Planning a large event in London can be stressful. Thankfully, there are several ways that you can avoid getting overwhelmed and methods you can adopt to feel more at ease. These tips can ensure you finish everything you need to do, without compromising on important things like sleep or rest.
The more organised you are with your life in general, the more than transpires into your event planning. For instance, taking on tasks at random, with no real sense of schedule, will often show in the final product. The way to combat this is to draw up lists of what you need to do, schedules for when you will do it and diarising it all. When it is all clear and laid out in front of you, it is far harder to miss something or forget something. However, don’t plan everything to the second because then as soon as something goes wrong – and let’s face it, something always does – then the whole schedule gets thrown and you find yourself in a panicked jumble. Allow for mistakes and in the excitingly rare case that you finish something earlier than expected, don’t be afraid to take a five-minute break to recoup.
If you’re wanting to stay in luxury hotel rooms at The Marble Arch London by Montcalm, you book in advance to ensure you get the best possible deal. If planning a birthday dinner, you book in advance to ensure you get the table you want for the number of guests you invited. So, when planning a large event, the same ethos applies. You have got to get on top of things as early as possible. Whether it is booking the venue or ordering the champagne, you need to get these things underway so that the last stretch doesn’t end in tears. When things go wrong in the world of event planning, it is usually right at the end when the stress is at its highest and the more organised you were in the beginning, the more manageable those issues are at the end.
Make a budget
Though beginning as soon as possible is vital, do not start anything before you have set a budget. Usually, event organisers love the fun bits and pieces like flower arrangements or canapes but neglect the spreadsheets. In order to run a consistent event, you can’t run out of money halfway and then expect the event to go off as planned. So, when we say begin ASAP, a budget sits at the top of that list. Once the budget is planned, you can feel comfortable knowing that all the basics are covered and you will never end up with an unfinished event.
Once you are organising a large event, you have the benefit of things being cheaper in numbers – and they always are. However, if you don’t know this, stand up for yourself and ask! Rest assured… you aren’t just going to be given discounts.
Negotiate with vendors to see if there is a happy medium where you get a discount and they secure your business for a large event, which is ultimately their goal. Know your budget before going in and offer 5-10% less – that way if things slide up or negotiations aren’t as successful as you would have hoped, you still don’t overspend on your budget.
Choose inclusive venues
While some things you would rather do yourself, a lot of venues offer things like staffing, furniture, seating arrangements, lighting, sound and catering. Check out London hotels special offers and see whether any of those venues have packages for you to cash in on. Things like seating and staffing can be a real pain to organise as there are a lot of independent variables at play, so it can be a big relief to leave it in someone else’s hands. Draw up a list of whatever you think is essential you do yourself, then find a venue that will do the rest for you.
Delegation is a key skill for any event planner, and as soon as the event gets large you are going to need to really make the most of your team members. Separate responsibilities into clear groups so that each team member is unwaveringly certain of what falls within their jobs. The clearer the assignment of responsibilities, the more unlikely it is that jobs will fall through the cracks only to be found days before the event is due to kick off.
Establish cut-off dates
The most stressful thing that can happen days before an event is for a vendor, performer or supplier to pull out. It sets the whole show back and can be a nightmare to recover with such short notice. The best way to stop this from happening is by making clear cut-off dates and deadlines, with penalties if cancellations are made after those dates. At the end of the day, human error means the possibility of this sort of thing occurring is always there. However, it can be minimized and you can ensure you aren’t the one solely suffering from the unreliability of others.
Spread the word
For a big event to be a success, you need people to know about it. Spread the word on several platforms – online being the easiest. Take pictures of your progress throughout the planning phases and post updates, so that people begin to feel a sense of excitement for what is to come. If you have a ticketing partner, they should be helping you spread the word, as it benefits them as much as you to sell out. Take pictures at the final event itself, so that you can show the world what a success the event was and guarantee successful events in the future, too.
While these eight steps may seem obvious, if executed properly, you’ll no doubt find that your large event will go off with the same ease as organising a little cocktail party. Whether you’re hosting your event at The Marble Arch London by Montcalm – and we hope you do! – or elsewhere, it is all about working as a team, having strict deadlines, guidelines and plans, and then keeping to those plans once they are in place. After that, it is smooth sailing.
Get in touch with us today about how we can help plan your wedding, business meeting, birthday, baby shower, or another event that needs a large venue.