With 2016 nearly coming to an end, many of us are currently preoccupied with the business of securing plans; mapping out vacations, deciding where to spend the festive season, setting goals for 2017 – basically, organising things.
Taking all of this into consideration, now is the perfect time of year for businesses and societies to organise celebratory end-of-year functions.
“Most people trying to pull something like this off by themselves fail because they either find that they are too busy, or simply aren’t capable of putting it all together,” says JP Prinsloo, owner of events company PriFactor.
He has a few tips that amateur party planners can bear in mind.
1.Establish what you need
Are you arranging a swanky night of wining and dining for a large, corporate company, or having a cozy get-together for an amateur touch rugby team? Identify your requirements accordingly. Once this has been established:
2.Decide on a venue
Commence browsing possible locations and compare your options. As soon as you’ve made a choice, secure the venue – they tend to get reserved very fast this time of year.
3.Send out invitations
Before planning your event, it’s probably a good idea to make sure that people will attend. A Facebook invitation or email should do the trick, (and cuts expenses) but be sure to notify those invited by word of mouth, and get them to RSVP as soon as possible. Also, outline the theme (if any), dress- code and time of arrival.
Is there parking available outside the venue? Will it be far to drive back home? What time does the function end? All things considered, you’re probably better off organising some sort of shuttle service or paying for Uber for your guests.
Does the event call for a fancy five-course dinner or a laid-back braai? If the cuisine involved is something that’s best left to the professionals, or you are faced with the task of feeding a large group, you would do well to hire the expertise of a catering company. This ensures that the food will be of an above-average standard, and means you will have one less thing to worry about on the big day.
6.Entertainment, sound and lighting
For bigger events, it’s pretty safe to assume there will be speeches, announcements and some form of amusement.
Make sure you contact the entertainer (be it a musician, MC, magician or DJ) well before the event, and establish his/her fee.
Establish what technical requirements the event calls for, and hire the services of a reputable engineer.
“It’s incredible how much of an event is determined by the quality of the sound and the lighting”, says Prinsloo “It’s literally a make-or- break factor.”
7.Contact an event organiser
As with most of the above-mentioned components, it is often much wiser to enlist and pay someone who knows what they are doing.
Bearing all of this in mind, remember the most important thing is to make sure that the function is about expressing gratitude to those invited, and seeing to it that everyone has a ball of a time.