You’ve successfully planned your private event, and now the day has arrived. Although it will undoubtedly be a good time, there are still lots of things to think about as a host.
Read on to find out how you…
- Ensure proper venue access and signage
- Organise the tables and seating
- Set the mood with music and lighting
- Accommodate any speakers or entertainers
- Test all the technical equipment
- Start the event off the right way
- Make some memories and share them online
Once it’s all been said and done, you’ll have created a memorable private event for your guests.
1. Make sure there is proper access to the venue
Since you’re hosting a private event, there is a chance that your space will be less accessible than others in the venue.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to check venue access as the first thing. If any of your guests have special needs, make sure they can access the entrance, the toilets, and the space itself.
Even if there is adequate access, it’s not always easy to find your way around a new building. Help your guests out by placing some signs to guide them.
Here are areas you can place signs to point to:
- Main event room
- Emergency exits
- Smoking area
You should, of course, ask the venue for permission to hang up any signs.
Tip: Here’s some inspiration for event signage.
2. Organise the tables and seating
You may have several options when it comes to tables and seating at your private event. Some events, like a business meeting, will call for specific table layouts and seating arrangements.
Always keep the event format and the comfort of the guests in mind when you arrange the tables and seats. We’ll go through some considerations below.
Tables usually come in three shapes: square, rectangular, and round. The last form is the most difficult to work with, but it looks nice.
Here are some of the ways you can configure the table layout:
Always check with the venue if you’re able to rearrange the tables to suit your event format.
Depending on the occasion for your private event, you may want the tables to be decorated. It may be superfluous for a business event but crucial for a wedding or birthday.
Decide in advance if you want a table plan or not. It can be useful to have one if there are certain people you’d like to connect with each other.
Table plans can be a great way to introduce two business people to each other. It can also work for family reunions…as long as you don’t try to force members who don’t like each other to make up.
Seating (and seating decoration)
Why dining chairs are so uncomfortable will forever remain a mystery. Maybe it’s something to do with the unique vision of dining chair designers.
But it’s worth thinking about how long your guests will spend in their seats. If your event is a long one, it might be worth asking if the venue has comfortable seating available.
3. Set the mood with music and lighting
Lights and sounds can go a lot to the atmosphere. Since your event is private, you will not disturb the rest of the venue by changing them.
The question is whether or not the venue has the facilities to change them. Ask if they have dimmable lights and a way for you to play some beautiful background music.
Tip: Spotify has some great playlists available for any occasion.
4. Accommodate any entertainers or speakers
If you’ve booked any performers, speakers, or musicians for your event, make sure they are taken care of.
If they arrive early, treat them to some refreshments. They might also require a separate space to unpack, dress, prepare, or just to leave their equipment.
5. Check all technical equipment
If your event involves any technical equipment, make sure to test it before the guests arrive. You wouldn’t want a speech to be interrupted by a microphone that doesn’t work.
Make sure you test…
- Sound system
- IT systems
Tip: It’s also handy to have a back-up plan for any technical difficulties that should occur.
6. Prepare welcome drinks and canapes
The guests are right around the corner, but there’s one more thing you need to prepare before they arrive. Make sure the welcome drinks and canapes are lined up and ready to go.
If you are hosting a private event for business people, you might also have some marketing materials to set up. Make sure all signs and banners from any sponsors are clearly visible.
7. Greet the guests
They’re here! Time to be the best host or hostess the world has ever seen. This is your time to shine.
Your first and foremost responsibility as a private event host is to make sure everyone is having a good time. That means introducing guests to each other and facilitating conversation.
When the guests arrive, it’s also a good time for you to run through the agenda for the event. Even if it’s just a dinner party, you can prep the guests on what to expect.
8. Take pictures and encourage sharing
Pictures, or it didn’t happen. It’s always a good idea to take photos or record videos from your event. If nothing else, they serve as a great memory of a good time.
For you as an event organiser, it can serve a secondary purpose. There is no better form of marketing than images and videos from a successful event.
If the event is formal, then it’s practical to hire a professional photographer to do the work for you. That way, you can focus on your job as a host, which is often more than enough.
Finally, you should encourage your guests to take their own pictures and share them on their social media profiles. That way, your guests become your best advocates.
9. Make sure everyone gets home safe
Once the festivities are over, it’s time to say goodbye to everyone. Make sure the guests all get home safe and help them order a cab if need be.
Remember to thank everyone for coming, and don’t be afraid to ask for some feedback on how you did. It will be invaluable for organising future private events.
The day is over!
Your guests should come away very satisfied…and you’ll probably come away very exhausted.
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Now there is only one step left for you to complete before you can relax.
Read on to find out how you follow up after your private event.