As the year comes racing to an end, event planning teams across the country are all abuzz about their year-end functions. The planners who ultimately produce these celebrations are organisational maestros, managing details and suppliers with the grace and coordination of a Philharmonic conductor.
According to conference and venue specialists, Siyabona Africa, the element that sets an event up for success is planning – specifically, forward planning. The best planners are always months ahead of everyone, ticking items off their checklist as they go. We decided to investigate what such a checklist might look like…
The Brick and Mortar of the Event
Begin with the event planning essentials – laying the foundation. These are the details around which the entire function is planned, and they need to be finalized as far in advance as possible:
Date and Venue – bear in mind that the location of the venue shouldn’t inconvenience those who are invited. Also take special consideration into whether the ease with which outside caterers can access the venue.
Set an Objective – a year-end event is usually a celebration of the year gone by. Keep the agenda formalities and dreary speeches to a minimum.
Budget – start gathering your cost estimates, and prioritize where budget should be allocated. Consider the things that most people are concerned with, like a clean, safe venue, quality catering and overall ambience.
Guest List – decide if budget and logistics will allow for spouses or partners, and start drawing up your guest list. Send invitations early to give your guests time to plan.
Theme – Having a theme is not only awesome fun for everyone who attends, but it also helps with actual event planning to have a distinct goal in mind. Event Manager Blog recently described the Top 100 Event Themes trending in 2018, which include timeless ideas such as:
- The Great Gatsby – a roaring 20’s party with big band music, golden champagne, and platefuls of decadent hors-d’oeuvres.
- Colour-themed parties – All-white dress code, or black-and-white, parties have made a huge comeback. Everyone looks good in white!
- Movie themes, such as Grease Lightning (1950’s) or Harry Potter (fantasy) or Moulin Rouge (French turn-of-century) or The Greatest Showman (A circus extravaganza)
- Masquerade Ball – mingle glamour and flair with mystery and tall champagne flutes
- Hollywood party – unroll red carpets and glitzy gowns for a sublime night on Sunset Boulevard
- A Wanderlust theme – create “countries” to visit, complete with delicious culinary experiences to complement each exotic destination
- Bollywood – With longer red carpets and a lot more glitz, add some curry and spice to the menu for a Hindi treat
- Tim Burton Movies – celebrate the creepy, the bizarre and the scary!
Catering – We believe that it’s food that brings an event to life! Without fail, guests observe whether the food was plentiful or in short supply, tasty or bland. While a venue’s food might be restricted to their usual menus, outside caterers are often able to be more flexible and creative with event catering, which is especially useful when catering to an exciting theme. Be sure to meet with your catering company a few months in advance to discuss the menu. Finally, don’t forget to gather dietary requirements from your guests so that your caterers can factor these into the menu too.
Editor’s Note: Take your event planning to the next level by having a formidable catering team on your side – get in touch with us to talk about how we can help transform your function into a culinary adventure.