Hold this advice in your hands and don’t use it to eat. Ever. Seriously. There is no use being a person who organises happy events and celebrations (most of the time) when you cannot even be happy doing it. There is really no use. Therefore, you have to have it at the back your mind to have the most fun you can while planning any event.
LAUGH AT THE SMALL THINGS
You have to look for the small but lovely things and let them make you laugh; the baby’s smile when the camera was pointed at him, the celebrant’s face when she realised everybody turned up for a surprise party just for him, the client’s expression when he realised how much you charged (haha) and the face when he realised how good you are. Don’t ever forget those.
LAUGH AT THE NOT-SO-SMALL THINGS
It’s a bit easy not to sweat the small stuff and yes, I’m asking you not to sweat the big stuff too; the caterer who showed up at the event without any cutlery or the manager who booked another event to hold at the same time yours is. You have to find a way to see the humour in all these situations because if not, you’d strangle somebody.
Whatever you do, make sure you have fun with it. Don’t let the stress take away the joy of planning from you. And if planning has no joy in it, if you don’t lay on your bed thinking about how great a party you planned was and how you’re bursting with great ideas for some other event, then please submit your resignation letter in the comment box below.
Before you continue reading this post, say this: I will not spend my money on a client’s event. I will not spend my money on a client’s event. I will not spend my money on a client’s event. I will not spend my money on a client’s event.
One of the blessings of a good event planner is the eye for quality and the longing for nothing less than perfection. However this blessing is also a curse for many of us. In the quest to plan the perfect event, we end up spending our own money and our own resources without being recompensed by the client. You cannot always do free jobs for people; you’re not a Father Christmas. So you should consider these tips when next you’re planning an event.
Always charge what you are worth.
When you’re doing a friend a favour, let him know it’s a favour.
Write up quotations (quotations are not only for builders and electricians).
Prepare a budget and stick to it, no matter what
Do not spend your own money on a client’s event just because you want it to be perfect
Haggle, negotiate prices, but get the best at the cheapest rate possible.
Your transportation is part of your expenses.
Now repeat the mantra again. : I will not spend my money on a client’s event. I will not spend my money on a client’s event. I will not spend my money on a client’s event. I will not spend my money on a client’s event.
In case you did not know, researcher is a synonym for events planner; you could look that up in The Oludamilola’s Advanced Planner’s Dictionary. As a planner, you are basically supposed to be Mr. Know-All. A professional events planner is always prepared; he/she always knows what is happening and the only way you can do that is if you do your research well; pre-job and on-the-job. Consider these questions and add more as they pertain to your event:
- Who is my client?
- What does he/she like?
- What does he/she dislike?
- What does he/she want?
- Who is the audience?
- Where can I get whatever my client wants?
- Where can I get the best stuff?
- Where are the coolest, most appropriate places for events?
A planner will be prepared for whatever odds show up on the way if he has done his homework; research. Read. Google things up. Go places. Ask people; don’t be shy to ask, most people do not bite. Learn from the gurus. You could look here for more resources on events planning. This is what distinguishes a professional events planner from someone who just gets it in his head to plan a party. So as soon as you are done reading this, roll up your sleeves and get to work doing some deep research on everything you think you’ll need to plan your next event.
I’d be giving a few tips on events planning in the next few posts. I call them Events Planning 101. I hope you learn a thing or two:
Procrastination, they say, is a thief of time. As an events planner, never ever procrastinate. It’s unhealthy for you and your client. The only thing procrastination can help you do is lose credibility and sabotage a client’s event.
TIPS TO STOP PROCRASTINATING
- Sticky notes; these are life savers, get them. Now!
- Calendar- seriously, you should keep a calendar by your bed side, in your bathroom, everywhere
Basically, you should get time management tools and use them.
Of course, I do not mean that literally, but if you need a Juice Extractor, you can get it with my blessings. However, there is only so much creative juice that can flow through one planner. Some of us can plan a hundred events off the top of our heads with none of them even remotely resembling the other and all still being ‘fantabulously’ wonderful. For those of you in this group, please call me for a “Well Done, You’re the Einstein of Planning” plaque. For some other people (like yours truly) to whom Planner’s Block is so real, it is important to have a source of inspiration.
Therefore, you should find what pumps up your creative blood; what gives you all the creative magic you are known for and constantly go back to that source for replenishment. You could get inspiration for planning from almost anything. My juice extractor is a long leisurely walk down a deserted street; add in a few trees lining the road and a small stream somewhere around and my creative juices just start gushing. That also gives me some time to have the weirdest conversations with God. But let’s come to reality; many people live in a busy metropolis; on streets without a tree or shrub in sight. So, that might not be the most accessible Juice Extractor for everyone.
However, this does not mean all hope is lost. You can just sit in the quiet and think. You could wake up in the middle of the night when the only sounds you hear would be that of crickets and the occasional owl crying. You could also … wait for this one… take a fairly long powder room break, close the lid of the toilet (let’s hope it’s not smelly), take a notepad and just go. You would be amazed about how many great plans have come out of the toilet.
Now, I know that some people do not need really quiet places to bring forth great thoughts and plans. The whole world could be upside down and they would still be able to think. That’s all right. No one has to try to copy anyone; whatever floats your boat works… as far as the juices are running. So, planner, discover what inspires you and do it so you’ll keep on churning out the greatest ideas and organising the best events.
NB: Below is a video about women in business. It would be helpful to apply this to your events planning start-up if you’re a woman.