We would all love to host the ultimate event. Maybe we have thought about it for a while or it only recently popped into our head. Point is, if we think about hosting an event, we aren't going to half-ass it, we want the best.
The problem is, that it can come with a sacrifice we may not be willing to make.
It's easy to forget when we watch "reality" TV, like any Bravo TV show, that the the host can sometimes do more than just greeting the guests or signaling when it's time to eat. In those shows, money doesn't seem to be a problem and event planners are the magic fairies who handle every crisis that appears; the role of the host is relegated to a perfunctory job. However, for the average person, having an event planner isn't always a reality so the host has to wear both hats.
Being the host and event planner usually means that it can sometimes be hard for you to enjoy your own event.
If the caterer is late, the lights go off or there's not enough ice, the host/planner has to solve all those problems. It's that person's responsibility to handle the problems or manage those they roped into helping them plan to solve the impending issues.
This isn't a post to drum up business for me (although if you are now thinking about hiring an event planner, feel free to visit the Contact Us page lol)
It is however, a post about tips which can help you alleviate some of the sneaking fears you may have about embarking on being in that dual role of hosting and planning your own event.
1. Have a plan: You don't necessarily need a 20 page plan, depending on the size of your event but you should be able to outline exactly how the event should go. Not as vague as 'oh, I want this' but more of a 'this is a realistic look at what the event will be.' A great tool for amateur and professional hosts/planners is a checklist. It not only puts things in perspective but it keeps you on track within your dual roles.
2. Organize a contingency plan: You won't be able to plan for every emergency, but you can plan for most. For instance, if you are holding an outdoor event, it's entirely within the realm of possibility that rain, high winds or even too much sun are issues you may have to face. Not having a contingency plan or even an idea of the hazards or hiccups you may face is a sure way of getting yourself flustered when the issues arise, especially if this is your first time planning or hosting an event.
3. Don't plan alone: Whether your event is a massive gathering or intimate games night, don't keep your plans to yourself. Bring on board persons who will assist you with the execution of your vision/plan and more importantly- DELEGATE. If you know you are doing the cooking yourself, you may not have the time to go pick up the ice, so why not delegate that task to someone who can handle that job, while you focus on cooking. There's a reason why the cliché 'teamwork makes the dream work' exists.
(disclaimer- for events like a wedding, where you may be the bride or groom and are playing an integral role in the actual event, having a team or person who handles the nitty- gritty details is really the ideal route...you will already have so much on your plate participating in the ceremony and activities that it might be best not to actually have to worry about the planning aspects, I strongly recommend having an "on the day" manager even if you did all the planning up to that point.)
4. Remember to take time to enjoy your event: Don't get so caught up with the planning that you forget to enjoy yourself at the event. There comes a time when you have to say that you have done all you can to ensure the event's success, and if you worry constantly about what will go wrong, you won't be able to enjoy the perks of being a host at the event you worked hard to put together. Take time out to participate in activities, laugh with your guests or simply take a glass of wine, your memories of the event shouldn't solely be about the hard work.
These four tips may seem simple but they go a long way towards easing the stress of being planner and host to your own event. Hopefully you feel less pressure and more excitement towards your next event!