San Jose Event Planning Tips & Ideas

Event Planning Tips & Ideas

Event Planning Tips & Ideas for Event Planners

Tips & Ideas

Event Planners in San Jose

Event Planning: The Basic Steps”

Dream the Theme: Determine the type of event you want

Even a small event such as a breakfast meeting requires real foresight and advance planning. First and foremost you need to know what you want the event to accomplish. Is it an executive planning meeting where real work needs to take place or is it a time for co-workers to come together in a fun, casual environment?

A helpful exercise is to spend some time daydreaming…really! Take a few moments to close your eyes and visualize the event taking place – who is there, what is served, what activities there are. Write down your thoughts and take note of any key components you want to be sure to include. Then work to make your event all it can be!

Event Planning in San Jose, Event Planners in San Jose.

Know Your Limits: Know your budget

Don’t fret if you don’t seem to have much to spend – events can be as wonderful and effective on a shoe-string budget as they can be with a seemingly unlimited one.

That said, it is essential you know your budgetary limits, especially in the early planning stages. Knowing your financial parameters helps you determine other key details such as location, food and beverage service, decorations, etc.

Click here for an excellent worksheet to help you manage your budget and plan your event.

Where Can They Be? Find the best location at the best price

Determining the location of the event is an extremely important step in the planning process. In fact, you need to have the location nailed down before many of the other pieces can fall into place.

Event Planning in San Jose, Event Planners in San Jose.

Are you going to have the event locally, perhaps on-site? Or are you going to have it at a remote location – in which case you need to add transportation and lodging to your list of considerations.

When you are confirming location, it is a good idea to have at least two dates in mind for the event – that way, if the location can’t accommodate your first request, they can quickly check on your alternative date.

Event Planning in San Jose, Event Planners in San Jose.

If you are planning on hosting your event at a hotel, it is smart to ask about who else will be having an event at the hotel at the same time (often in adjacent rooms.) You may want to know if your competitor is hosting an off-site at the same location on the same day.

Another key question to ask when determining location is whether or not they can accommodate your technology needs – and if they have a dedicated technician to help you with any issues that may arise at the last minute (because they usually do!)

For example, if you are holding an executive off-site, chances are many - if not all - the executives will have laptops with them to take notes and offer presentation materials. Can your location handle that scenario? Do they offer wireless? DSL? Their answer may determine whether you want to host your event there or not.

Read this article from the Corporate Event Channel for more issues to consider when choosing a venue.

San Jose Event Planners.

Don’t Be Shy: Promote your event

Even if attendance at your event is mandatory for everyone in the company, it is still a good idea to promote and publicize it.

Make it easy for people to register and confirm their attendance by offering on-line registration – just add a link on your company’s website. Then blast a division or company-wide email with a link to the registration page. Don’t forget to send a reminder a few days before the event to those who have registered to cut down on attrition (AKA “no-shows”.)

Be sure to distribute flyers and post signs about the event within your corporate campus. If the event features a notable speaker or timely topic consider issuing a press release and sending it to the local business media.

Click here for 10 more outstanding ways to generate attendance at your event.

If you have the money in your budget it is worth every penny to hire a professional photographer to take photos of the event. You can use the photographs in corporate news releases, newsletters, and on your website.

More, More, More: Other Considerations

Considerations for San Jose Event Planners.

In addition to the key points discussed above there are myriad variables to consider. Don’t forget to take the following into account:

· Equipment needed – tables, chairs, BBQ grills, volleyball nets, you name it

· Accommodations - if your event is out of town

· Travel arrangements – plane, train or rented bus?

· Catering (see below for an article on working with your caterer)

· Speakers – MC’s, entertainment

· Awards, prizes, giveaways, goodie bags

Regardless of the scope and size of your event (and budget) you will have a successful gathering if you take time to consider all of the options available to you.

Finally, once the event is underway remember to take a step back, breathe deeply and enjoy yourself!


Working With Your Caterer

Read this article for tips and hints when working with a caterer:

Your caterer can play an important role in helping you plan your event. Caterers' services range from supplying the food and serving personnel to completely planning your entire event. Some caterers are full-scale event planners. Whomever you choose, it is important to find a caterer whose professionalism and judgment you can depend upon.

Most caterers are knowledgeable about the different locations available in their area. Some caterers are off-prem, meaning they bring their equipment and food to your facility, while others cater out of their own facility. It is your decision whether you use the caterers' facility or not. Off-prem caterers have their own equipment which enables you to choose from a larger selection of sites. Choose a caterer who has enough experience to handle the unexpected, especially if the site is not equipped with a standard kitchen.

It is helpful to have the caterer review the site with you. The type of food, how it will be serviced, the number of serving personnel and other details pertaining to food will depend a lot on the facility.

It is important to have a good rapport with your caterer. Be direct and realistic with him/her about your budget so that the caterer can do the best possible job for you. Give the caterer the purpose for your event, who are the guests and the image you want to project.

When interviewing for a caterer, view their portfolio. Ask for and check references. Be sure the caterer has a state license as well as liability insurance. This can save you time and emotional stress.

Caterers offer many different types of food. Ask about your caterer's specialty items, and then decide what type of menu will suit your event. Specialized ethnic food could be an added attraction to the food display. Caterers can subcontract other food caterers for specialized types of food, thereby adding a variety to your menu.

Check the facility's alcoholic restrictions. Consider a host or no-host bar. Know which name brands are available. Ask if the bar includes mixes, cocktail napkins and glasses. If serving alcohol, make sure the caterer has on-premise and off-premise alcohol beverage permits as well as liquor liability insurance. Review the caterer's alcohol management program. Has their staff been trained to handle guests who are obviously inebriated?

There are bartender catering services that handle all of the alcoholic requirements. This is the main business and have all the supplies, alcohol, insurance and staff. They do not provide the food.

Your caterer should know the limitations and restrictions of your facility, such as time(s) for setup, hour limitations and kitchen availability. Give your caterer a schedule of the event so he/she can determine how long service personnel will be needed from setup to cleanup. Inquire if there are extra costs for personnel, including bartenders. Carefully coordinate all catering deliveries and access to the loading entrance with other vendors.

Catering costs usually encompass four different categories-food, beverage, equipment and staff. Your menu, depending upon your budget, the facility and type of setup, can include cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, buffet stations or a formal sit-down dinner, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and a dessert.

Payment procedures will vary among caterers; however, a sizeable down payment is usually required with the balance due the day of the event. Asking for a total of all costs beforehand- fees, gratuities, extra charges, taxes, overtime, payment schedules and cancellation policy-will help you avoid last-minute surprises.

Get everything in writing and sign contracts several months before your event. The catering staff should go over everything with you, item by item, to make sure that your event will be everything you have imagined...whether simple or extravagant!

Recommended staff to guests:
Sit-down meal: 1 server per 20 guests
Buffet: 1 server per 40 guests
Sit-down or buffet: 1 captain per 100 guests
Cocktail event: 1 or 2 bartenders per 100 guests

Beverage portions:
Beverage Quantity Servings
Coffee 1 gallon 60 cups
Punch 1 gallon 24 people
Champagne 1 bottle 6 flute glasses
Champagne 1 case 72 drinks/45-50 people
Liquor 1 quart 25-30 drinks
Wine 1.5 liter 8 - 6oz. glasses