all the guests have left and you haven't eaten a bite.
  2. Some people will not read the invitation. They will ask you what time, where, if they can bring guests, etc., even if it’s in plain sight! *facepalm*

    Can't read party invitation
  3. You can never be TOO prepared. Never think you can simply whip up a floral arrangement just before the party if you haven't planned appropriately. That sh** takes practice, y'all.
  4. You’ll sometimes forget to eat, drink and pee. You’re simply too worried about everyone else. #lifeofaneventmanager
  5. Long days are a given. Oh, and clocking off early doesn't happen if you're the main organiser.
  6. Being tired is also a given. Concealer will be your friend and you will often operate on adrenaline or caffeine.
  7. You might make it all look easy, but not everyone can pull off a drama-free event. Preparation is THE thing that will make it look effortless.
  8. Small details DO matter, miniscule details DON’T. E.g. whether the font on your invitation precisely matches the place cards doesn’t matter. But remembering that someone’s allergic to peanuts and ensuring they have something to eat… that matters.

    Coordinating party supplies meme
  9. You often get what you pay for. Whether it's cakes, party supplies, props, decorations, etc., it pays for quality. Check out our vendors we love list, or ask around - word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
  10. Never assume anything. Never assume your guests will ‘find their way’ to a remote location. Never assume that people will eat before a party scheduled to start at 8pm (is dinner provided? Do they have to eat beforehand?) Be specific and transparent with details.
  11. You will forget to take photos. Make sure you outsource! Snappr is great for short notice photography jobs, and they'll know how to get those Insta-worthy shots!

    Professional party photographer meme
  12. Your feet and back will hurt, possibly for days. Wear proper shoes, seriously. Maybe not those orthopaedic shoes, but if you wear strappy stillettos, that's on you.
  13. Sick? Doesn't matter. You still have to turn up! Take that sudafed and get to it, baby.
  14. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is attend the actual event. You’ve spent all of your energy planning, so you might want to find a quiet corner while the formalities are happening... 
  15. Things will go wrong. When someone comes to you with an issue, you have to ask yourself (and sometimes them) 'is it the end of the world?' If the answer's 'no', breathe, and move on.
  16. You cannot (WILL NOT) please everyone, the sooner you accept it, the more fun you will have. I hate to say it, but people will whinge about anything and everything (says the person whinging about whingers right now!).
  17. Food is one of the most important things about an event. It’s the first thing people praise or complain about, so invest in good food and do everything you can to taste test before booking a caterer, even if it's a cake sample!
  18. Always have a backup. Be it venue, catering, entertainment. I don’t mean hire two entertainers, but at least THINK about what might happen if they don’t show up (e.g. have extra games prepared, be willing to do a last minute dash to Woolies for a cake hack).
  19. Some people like parties, some don’t. Don’t be offended if someone doesn’t want to come early and help you string streamers or blow up balloons. Find other 'party people' like you, and enlist their help.
  20. DYI-ing things takes twice as long as you’d expect, and might not turn out as you expect. If you can do a practice run, be it flowers, balloon arches, dessert tables, then DO IT!

    DIY floral arrangement fails

Have any other tasty tips you'd like to share - let us know!

And if you'd like to take a little stress out of your next celebration? Shop our awesome range of PARTY KITS right here!

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