Ten Top Tips for Perfect Party Planning

 By: Sara Allom
Planning for a small gathering or a house party is something everyone can do quite easily. However, not everyone can organise, or has the spare time and can put in the concerted effort to organise, a big bash such as a wedding or charity ball.

It is in organising these kinds of events that party planning companies can come in to their own. Not only do these party planners ease the administrative burden of the host or hostess in the run up to the event, but they can absolutely take responsibility for the smooth running of every last detail on the night too. Invaluable if you want to enjoy the event yourself!

So, how do you find the perfect party planner? Let's take a look at our list of ten tips to consider when looking for the right party planning company:

1. Type of party planning

Identify what type of party planning is needed. Make a list of the various jobs and responsibilities you want people to look after. Talk with the party planning companies and find out which services they can provide for you. Some party planning companies just offer consultancy for example, or ideas. Then there are others who offer a full service and do all the preparations for the party too. Make sure what you need is clear from the very outset.

2. Budget

Be absolutely sure what you want to spend and on what! If you want to blow the budget on getting your event planned to perfection, but you want the food to be a fish and chip van, then make sure your party planner knows where to apportion your spend!

3. References

Always request references or a list of the company's previous clients and their contact details. Contact them and ask for relevant feedback. If the party planning company refuses to give you references, don't waste any more time and move on to the next company on your list.

4. Arrange a meeting with the party planner

Once you have chosen a party planner who can provide the services that you are looking for, in budget, and with recommendations, meet with the prospective planner. Make sure you get on - you may be speaking to each other ten or 15 times a day in the weeks to come so you need to get on!

5. List of services

Make sure your party planner sets up a list of services that you will need and get them to get to grips with the terms and conditions of all of them. Are they planning on using a caterer that needs to be paid 90% up front for example? Find out what payment schedule the planner has and of course find out what happens if you (or your guests) aren't satisfied.

6. Value for money?

If your goal is to get the best value for money from your party planning company, then always avoid planners, which have to contract certain establishments or vendors for the party's needs. Often it can be a bit like paying the planner twice.

7. Leadership

Always check that the party planner assigned to your event has enough leadership ability and is competent enough to coordinate the event itself. It may be a huge team of hundreds of staff on the night - can they run things how you want them to be run?

8. Food tasting

Make sure your party planner lets you taste the food! Whilst they can book the caterers and order the wine, you need to make sure you like what is being provided. Good catering companies like Alison Price, Moving Venue Penni Black and "rhubarb", should invite you for a client tasting. Remember it's your party not the planners!

9. Communication

Always encourage first class communication with your planner at all times. If you haven't worked with them before they may not make quite the decisions you would. If on the other hand you know they will make every detail as you would like it, then you can just sit back and plan your outfit.

10. Pick the right party planner

And finally, just remember that planning for an event is as important as the event itself. While hiring a professional party planner might be a wise step to make the gathering flow smoothly, it is important that the client also maximizes his money's worth by selecting one that best suits his needs and specifications. In short make sure you pick the right party planner for you.
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