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When planning an event, such as a sweet sixteen, bat/bar mitzvah, quinceañera, graduation, wedding, gala, fundraiser, anniversary etc. we are programmed to think venue and music are the most important items. Yet we should often remind ourselves that the finer details can change your event production from “Thank you, we had a good time,” to “Wow Amazing! We had a so much fun!!!”

While hiring an experienced party planner or event production company to help you along the way is a smart choice, doing your own research on what questions to ask will make the experience flow in a more positive direction.

Let’s look at five pitfalls, and save the rest for future discussion.

1. Busting the Budget. The importance of making a budget and sticking to it can’t be stressed enough. When planning an event, know your budget and stick to it. See item #4 on how to make this possible.

2. Overkill on the Planning. You want your event to be special and memorable, so you start picking out everything that can enhance an event and the next thing you know you’ve busted your budget and crowded out your guests. Simplicity is tasteful and your event should be planned according to the space.

Don’t get me wrong, if you have the budget and can go large, by all means do not harbor one iota of guilt for the grandiosity of your event (see one of our upcoming blogs on the subject). Yet if your space is smaller, then overkill in your planning can cheapen your endeavor.

Keep the old adage in mind: Less is more.

3. Lighting. One of the best details to pay attention to when planning your event is the lighting. Basically you want to utilize the lighting to best enhance a simple room. Pin spotting on flowers or centerpieces creates a luxurious feel to a well made table. Up lighting the outside areas makes your guests feel welcome as they arrive.

4. Planning it ALL at Once. This is a biggie! Internalize these words each day as you plan: One Thing at a Time. Like we talked about last week, the idea is to plan one aspect of your event per month (if you’re able to start planning early) or one aspect per week (if the event is a last minute production). By planning ahead, you will keep on budget and you will be able to make the best choices since you can focus on one item at a time.

Get yourself a calendar, or grab a free app and create a timeline. Once you have created a clear vision of what you are planning and when you need to do your research on that particular event aspect, then you can relax and take it day by day.

In addition to the normal timeline planning (budget, location, color/theme/furniture, date/time, guest list, food, entertainment, photographer/videographer etc.), don’t forget to plan your staging for entertainment, meals for your service providers, quieter areas for conversing, calling back guests that have not RSVP’d yet, and a timeline of the actual activities for the event ie: introductions, meal time, cake/dessert time, speeches, dance – including any special dances like father/daughter etc.

5. Seating. Events, thankfully, are no longer regulated to just a bunch of tables and a dance floor. Beautiful event design includes planning the type of seating you envision in advance. This allows you to explore your options and think about creating the best experience for the guest of honor and the guests. Choose from lounge seating vs. community tables vs. set seating or a little of everything. Talk with your party planner and think about the age range of your guests and your Timeline of party activities. Seating is a key element!

While this is no way an exhaustive list of party planning pitfalls, it’s something that will get you thinking in the right direction when it comes time to create that special event.

Tower Productions is an Event Production Company that caters to party planning businesses and clients. Our technical expertise in video, lighting, staging, event furniture and dance floor systems completes the package in supplying your event, wedding, gala, sweet sixteen, quinceanero, bat/bar mitzvah, corporate party, private function, fundraiser, etc. with professional and quality projects, completely within budget.