9 Tips for running a stress-free event

Planning an event is without a doubt a stressful exercise. There are so many lists, details, phone calls, and other elements to think about and do. Sometimes, just considering planning an event can be stressful. However, with the right tools and the right approach to managing your event, there are easy ways to reduce your stress – especially if you plan ahead, stick to your deadlines and manage your budget well.

1. Try your best to not leave ANYTHING to the last minute.

Sure, this might seem like an obvious, easy tip, but the temptation to say “that’ll be quick to do on the day of the event” is strong, so resist it! Something as simple as popping out to collect something, might seem like a five-minute errand, but it could turn into a time management nightmare, leaving you stressed and running late. Take care of every single little thing that can possibly be completed and set in place by the day before the event, and rather risk having too much time on your hands on the day than too little.

2. Booking a setup day is vital if you want to run a stress-free event.

Make sure that your project plan includes enough rehearsal time, especially if you are rehearsing presenters and presentations. 99% of the time you will run over, so make sure you allow for this extra time.

3. The key to taking care of every single little thing is keeping track of every single little thing.

Lists – they are your best friend. A carefully thought out list, or timeplan, should take care of everything from pre-planning details to guests, venue and catering, décor and flowers, and delegation of tasks. From start to end, you’ll be able to see the bigger picture, while keeping an eye on the details as well.

4. Stick to your budget like super-glue.

Draw up a budget in a spreadsheet and stick to it. You can save by negotiating prices for buying in bulk or getting sponsors for awards and prizes. Record expenses as you go along to ensure you don’t exceed the budget, and remember that small expenses quickly add up. Also remember to keep slips if you are paying for something out of your own pocket – it’s very easy to blow the budget at the last minute in this way.

5. Factor in last-minute emergency purchases.

No matter how excellent your event planning skills might be, there’s almost always a last-minute dash to the shop for a forgotten something. To avoid a mad rush and spiked stress levels, make sure you always have petty cash on hand and that there is a car ready for you if you need it.

6. Set the tables and food station in advance.

 Set the tables and food station the day before the event. If for some reason pre-setting it isn’t an option, it’s still possible to reduce the workload on the day by stacking the right number of plates, glasses and silverware for each table in marked boxes. Dividing up tables’ requirements into individual boxes also makes unpacking and repacking after your event that much easier and quicker.

7. Reduce the risk of breakages.

When you’re a ball of stress, there’s nothing quite like the sound of breaking glass to send you over the edge. When planning your event, you might be forced to settle for casual waiting staff, which is potentially a dangerous situation when it comes to crystalware. While you can’t always control the staff, you can control the servingware that you use. Picking practical glassware can save you money and avoid a major freak out if something breaks. Opt for short squat tumblers or, in the case of champagne and wine, crystal flutes with a large flat foot rather than long stemmed glasses. Go so far as to ensure that all serving trays have a piece of fabric on them, or choose trays coated in a non-slip finish.

8. Choose your team carefully.

You can’t manage the organising of a big event on your own – event managers who try this are asking for high blood pressure. What you need is a carefully selected team of talented, capable people whom you trust. As the leader you need to delegate, sending others out on errands so that you can stay put, where you’re needed. If any problem-solving situations arise, you’re there to take charge and command the proceedings.

9. Manage your guest list carefully.

Your guest list can cause unnecessary stress on the day of your event if it is not managed correctly. Make sure that all RSVPs and data are captured in one place; send out reminders to your guests before the event to ensure they remember the date, time and place; conduct call downs if you are unsure of an invitee’s details and make sure all on-the-day registration elements are set up timeously.

A great way to ensure your guest list is managed flawlessly from start to finish is to use the services of a professional RSVP Management agency, such as The RSVP Agency.