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“My boss has just given me the job of organising a special themed event for an office function, and I have to make this event memorable. I have a few ideas to put forward but am totally at a loss at where to start the process. I need help – urgently!” How many of us can relate to this sort of situation, where you are tasked with organising an important event but feel that you don’t really know where to start, or simply do not have the time available to get such a big event off the ground? Very few of us have spare hours every day to devote to organising functions of any kind, whether large or small. And when it comes to themed events, where every little detail has to tie up into a cohesive whole, it becomes a little short of a waking nightmare for many people.
Event and party planning specialists are experts in making magic happen. Whether you are planning a child’s party with a specific theme, a professional, work-related function with many different facets, or even an adult’s celebratory event which needs to be memorable, it takes time and effort to bring everything together into an event which runs smoothly and without hiccups on the day. Event and party planners form the organisational teams working behind the scenes at weddings, political rallies and fundraisers. Part of their job includes agreeing, organising and keeping within budget constraints, booking speakers, equipment and staff for the event, and ensuring that there is always a form of a backup plan if anything goes wrong. They are the “fairy godmothers” of the professional, business and personal worlds when it comes to organisation of specific functions.
Many professional conferences, seminars, training or team breakaway events occur every year. Little, or no thought is given by those who attend such meetings as to the planning and organisation that has gone into making sure that the event itself runs smoothly, from the provision of tea and biscuits during breaks to the speakers and accommodation itself. An event is made up of many different interwoven parts which all contribute to the overall whole end result. Large, corporate conferences often include national or international speakers, all of whom have to be booked for specific dates, transported to and from the venue, and accommodated whilst there. Various items like the supply of stationery (pens, writing pads, handouts, etc.), audio/visual equipment, between-meal beverage and snack planning, printed T-shirts or similar commemorative items, transport during the event, etc., all have to be organised well beforehand. For larger corporate events, it would be almost impossible for one person to be be able to pull the whole event together, which is why event and party planners usually work in teams where individual members handle their own specific areas.
Because larger, more expansive events cover a lot of different factors, event planners need to be able to handle aspects such as financial management, equipment organisation and setup, negotation with all parties involved in the event, food and beverage planning and hiring caterers, sourcing and booking the site of the function and on-site supervision and management.
If organising a fundraiser, an event planner will be involved in the provision and management of ticket sales for the event, and will therefore need to keep financial records of such sales. He will also be responsible for advertising and promoting the event via websites or social media pages and newspapers, liaising with sponsors/partners, booking any guest speakers or presenters and ensuring that they get to the venue safely on time. A good event planner will also have backup speakers waiting in the wings in case something prevents any key presenter from arriving at the event. Event planners may also be required to develop an event logo and tagline for the fundraiser. Put in a nutshell, it is the job of an event planner to ensure that everything related to a specific event is taken care of, from conception to planning/organisation and that everything runs smoothly and without problems during the event. This means that an event planner needs to be able to calmly handle stressful situations if they arise without losing the momentum of the event, and be able to think quickly on their feet to resolve problems which may arise at the last moment. Both event and party planners must have a strong creative streak in order to provide their clients with new, innovative ideas to attract attention and keep the event fresh and exciting.
Always check customer reviews and online ratings when hiring skilled professionals, no matter what job you need to have done. The advantage of using the internet to find these professionals is that you have access to information from previous clients who post reviews online. Uptasker is a great search site in this regard as you can check through reviews easily. Uptasker is also extremely unique in that it lists suppliers in geographical areas, which makes it easy to find the right professional close to your location, rather than having to scroll through various search engines to find a supplier in your vicinity. If you are not confident with using the internet, you can find event and party planning specialists in newspapers, the Yellow Pages, magazines, flyers (when specials are offered) or even on local public noticeboards. The problem here, of course, is that you will not be able to immediately access other customers’ reviews and comments on the service, scope and pricing offered by any supplier. If you can, use word-of-mouth referrals from relatives, friends or colleagues who have used a reputable and innovative event and party planner who has provided brilliant service.
There will always be a need for professional, knowledgeable and experienced event and party planners. As the world becomes more pressurised and time-conscious, it makes sense to hand over certain functions to people who are specialists in their area and who can take the load off your shoulders. Parties will always be popular as celebratory and happy occasions, even more so, if the host/hostess have not had days or weeks of stress leading to the party. Corporate events and fundraisers will remain a force for building unity and team spirit and bringing in sponsorships and funding for good causes. It makes sense to get the most out of every one of these functions by handing over the planning, budgeting and organisation to specialists in their field who can pull out all the stops to ensure a successful and rewarding event, rather than tackling the job yourself and possibly being overwhelmed by it. To achieve the best results, always use the professionals! For more tips, see our event and party planning specialist articles.
Browse more event & party planning specialists and compare ratings and reviews.