When is the best time to start planning your event?
How soon do you think you should start planning your event and book venues for events? Six months? Twelve months?
Obviously, the amount of time needed to plan any event will depend according to the popularity of your chosen location and the duration of the event you’re planning to hold as well as whether it’s a personal locally held celebratory event or a corporate conference at a prestigious London venue.
Events by Knight have wide ranging experience of planning and holding all types of events. Generally, we’d advise that the longer your event is, the more time you need to plan it, so start planning your event early and also bear in mind seasonality.
For summer wedding venues or Christmas parties, your venue of choice may not be available if you leave it too long to start planning. In the case of weddings, it’s certainly not unheard of to start planning your event a good 18 months in advance of the event.
Everything takes longer than you think it will. Numbers may change, as will catering requirements, seating arrangements, printing requirements etc, so you really will need to devise a time schedule or a spreadsheet to keep track of things.
We recognise that all events are different, and planning timelines will also vary, but here we give a guideline as to the type of actions to put into a time schedule for a corporate event.
Six months before the event
Agree a budget with your client, make sure it’s realistic and know exactly what it must cover.
Visit venues and select an appropriate one with dates available.
Four months before the event
Research any suppliers you may need, refining budgets and establishing contracts. Make sure that your list covers all suppliers – catering, décor, lighting, printing, etc. At this point you could send out ‘save the date’ cards to guests and start to book hotel accommodation (if needed).
Two months before the event
Confirm all suppliers, again check budgets, send out invitations, perhaps consider health and safety and security requirements if this falls within your remit.
Two weeks before the event
Put together a final guest list, deal with any issues which may have caused events to change, brief event team on running order, confirm arrangements with suppliers.
One week before the event
Again liaise with all suppliers dealing with any new issues, check all deliveries are on schedule, budgets are on course to cater for things like petty cash on the day and confirm all arrangements.
The day before the event
Deal with any emailed enquiries or questions from suppliers and clients and make sure everyone’s aware of their roles and responsibilities. Also plan an exact time for deliveries as the order in which suppliers access the venue is important. You don’t want your tables beautifully arranged with table linen, tableware and floral centre pieces and then have to move them all to get technical equipment and cabling in place.
Allow plenty of time for bringing in and arranging lighting, staging, decorations etc, ensuring everyone knows the running times. Printed branding, posters, signs, etc should be the final things to install as these can easily become damaged during event installation.
The above time schedule is by no means a ‘set in stone’ or a ‘must do’ timeline, but is an indication of the amount of time you really should allocate for planning and bringing together all elements for a successful event.
Never leave things to chance or assume that all your suppliers have everything in hand, Constant communication, being aware and responding to changes in schedules are the most important things to consider. Always err on the side of caution and allow yourself far more time than is really necessary, as one thing failing often has a knock-on effect on something else.
Call in the experts
Hiring a reputable event planning organisation such as Events by Knight takes the worry of time planning off your shoulders.
As soon as you have a date in mind for your celebration or corporate event, have a definite venue to use or need a suitable venue sourced, do come and talk to us as early as possible so we can start planning your event. Once the venue is decided and booked, we can then start to put all the fine details together. The venue dictates the style and mood of your venue and by booking it as early in advance as possible leaves extra time to plan and prepare, organising, liaising and negotiating with suppliers.
Events by Knight have an established database of reputable suppliers for all events. So whether you’re looking for a wedding photographer or a caterer, or a comprehensive package of suppliers for either a personal or corporate events, we can negotiate the best rates, terms and conditions.
We understand the timescales involved in dealing with authorities for the important essentials which can sometimes be overlooked – permits, health and safety, security, waste management, for example.
Take a look through our website and see how we’ve transformed venues, designed, produced and events and made dreams a reality. Talk to us today on +44(0)203 130 4040 or contact us via the website. We’d love to work with you.