Three Ways to be a Better Party Planning Client

21 07 2009

1.  Start with a blank canvas.
When you are planning on holding a party in your home, please make sure that the caterer or the decorator doesn’t have to fight for space. You actually need to make sure that the event planner will have a blank canvas to work with in order to make your party something to remember. You want decorations and food to be remembered, not the cat’s litter box or the cluttered kitchen.  Be sure to move the piles of paper work or the baskets of pine cones to a different location. As much as many homes are beautiful, if you are paying someone to change the look for the evening, you will want to move out your accessories so that the mood can be set for a pirate ship or a beautifully romantic Italian Valentine’s Day party. Mood is something that takes everything from candles to draped material. The mood breaker can be a sippy cup or a squeaky toy that someone steps on.

2.  Be willing to let the pro be the pro
Recognize that you hired a professional for a reason, and allow them some lattitude in executing their vision.  Some planners like to move around furniture so make sure to get all of the dog’s toys that were hidden. Your guests will notice all of the details that were involved from start to finish. Be willing to look at your living space from a different perspective.

3.  Set expectations
Be sure to tell the planner what your hard limits are.  Be sure food allergies are clearly communicated to the caterer.  Let the decorator know whether or not they can use tape, pins, screws, or the like. Just remember, this is an event to remember. Don’t give your guests anything else to remember.

Pamela Harper
VP – Event Planning
NetWeave Social Networking

Pamela has been involved in the hospitality field for over 15 years now and wouldn’t change it for anything. She has been a restaurant manager, a seminars coordinator and a caterer. She has created everything from alien invasions to haunted houses, and even more mundane seminars, workshops and promotional events – including many different events for USF’s Diversity Department.

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