Top 5 tips to a successful event

From Ramona Burki, Events by Ramona
No matter what type of event you’re planning, there are five important aspects that will make or break it for you. After 13 years in the industry, I’d like to share with you my top tips for how to handle these key elements.

Location, location, location!
Many people are making their bookings well in advance these days, and for businesses that host the same event/s every year, this can mean they have secured dates two to three years in advance. To secure your date, you will need to plan and book your venue well in advance. Next, read through all terms and conditions carefully, and ensure you respond to the venue to secure your booking. Be aware, most venues may ask for a deposit and, in some cases, your booking is not secure until this is paid.

Entertain me
Venue booked – tick. What’s next? Entertainment! Considering having a live band or DJ for your event, or need a professional MC for the big awards night but have no idea on who’s who? Our big tip – ask your venue. These are the people who would experience more entertainment in a year than anyone you know, and should be able to provide you with some recommendations of who (and who not) would be a good fit.

Snap it up
When it comes to photography, there’s just three words – HIRE A PROFESSIONAL! Sometimes you just want to spend as little as possible, and so you resort to trying to find alternatives where you can. This can result in someone you know, maybe a friend, with the latest ‘you beaut’ camera. This can be a real disaster and you get what you pay for. If you’re lucky enough to know a professional who can do the work for you at mate’s rates, great! Otherwise – results may vary. You may be left with a strain on a friendship, not to mention low quality or blurry images. Everything disappears immediately after an event, except the photographs and the memories. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL!

Bon appetit
I could write all day about catering, but if there were only two things I had to focus on, they would be:

  • Suitability – when making menu selections with your caterer or venue, take into consideration your event timeline. Menu selections need to be suitable for your event and schedule. For example: I would not recommend a full hot buffet lunch for a 30-minute meal break. Instead, opt for something pre-made such as gourmet sandwiches, wraps and rolls, where guests can move through the buffet much quicker.

  • Food Allergies – when selecting menus, be sure to discuss with your caterer what their process is for guests with special dietary requirements. As the client, it is essential you pass along full details of any food intolerances or allergies to the caterer well in advance so they can factor in alternative dishes. The most important information the caterer needs is guest name, table number and seat number, if possible, and their food allergy. A good caterer will take great care to ensure dietary guests are well catered for.

The Perfect Atmosphere
Achieving the ‘perfect atmosphere’ enables your guests to relax, interact with one another and enjoy the event’s proceedings. You want your guests to be talking about your event for weeks to come, so make it memorable. Achieve this by:

  • Going all the way – to really WOW your guests, follow through with your chosen colour scheme/event theme to everything from a grand entrance to full room décor and table menus.

  • While being practical – make sure there’s still enough room left on the table for glassware, cutlery and crockery, and the table décor isn’t so large that guests can’t see and speak to others on the table. Quality over quantity.