Organising An Event

Tips for Managing Your Event or Party

Managing an event can be great fun, whether its your own party, a sporting or corporate event, something with family and friends or a huge event such as a wedding or engagement party. It can be very rewarding but it is a tough job.

Maria’s Kitchen can cater for all your food an drink needs, but there are many other important things to consider to ensure a successful event.

The key factor is ORGANISATION!

Discussing and going over all the small details in advance is essential to the organisation of the event.

It is very fulfilling job and it can bring a lot of joy to people you know or to those you don’t know but who clearly appreciate your kindness and monumental efforts in organizing their birthday, anniversary, wedding or other celebration and event.

So here are some important tips for managing your event and some suggestions to troubleshoot problems and with careful planning, avoid them all together.

1. Organise your venue well in advance.
Is your event going to be in your own home, a home of a friend or a hired venue?
There are many venues for hire in the Adelaide Hills, from sporting clubs to village halls and church halls.
If you are looking for a hall, check this site which lists many venues in the Adelaide Hills area.

2. How many guests?
Work out the approximate number of guests you will be inviting prior to deciding on a location. A venue that can comfortably seat 50 people will be horribly crowded if 200 guests arrive, whereas a venue designed for 200 people will be embarrassingly echoey if only 20 guests turn up.
Some events are strictly invitation only making them easier to plan, but many events will have late-comers, or extras such as children, partners or friends.
Funerals can be particularly problematic as one cannot know in advance how many people will attend.

3. Who will be helping?
Who can you rely upon to help with the event and what jobs will you assign to them?
Get your team together for a meeting and use this article as a guide while asking your team to note any other thoughts that occur to them.
Give you friend with computer skills the task of designing the invitation and give another creative friend the task of the decorations.
Will you need to find or hire other people for the event to serve as ushers, waiters etc?

4. Is there a cake?
Will you or a friend be making a cake or will this be supplied by your caterer?
Where will the cake be stored once delivered?

5. Will you have music, or perhaps a band or DJ?
You need space for them to set up, possibly space for dancing, and do make sure the spot you choose has several electric points available – and check that they are working!
If you are having speeches or awards, do you need a podium and a microphone?

6. Are drinks being served?
Is there room for a bar or will you be providing table service?
Is there refrigeration available or will you need eskies and ice?

7. What type of food will you serve?
Are there likely to be guests with allergies, vegetarian or vegan needs, diabetics, religious needs such as halal or kosher, gluten-free, and so on?
Will there be infants, young children or the aged or injured who cannot eat solid foods?
All these issues should be discussed with your caterer.

8. Seating and furniture.
Are the guests to be sitting on chairs in rows, on benches or at tables?
Does the venue have sufficient chairs and tables or will you need to hire them?
What about table-cloths, cutlery, crockery and glass ware?
Adelaide Hills Party Hire can help you with these requirements.

Once you have answered these questions and selected your venue, visit the site well in advance and draw yourself a map of the area.  This map can be used to sketch and allocate table space, service routes for food service, disabled access if required and exit routes, as well as how you will get the equipment into place.  You should also mark where the power points are and where any cables will be run. Ensure there adequate room for all people to move around at the site.

Ask yourself are the facilities suitable?

  • toilets and bathrooms
  • car parking spaces
  • wheelchair access ramps
  • changing rooms
  • storage rooms
  • kitchen space
  • waste disposal bins
  • power access

Will transport and accommodation be required for international or out-of-town guests or delegates at hotels, as well as bookings and space made for their transport to get them to and from the event?

Are any legal and local government approvals required?
Check with the local council.
In most instances approvals are required for a bar, but also for excessive noise, vehicle access and parking, building large enclosures such as a pavilion and other needs.

Are entertainment and logistics organised?
This might be delivery of music equipment, pavilions or tents and decorative effects or stage management you will need, such as a microphone and amplifiers, lighting, power outlets, projectors and screens for slideshows, smoke machines or other stage magic effects such as mirrors, banners and corporate signage, etc.

If you subcontract a company to be entertainers, consult with them to ensure they are able to supply and set-up their own equipment as well as where the stage and service sections will be on the site and what the schedule will be. This way you can find out what you may need to do to assist them.

Are additional decorations are needed, or do you need to organise guests clothing such as suit and dress hire? Table linen, flowers, gifts, candles, balloons, banners or backdrops for photography, red carpets, and so on should always be sourced well in advance.

Organize your service team (even if they are friends and relatives or other volunteers) to handle relevant sections, even if you’re not professionally running an event, but running a small family event.

Ideally, you should have notified people of duties at least two weeks prior to the event, or more if possible. Caterers, florists, entertainers and other important people appreciate as much time as possible to plan, as it is typically more expensive to obtain goods and staff for high urgency requests.

The most common problems people experience when organising a special event is due to short notice, so planning in advance is essential.  Be sure to provide clear instructions on how to get to the site and give them your number or preferably a business card with contacts to call if they need directions.

Your event plan should be from beginning to end:
Planning > Purchasing or Sourcing > Delegating > Set Up > Running the Event > Clean Up > Return hired or borrowed equipment