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Guest lists- A Deciding Factor to Event Planning

Updated: Sep 4, 2018

What's your magic number ?

Ahem....not that number, rather the number of people you are inviting to your event.

Sometimes we love to pull numbers out of thin air, because we are usually under the impression that more is better, therefore having a big guest list may be appealing. Or we may be exactly the opposite and looking to hold a and event which fits the two words- cozy and intimate.

Whichever you chose, and before you start sending out those invites, take a look at 6 things you may need to consider when planning your guest list.

*Of course, these tips can be applied to private affairs and while some can be applied to commercial events, this list was based on if you were seeking to host events like weddings, games nights, BBQs and things of that nature.*

How many people should you invite?

1. Always the biggest elephant in the room- the budget. The ever present thorn in your side. The number of people you invite to your event is ultimately the deciding factor to most if not all elements of your event, which means it is directly related to your budget. The size of your attendees determines location, type of amenities and space requirements are decided by what you can afford, if you have too big a number for your budget you may compromise the quality of the event.

2. The atmosphere- what is the experience you wanted your guests to have when they come to your event? It's really hard (although not impossible) to create an intimate affair when you have 300 people in your location. On the other hand, you really can't classify your event as the most happening "rager" when there's only 20 people in attendance. And this is really an important feature in your event, so give it a lot of consideration, because this is one of the features that your guests will remember and plays a big part in their decision to come to your events.

3. Guest engagement- Is this an event where you want to engage your guests in games or do they only have to show up and be an observer. The size of the crowd determines what you can do, in terms of interacting with your guests. Especially if you are a host who wants to meet and greet your guests, will you be able to walk around to each individual or would it be better for you to have a receiving line to give your copious guests a chance to see you?

Activities can liven up cozy events

4. Personality- sometimes events can get away from us; this is especially true for weddings where guests list have input from varied sources. It may feel easier to give into the pressure, however, do not forget what's If you are uncomfortable in large crowds or prefer only to be surrounded by close family and friends, this should factor into your magic number. No point hosting an event that you aren't going to enjoy.

5. Mandatory guests- are there some people who absolutely have to be at your event? It may be family, business contacts or colleagues. Whoever those may be, it could impact on your guest list. Do those persons need to have a plus one? If you invite them are you going to have to cut someone else?

And finally, number 6...we had this already but all roads eventually lead back to BUDGET! Simply put, don't go broke to host a lot of folks. Even if you can afford it, take into consideration points 2-5 before you handover your cash, because there's a lot more to an event than impressing multitudes of people. Maybe your budget could be better spent on decor or better food if you tailored your guest lists to the needs.

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