4 Essential Event Planning Tips
Whether you’re looking to host your corporate launch party or throw the Bar/Bat Mitzvah party of your child's wildest dreams... your event isn’t just going to come together all by itself! We’ve compiled a list of our 4 top event planning tips (plus our own insider tips) to help make sure your event is a complete success!
1. Plan Ahead
The success of your event is determined long before the event day arrives. To put on a successful event, you need to plan it out well in advance. If you’re holding a large event with a lot of attendees, you’ll want to start brainstorming months beforehand. Depending on what kind of event you’re putting on, you’ll most importantly want to book your venue ahead of time to give you enough breathing room to put everything else together.
HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: We are busiest in the spring and fall months - grab your ideal dates as early as possible or consider switching to either an afternoon event (for more availability) or a summertime event (for more affordability)!
You’re going to need a way to let everyone know about your event - or else you might be the only one enjoying your own party! A great way to invite guests, keep track of RSVPs, and provide your guests with all the necessary information and updates about the event is registering it with an online event management tool. This allows you to keep everything nicely organized online and easily share your information via email and social media.
HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: Make sure you set a clear RSVP date for your guests. We recommend 2 weeks before your event since final headcounts are typically due 1 week before the event - this gives you an extra week of wiggle room to hunt down anyone who is being lazy about RSVPing!
3. Food, Drink, and Supplies
When you book your venue, make sure there’s someone accessible who can help you plan out your event in the months leading up. You’ll want a reliable contact making sure all food, drinks, and supplies are taken care of. Some events will provide catering packages and some will require you to coordinate out your own food and drink situation. You’ll also want to know what’s included with your booking in terms of supplies like tablecloths, plates, silverware, balloons, and other decorations. Make sure you take all of these things into consideration from the very beginning since they can quickly add up to a surprising additional cost!
HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: We have a supportive venue team that you can reach out to anytime during your planning process with questions! If you choose to utilize our in-house services, we even include all our food/beverage menus & pricing in the initial contract so there are no surprises later. Oh, and did we mention that our in-house AV specs and furniture are included too?
It might just be co-worker karaoke (believe me, that’s very entertaining), but odds are you’ll want to have some kind of entertainment at your event. Whether it’s a guest speaker, musician, or private film screening, there’s going to be a fair amount of preparation required. If you’re having a speaker come in, you’ll need to coordinate details such as if there’s a stage or where they’ll be speaking from, the microphone, sound system, and lighting. Even if you are just having a little office karaoke party, you’ll still need to ensure your venue has the appropriate accommodations or at least has the option to add them later.
HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: Is the entertainment a main focus of your event? Consider renting our intimate theater, located right downstairs from our main event space, for an easy transition from cocktails to showtime.
Don’t underestimate it - there’s a lot that goes into putting on an event! Who’s invited, how they’re being invited, if you’re having food and drinks, where you’re having the event in the first place… the list goes on! Make sure you’re as prepared as possible by having a strong reliable connection with someone who works at the venue you’re booking (like us!), and doing so plenty of time in advance to be ready for whatever hiccups you may or may not encounter.
Cheers to planning your next great event and many more! - The Helen Mills Team