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Checklist for planning an event to remember (in a good way!)

1. Deciding whether or not to use an event planner.

This is a big one, if your event is large enough and you need to make an impression and ensure everything goes off without a hitch then this is something you should seriously consider. However, like any service based business you get what you pay for. Shop around when looking for the right event organiser. We have worked with many event organisers over the years and now have a select few that we work with and will recommend to clients knowing hand on heart the client will be happy and are in extremely professional hands. Get this wrong, (i.e go for the cheapest option, or with a planner who doesn’t have real passion for your event) and the results can be devastating, equipment not turning up, the wrong equipment turning up, not knowing how to co-ordinate everything.

Although this seems stating the obvious, make sure your event organiser has experience in your type of event. For example, your event planner might be great at packing out Luna Park for dance parties but if your planning a wedding they are probably not the right fit! Don’t be afraid to question the event planner and ask what experience they have, ask for client testimonials and even if you can speak with their clients. Check out their website, look at their photos and videos.

If you don’t choose to go with an event planner, consider the following;

  • How many people will be attending? How will you reach out to them – no – Facebook invites are not good enough!
  • Is there a theme – this doesn’t have to be a theme as in fancy dress but can be a colour. e.g. Pink for a breast cancer fundraiser night
  • Is the event inside or outside – this effects what equipment cam be used. i.e. if outside and not in a marquee, lighting will have to be IP Rated (waterproof) etc.
  • If outside what are your plans for bad weather, rain etc. Will you nee a marquee?
  • Do you need caterers?
  • What will you do for entertainment? A DJ, Band, Speaker hire with Ipod/MP3 connectivity etc?
  • Do you need to supply glassware and cutlery etc?
  • How will you theme the party, with lighting, props, furniture etc?
  • Will you do the clean up or bring cleaners in?
  • If it’s in a venue what are the bump in and bump out times (when you can set up and when you need to break down the event?) Consider if you have to bump out the same night, services you engage like sound and lighting contractors, cleaners etc will increase their hourly rate after hours as opposed to being able to bump out the next day within business hours.

Of course there are many more considerations, but if you are planning on doing the event planning yourself this should get you headed on the right track!

2. Getting the music right.

One thing to realise with music is you will never please everyone all of the time. What I mean by this is that you may have 95% of guests absolutely loving your playlist or the bands set but there will always be a few to complain or ask for requests for something that just doesn’t suit the mood or the audience. Just realise this going in and don’t worry about the minority, just be happy pleasing the majority of your guests.

What are your options for music? This really comes down to the style of event and your budget.

If you are planning a small event such as a bday party at home a DJ can be an option but can be costly, if you are trying to keep the budget lean consider powered speakers that you can plug your ipod or ipad into. Create you favourite playlist and you are ready to go!

For larger events having a DJ or a band is a good way of having someone with experience to choose the right style of music for the type of event and audience, this also creates a great energy and invites interaction from the audience and means you don’t have to run around trying to work out which songs to play.

3. You need more than music and people to set the scene.

One of the last things people think of – until the last minute is setting the ambience of the event with lighting. The technology in lighting has come leaps an bounds in the last few years and you no longer just need to use fairy lights – although for a wedding etc these can be a beautiful and elegant addition!

LED has changed the lighting industry and there are some great disco and party lighting options. Lighting doesnt have to break the bank either, at Lights To Party we hire lights from as little as $40 for small kids parties and we carry a vast array of new effect lights, vintage effect lights such as the old 60’s oil lights, lasers for all style of events and one of our most poplar range of lights are our illuminated furniture range that mean you hire furniture and bars that are lights. These can be set to white or  specific colour for elegance or have them transition through colours or strobing for something more interactive! You can check out our full range here with accompanying videos to help inspire your theme for your next event.

4. Choosing the right venue

Choosing the right venue is key if your event is not being held at home. There should be a few considerations here;

  • Firstly of course is budget. Even if its for a wedding if your budget is tight it doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget on the venue. We have set up some beautiful events at the local surf club – as long as you get the theming and lighting right you can transform any venue. If budget is not a consideration then using an event planner for organising the venue is highly recommended, they will have preferred venues. At Lights To Party we have set up events in an array of fabulous venues also so contact us for some advice!
  • Accessibility and public transport. Keep your attendees in mind. Is the venue accessible by public transport? Is it in a fairly close proximity to the majority of your visitors? If its too far away or cant easily be reached by transport? This could significantly affect the number of guest who will be able to come to your event.
  • Bonds and layout of the venue. Another thing to keep in mind are the conditions of the venue. What sort of bond do they require? Do they have their own cleaners whom they will charge you for? The other thing to consider is – this may not seem a big deal but will be if you have lighting and PA systems –  If for example you are hiring lighting and a smoke machine, does it have smoke alarms? Are there ample power points? These are questions your lighting company may ask.
  • What are the bump in and out times? Again this will affect the cost of suppliers you hire, caterers, event planner, lighting company etc.

There is a lot that goes into creating the perfect event so if you need help with planning your next party or event, get in touch with us at info@lightstoparty.com.au and we will help ensure you create an event that keeps everyone talking.

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