Arranging an event requires a significant amount of patience, a calm demeanour and a series of check sheets to ensure nothing has been forgotten. There does however, appear to be a significant trend where the following ideas, more often than not, seem to escape the “to do” lists.
The Tiny Tots
Working with children can always be a challenge, as I am sure any parent will be more than happy to tell you. Whereas teenagers are pretty much able to look after themselves, catering for younger children often fails to grab the attention of the Event Planner. Parents are naturally expected to be able to look after their own children but if anyone has ever been to an event where the children are running wild and screaming to the point that it challenges the frequency levels of all human hearing, will know that this is not always true. To avoid such scenarios, factor in scheduled playtime, movie-time or for guaranteed success, create a secure play area with an approved carer. Although they will most likely have to be outsourced, this won’t add much on the budget and will ensure that the kids have a good time and adults have peace of mind.
If there are photos being taken, try to have a list of the must-haves and do these first. Enlist help from someone else to ensure that people know that they are next up and avoid the run around trying to find them. Always try to get the photos with any children in first as children have a limited attention span and will tend to get bored and frustrated if kept waiting for too long. Leaving them until last may also mean that buttons are missing and items of clothing have either gone astray or turned from a brilliant crisp white to a mottled grey.
It is easy for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to easily get mixed up at any event and underage teenagers have on occasion been caught wandering around with alcohol, thinking they can get away with it. Work with the beverage team on this so everyone is one the same page. One great way to distinguish the drinks is by the type of glass used. Don’t forget the little ones and arrange with the beverage team to have a set of thick plastic cups on hand that won’t break easily.
Wheelchair and Pushchair Access
Always remember to account for mobility-impaired access to all events. This must include disabled parking spaces, wide walkways large enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and know where the chairlift or lift is if stairs need to be avoided. Walking through the wheelchair access prior to the event with the Event team will ensure everything is in working order. Signs also need to be clearly visible if there aren’t any already.
Where possible, screen the music or ensure the DJ has strict instructions of what to play. While this might sound prudish, there are certain types of music that are not suitable for all occasions and it is best to discern what is and isn’t appropriate beforehand.
The After Party
Assumption is the instigator of all misunderstandings. Do not assume. When booking an event venue it is worth asking if a clean up automatically come included with the overall rental free. Although it may seem obvious that this would be the case, there is no set rule and the only stupid question is the one not asked. Inquiring about the cleaning will clarify if a clean up crew is provided and if there are any additional associated costs.
The Smaller Details
Make a list of the on-the-day details that need to be checked or they can be easily be overlooked. By ensuring that any candles have been lit, name cards or table cards have been placed, the microphone has been set and checked, any trip hazards such as cables or dragging table cloths have been sorted and the wedding couple have a cake knife, will avoid the headless chicken run minutes before the event is about to start.