Every great party starts with even better planning. From small gatherings with your family to formal events like engagement parties, careful planning must keep things going smoothly. You can’t just send a text out saying there’s going to be a party at your place and expect it to be a grand time with no mishaps.
If you have a loved one in senior living, a party will surely lift their spirits. Planning is the foundation of any good gathering, but with so many things to consider (food restrictions, themes, entertainment, to name a few), thinking about it is overwhelming enough. Here are five ways to simplify the planning stage to ensure maximum fun for all. Read on!
- Send invitations early
Putting the word out that a party is happening will boost attendance and interest. And since we’re in the digital age, you can send a calendar invite online to match a traditional paper invite. Having a digital reminder can help them RSVP since many people are on their phones and computers for a good amount of time per day.
- Keep everyone in the loop
As the planner, you’re going to have to act as the go-between for the host and the vendors who will help you with things like food and supplies. It is crucial to always be on the same page as everyone else involved. Keep notes and keep track of important details like venue availability and even the weather forecast (if you’re planning an outdoor party).
A common occurrence is the host changing their minds at the last minute. To avoid stress and possibly paying extra for additional services, maintain open lines of communication. Once your host decides on something, let your vendors and venue know as soon as possible about any changes. Be available for calls in case people need confirmations and information.
- Build your network
It’s easy to be swayed by catering promos and bundles that promise lower rates. Keep in mind that most venues and caterers charge per head, so volume purchases won’t actually save you a lot in the long run. This is where having a good network comes in handy. As an event planner, knowing many people in the business can help you cut costs without sacrificing your host’s vision.
Knowing lots of potential suppliers and vendors can help you get your hands on decorations, gift bags, and even flowers at a lower price. You can even partner with a vendor so that your negotiations will be in your favor.
- Get familiar with the guest list
Knowing who’s going to show up can help you whittle down choices for a venue. If you notice many senior citizens on the list, pick a venue that’s easy to get to and handicap-friendly. Notice a lot of younger people on the list? That’s a guide to look for a venue that is safe for kids to move around in. If your host is welcoming VIPs, look into security as well.
Being familiar with the guest list can also help with the food you and your host will choose to serve. Double-check for food allergies, dietary specifications, and preferences to make sure that everybody gets a plate come party time. Planning a party without checking who may be attending it can land you in hot water, so be very careful.
- Assemble a goodie bag
People coming home from a party will be excited about what’s in the goodie bags because chances are it’s what will keep the memories fresh for their minds. A bad goodie bag is money wasted, so plan what goes into yours carefully
One thing that can help you decide which party favors go into the bag is the event’s theme. Is it a birthday party or a generic event? Walk the line between memorable and functional because nothing is more frustrating than getting random junk you can’t use. A foolproof party favor is a small batch of baked goods in every bag, so if this is more your speed, ask your baker to make custom designs for the party.
The bottom line
Being an event planner is no joke, and we want to help you make this party the best it can be by giving you these five tips. Remember to have fun on the day of the event, as well — you’re basically in the business of fun, so smile and take whatever happens in stride.