In addition to ensuring that your event is a true reflection of your personality (or the guest of honour’s personality), the guest experience should be one of your top considerations in all aspects of planning. If any of you are wading through the minutiae of organizing an upcoming event, you will understand that there are many factors to consider, and a plethora of moving parts to coordinate. Here are a few points to keep in mind to ensure that your party attendees will be comfortable and entertained every step of the way.
You (as the fabulous planner that you are) will want to ensure that sufficient signage is in place if the location is a little trickier to find, or if your venue is hosting more than one event at a time. Nothing is worse than swooping into a wedding at the last second, mascara sweating down your face, and frantically trying to make it on time, with only minutes left to spare. Having clear signage (and an abundance of it) will ascertain that your guests reach the party well in advance. Signage also offers the opportunity to incorporate some of your decor, theme colors, etc.
While undergoing the planning process, you will likely be considering a variety of options for entertainment. It seems as though photo booths are not just a trendy phase, but rather, a staple for most parties. Gone are the days of passive entertainment where your guests are merely spectators to the show. There has been a considerable shift in transitioning to more interactive elements to make sure that your guests are enjoying every minute of the experience that you have so carefully crafted. Photo booths are the perfect option, as they not only provide a fun activity for your guests to partake, but they also provide a memorable keepsake for your guests to take home to commemorate the endless hours that you spent slaving away to pull this shindig off! And I’m not talking about those old school, closed booths that you frequented in the mall… those are a thing of the past!
Hi-Jinx Entertainment’s premier Beauty Mirror Booth is NOT just a plug and play experience. Every animation and every setting has been hand-picked to suit your specific event, the demographic of your attendees, and the goals you wish to accomplish. Are there an abundance of children? Then the booth will offer a more fun, kid-centric approach with options for games. Is this a black tie gala awards dinner? Then elegance and upscale to the max! Are you a fun wedding couple who want your whacky sense of humour to shine through? Then we will go for more edgy animations with pop culture references. Is this a business launch? Then corporate branding every step of the way to reinforce your name and the products/ services you offer. The options for customization are limitless!
But let’s be real – the main reason everyone showed up was for the FOOD! Another consideration to enhance the guest experience includes facilitating a smooth and efficient food and beverage service. Is there a long gap between your wedding ceremony and dinner service? Then you’ll want to make sure that there is an abundance of appetizers during your pre-dinner cocktail reception so that your guests aren’t chomping at the bit and cursing your name while your photos take WAY longer than anticipated (and trust me, they always do!) This also prevents your sorority sister friends from getting sauced by 6pm at your open bar without some carbs in their bellies. You’ll want to factor in approximately 3 – 5 pieces of hors d’oeuvres per person for every hour of lag time.
If you have an excess of 100 guests, you may want to have two, double-sided buffets so that everyone is fed in a timely fashion. If you’re hosting a cocktail party in lieu of dinner, offer a combo of passed appies that are circulated on platters by service staff, along with some self-serve food stations. Alternatively, if you’re just going for stationary veggie, cheese and charcuterie platters, spread them throughout the space to avoid bottlenecks and congestion. You’ll want everything to flow seamlessly!
If you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed, I recommend you check out our first blog post titled ‘How to Plan an Event like a BOSS’ for more tips and tricks. Happy planning y’all!