Location, Location, Location
Every event that you plan will have different needs; these can vary wildly and include budgetary restrictions, catering needs, large capacity capabilities, and special accommodations for things like live performances. Even for a professional event planner, this could be a daunting task. Once you determine the specific needs of your event, the very first thing you must do is book a venue.
Functional and stunning venues book up quickly. If you want to stand a chance of snagging the perfect venue within your budget, it is best to begin your search as soon as a date for your event is decided on. Keep your venue requirements specific; consider capacity, budget, parking availability, whether or not you want outdoor spaces, and catering.
Depending on the venue you have selected it may be possible for them to cater the event, or you might need to hire a separate catering company. It is best to ensure that they have flexible options for those with allergies and dietary restrictions, such as dairy-free options, Kosher selections, or a vegan iteration of a dish. Additionally, you want to make sure that the food options are appropriate for the event. Be sure to consult online reviews before settling on a food option, and if possible, sample the items.
The Fine Print
It is not a small financial commitment to book a venue for an event; be sure that you are clear on the venue’s cancellation policy and know what you are committing to. There may be stipulations about how far in advance one can cancel their booking without penalty; it would be smart to put this date in your calendar!
There is no way to guarantee that event planning will be a smooth process, but if you begin planning as early as you can, you allow space for things to go wrong without derailing the event. You also give yourself time to be creative and make your event stand out. This could include live performances, a cocktail hour, or an interactive activity. So get out there and start planning, folks!