Have you been tasked to organize a birthday party for your boss, have you landed on your turn to throw the most unforgettable bridal shower for your best friend, or have you just volunteered to host a Christmas gathering at your home? Whether or not you are excited about the thought of having to execute this task of being a host or organizer, here are some starter questions that can help you get your creative juices flowing.
- So question number one – who is this event for? How well do you know this person or group of people? Are there close family or friends who may be able to tell you more about his or her personality, likes and dislikes?
- Does he like being the center of attention, or does he prefer being low-key?
- Does she have a favorite color, animal, hobby, sport, country, flower?
- Is there anything about him that really stands out, such as his love of vibrant colors, his love of wine, his quirky sense of style, his love for the latest gadgets, zen, his love affair with golf? In other words, does he have a passion or is there a trait that defines him?
- How many guests are you expecting? And who are they? How are they like? Are thing things that may offend them or make them tick? Do they all know each other well already or this is a networking opportunity for some?
- Why are you doing this? Did you volunteer to host because you really care about the person(s) or were you unfortunately tasked to do something by your workplace? This will determine how much time and effort you want to invest into putting the event together, and how much personalization is appropriate.
- What are the motivations behind having this party? Is the event meant to please the elderly parents, to simply allow the guests to enjoy each others’ company, to impress your guests, to entertain young children, to showoff to certain guests in certain ways, to genuinely celebrate a cause, or to honor a special someone?
- Does the birthday boy or bride-to-be have some dream venues in mind already? If so, great. If not, then start brainstorming for a list of possible venues that may suit your needs. Ask around, search the web for ideas, or are there venues that you have been that really impressed you?
- What is a convenient location for most of the guests? Would the guests likely to need to be elsewhere right before or after the gathering (as in the case of a Sunday brunch or tea gathering)? Outdoors or indoors? Chic or casual? Conservative or unconventional? How do you want your guests to interact with each other – do you want room for mobility or a sit-down gathering is good?
- Do you want to and are you able to have a private room or area to yourself, or the gathering can be or will have to be in the main area with no privacy?
- How does the venue look like? Is it bright or dimly lit? Are there many windows to allow for natural light or it is a mostly walled space? Is the venue already busy with its own decorations to begin with, or it is a minimalist sort of space? Is it cozy or cool?
- How are the tables like? Are they big, small, rectangular, circular? Can you move them around?
- What are the policies? Does the venue restrict you to bringing only simple table-top decorations, or do they allow for more flexibility such as decoration the seats and hanging items up on the walls or windows? It is always safe to call ahead and ask.
- Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Tea, Cocktail, Dinner, or After-hours?
- Is this party meant to celebrate a specific festival like Easter or Christmas?
- What time of the year is it? The season is one powerful guide to the theme and mood. What about thinking along the lines of spring, summer, autumn and winter?
- If you are planning to hand out party favors, then would your guests likely to want something compact and convenient to carry off with them, or more bulky gift bags are acceptable? This can closely tie to the time of the day, since it often depends on whether you guests are likely to head home right after the party, or if they still have plans ahead of them as they leave.
- Time – How much time do you have on hand realistically to organize the party and carry out the required tasks? If you are running short, then don’t make things too complicated, purchase ready-made items. If you have plenty of time on hand, then do consider homemade items. Do you have to work with any vendors who need lead-time? As with any type of projects, do invest time in the planning phase, as it can save you loads of headache during execution and minimize room for failure.
- Budget – Who is paying for the decorations? How much can you spend? How much leeway do you have? If you want your party guests to chip in, do notify them ahead of time and give them a rough estimate of the expected damage.
- Help – Are you doing this alone, or can you get another friend or colleague to help? Do you want to hire professionals, like the SweetP?
- Resources – do you want to play a video or photo slideshow? Are there going to be performances? Do you want to do instant photos? What types of machines or appliances may you need in order to execute your idea? Be sure to test out the machines before the party.
- How are you getting all your party decorations and favors to the venue, and how much time do you need ahead of the event to prepare on site?