Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year. Let’s face it – even adults can thoroughly enjoy the festivities that come along with the scary season! It’s a great time for a variety of events, as it seems to kick off the holiday season.
I have some top tips and strategies that we use and recommend for hosting our top-tier events, especially during the holidays. I know event planning can sound complicated and tedious, but in reality, it doesn’t need to be. All events and parties contain some of the same basic elements. What makes your event special is the attention to the little details.
So, what exactly are those details that can make your event pop?
Here are some key things to think about as you are planning an amazing, magical event.
Choose a theme
Everything at your event is going to stem from your theme, from your decor to your menu, print advertising, entertainment, and so on. Before you make any plans or start to deal in the details, you must first decide on a theme.
During this season, it can be Oktoberfest, Harvestfest, Autumn, Fall – or something you fashion especially for your event! If you so desire, you can even host a “Halloween” themed party and still keep it classy and sophisticated. Once you have a theme, the vision for the details of the rest of the event comes into focus.
Your decor will be tied strongly with the theme. For example, your tablecloths, flowers and centerpieces, dishware, flatware, glassware, chairs, lighting, etc. are all chosen as a result of the theme for the event.
Even within the theme and vision for the event, there are usually a lot of options to choose from for decor. No two events are exactly the same! These little details are part of what takes an event from basic to top-tier, so don’t overlook the significance of these decisions. It’s important to create a unified, polished look within all areas of your event.
Food and Beverage
Choosing food becomes easier once your theme is solidified. It also allows you to work within the budget for the event.
There are so many choices! What stands out to you?
Themed food and desserts, especially if there will be children attending the event?
As for beverages, are you going to have an open bar? Cash bar? Will you serve wine, beer, and cocktails? What about having a specialty cocktail? It can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. And you can give it a fun themed name.
You can even have a BYOB (bring your own beer) event! If it works within your budget, make it happen!
What sort of music will you have? It could be as simple as background music from an MP3 player, or as grand as a full live band. Consider your ambience, your theme, your budget, and your audience to determine what is going to be the best type of music.
(As a side note, be mindful of music licensing. If you are having a private event at your home, you can play music without issue. But if you have a corporate event or something for the public, you must pay the licensing fees to legally play music. Check out: www.bmi.com to learn more about music licensing do’s and don’ts.)
For other entertainment, consider what else fits into your theme. Would a magician, mind reader, balloon maker, hayride, games for the children, or a pumpkin carving contest work with your particular event? Be creative! What would you like to see your guests enjoying themselves doing?
Do you need audio/visual equipment? If so, we highly suggest you engage with an AV expert or professional Technical Director to help you plan what you need and make sure it all goes off without a hitch. Maybe it’s just a microphone and speakers. Or just cool lighting. Maybe it’s a full blown stage production. Whatever you need, a highly qualified technical director is a lifesaver to have on your team.
Creative Design / Print
Whether you are doing a private party or a corporate event, your very first touch with the guest sets the stage for the entire event. So your invitations should be top-tier, no matter what type of party you are hosting.
Do you need a thematic logo created? Or some other art? If so, engage a professional graphic designer. If you are hosting a private party, check out online options for free invitations with Canva or eBrite. And don’t forget the Save the Dates before the real invites go out!
When they arrive to your event, will they be able to find it? It’s always a good idea to have signs of some kind. A classy, professional way to help them get there is to create directional posters that stand on easels throughout the pathway to the event. Another great tip is to use repositionable velcro arrows that can turn to direct people the right way.
What about name tags? Do your guests all know each other? If not, a thematic name tag is a great way to both help promote branding and to make introductions easier. For corporate events, this is a must have.
No matter the event, people of all ages love giveaways! Do you have a fun gift or takeaway for your guests? This again should be thematic to the event. For a fall harvest party, how about tiny little decorated pumpkins that guests can then take home after the party?
If you pay attention to these key elements, and give intentional focus and attention to the little details, you too, can take an event from good to great!
If you want help creating magic at your next event, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.