Planning for a big event is often a daunting task. It can be long, arduous and full of last-minute surprises. Fortunately, there are tips to help you streamline your event planning efforts, which includes the following simple steps:
Visualize the event.
Mental health expert Emily Mendes preaches visualization for event planning. If you visualize your event from start to finish, you may be able to alleviate the stress that often goes along with event planning.
“Visualization helps you banish negative or worrisome thoughts and imagine the positive,” said Mendes.
For instance, professional athletes commonly use visualization techniques to psych themselves up before game day. Much in the same vein, you can use visualization techniques to imagine what it will be like to enjoy a successful and hassle-free event. As a result, you may feel calm and confident as you start mapping out your big day.
One of the most common visualization techniques involves creating a goal picture. This image illustrates the end result of your goal. For a big event, you may want to find an image that captures what you hope to accomplish. You then can use this image to guide your event planning efforts.
Make an event timeline.
Planning a big event is no small feat. However, with an event timeline at your disposal, you can put yourself in a position to accomplish the tasks necessary to create a magical event.
According to wedding and event specialist Lynne Goldberg, an event timeline helps reduce the risk of surprises when the big day arrives. It also helps you determine exactly what tasks you will need to complete leading up to your event.
“There should be no surprises on the big day so make a day of timeline that includes as much information as it can. That way you can feel in control of what’s going to happen next,” said Goldberg.
As you put together a timeline, maintain constant communication with all parties involved in the event. Goldberg also recommends checking in with vendors at least a few days before the event and ensuring they understand their roles and are preparing accordingly. You should bring any event essentials to the venue manager prior to the big day, too.
Of course, remember that any event timeline should remain flexible. Problems may arise during the event itself, but modifying your plan to address these issues is not the end of the world. Instead, go with the flow, resolve any problems as best as you can and, most importantly, enjoy yourself.
A big event may extend from dusk until dawn. As such, you want to do everything you can to stay calm, cool and collected as the day progresses. If you feel tired and irritable at any point, it may be tough to actually enjoy your event.
Get a good night’s sleep leading up to your special day – you will be glad you did. If you feel stressed the day before, consider going to bed early. Or try to enjoy other stress-relieving activities like taking a walk or hanging out with family members and friends to help put your mind at ease.
It’s also important to not overlook proper nutrition. Make sure to eat and drink plenty of water before a big event.
“Not eating before a big event can make blood sugar spike, which can create anxiety, nausea and leaving you drained by the end of the night,” said Liselle DeGrave, founder of public relations agency DeGrave Communications.
DeGrave also recommends bringing an extra pair of comfortable footwear to an event. Stylish shoes sometimes provide limited comfort and support. You can wear fabulous footwear at the beginning of an event and, as the event winds down, switch into more comfortable and supportive footwear.
Account for travel time.
Construction, traffic, inclement weather and other travel issues can slow you down. They may even cause you to arrive late for your event – something that could delay event setup and coordination.
When it comes to traveling to an event, it is always better to err on the side of caution. If you give yourself that extra event travel time, you can minimize the risk of travel headaches getting the best of you.
Wedding photographer Jimmy Chan recommends doubling your event travel time. If it usually takes about 20 minutes to get from Point A to Point B, for example, allocate at least 40 minutes to reach your final destination. This buffer time will provide breathing room in case you encounter travel problems. In the best-case scenario, you can arrive early and get a head start on transforming your event vision into a reality.
Dress for the occasion.
Like the experts always say: dress for success. That way, you’ll feel good about your appearance when your big event arrives.
Pick up fashionable apparel and accessories that complement your event. If you are planning an elegant wedding, shop for clothing, footwear and other fashions that you can wear to a sophisticated affair. On the other hand, if you are planning a meeting for C-suite executives, choose a dress or suit that offers a great combination of style and function.
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The Bottom Line on Planning for a Big Event
You don’t need to be a professional event planner to ensure your big day is a success. If you allocate time and energy to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, you can take the necessary steps to prevent problems from happening.
Lastly, as you prepare for an event, it is important to remember there is only so much you can do in the weeks, days and hours before your event. If you remain diligent throughout the planning process, you can limit the risk. Perhaps best of all, you can boost the likelihood that your event attendees will enjoy fun, exciting and memorable experiences – all thanks to you.