Sometimes, Less IS More…
March 31, 2015
Just as there are some events with very tight budgets where every cent counts, so too are there the grandiose events with budgets large enough to support every detail imaginable. At times this can be an unbelievably exciting thing for the planner or host, but even when the dollars spent are not the primary focus, it is still imperative that you always be conscientious of the actual guest experience and not get carried away by a limitless imagination.
It can be easy to get excited by a premiere venue or location for your event when you know it is affordable (especially if it is a venue you have had your eye on for some time). However, before signing on the dotted line knowing that this will instantly be impressive, make sure the venue is the right size and style for your event. If the venue is large enough for a party of 600 and you plan to have 300 in attendance, the space will feel vast and may give the impression that your event did not have the proper turn out, no matter how beautiful the back drop! Focus on finding the space that is still the perfect “fit” for your party and then you can shift your focus to the décor and ambiance required to bring your event to life.
If you are confident that you have found the right space (or if venue selection is non-negotiable) do not allow a tremendous budget to take your concept or theme on a journey that surpasses “impressive” and heads straight for “overwhelming”. When your guests arrive, you want them to have a moment to take in everything you have done and feel immersed in the personality of your event. Keep in mind that this can be hard to do if as soon as they enter the room there is so much going on that they do not even know where to begin!
When someone enters your party, it should be clear what the “natural progression” of the event is and where to find what they need without becoming completely distracted. If you are hosting a seated event, table cards should be visible and close to the entrance of the banquet room. If you are hosting a cocktail reception, the bar should at least be visible relatively quickly as this will likely be one of the first stops. If you have wait staff with trays, they should also be well versed in the layout of the space and able to answer directional questions, such as “Where is the bathroom?” or “Where can I order a drink?”, so they can aide in ensuring your guests are never confused.
Unless you are hosting an all-day event, remember that there is also a finite amount of time in which you have access to your guests. Instead of trying to jam pack a wide variety of activities and entertainment into a short window of time, select those which are MOST appropriate for the event and attendees. It can be disheartening when you have put so much effort into finding EVERYTHING imaginable and you hear responses from guests such as “I didn’t even see that!” or “I didn’t have time to make my way over there”. The more you tailor you really hone in on the desired outcome of the event, the more you will be able to ensure that each element of the event is truly thought out and will lead to the highest, most impressive impact, not just the highest expense.
Remember, just because you have the dollars, doesn’t mean you HAVE to spend them!