Organizing your first large event – whether a wedding or a corporate celebration – can be incredibly daunting, especially considering the number of guests who expect it to be a success. But do not panic! If you break your event up to five main areas, you can simply go through, book and tick them off, making sure everything is going well on the day and maybe even getting a little time to enjoy yourself.
The main areas to consider are: venue, speaker and mc, entertainment, audio visual production and catering.
Choosing the venue for the event is one of the most important aspects of your job. A venue can actually make or break a good event. But rest assured, people have been there before you, and this is the knowledge you need to draw on. Ask around, talk to people you know, head online and do searches and look at blogs, and establish a list of at least three chapters, in order, you would like to use.
Send a quote request to all three avenues, arrange inspections and sample their menus if possible. When you receive the quotes, compare the term you liked most with the cost and determine what you can afford to budget for venue. Lock in the venue as soon as possible, as they often book up quickly.
2. MC and Speaker
Generally with a large scale event you will require an MC and possibly a guest or keynote speaker. Again, the best thing to do is talk to people you know and head online. Have a good idea of what you want – the topic, the personality, the background and then contact at least two speaker agencies, with this information to get some quotes and ideas. Alternately, if you have trouble finding someone, people who have ensured inspiring feats are often great speakers. Try past Olympians, paraolympians, or charity workers.
In addition to speakers, you will need some light entertainment, whether its music, or acrobats hanging from the ceiling. Allocate your budget for this portion of the event, so you know what you have to negotiate with. Search online, and talk to people to get recommendations. See if you can view your selection before signing the contract, this way you can ensure the performers are as brilliant as expected.
Business events and personal events will often have different audiovisual requirements. Corporate audio visual requirements can be quite costly, so ensure you get multiple quotes from separate, competitive AV companies. Carefully check your quotes to make sure there are no unnecessary items, and if possible, arrange a meeting with the selected company to talk through how the event will progress and when technical assistance will be required. A big tip for any event is to remember that AV often is not just a set up and play 'situation, it is advised to have a rehearsal prior to the big day, and to always do a sound check, with your entertainment, just prior to the event.
5. The catering
Food can mean the difference between positive word of mouth following your event, and guests that think poor of your company. When selecting a menu, cater for all needs, those who eat meat and who do not, and remember there are some more common dislikes, such as mushrooms that you may want to avoid without you are having a selection of foods. If you have the opportunity, test the entire menu prior to the event and make sure you are not only happy with the selections, but how it us prepared. Take the careful suggestion for matching wines, and if the evening is a long one, the best option will often be a drinks package.