Things Happen; But Let’s Prevent Sabotage From the Beginning
Live and learn, but please live and learn from these mistakes I’ve already had the pleasure of learning. Nothing is worse than spending a small fortune on any type of event only to have your guests leave earlier than intended. Take notes brides-to-be and event pros. This list can only help!
1. Creating your own layout without listening to the venue’s professional team.
Use the venue’s team to your advantage. They are going to know the space much better than you. If they say only 8 to a table will work or your guest count needs 8 foot tables instead of rounds, please listen. If your guests are too squished to eat or the servers can’t get to the table to refill waters and clear plates, you are just asking for grouchy, unhappy guests. It doesn’t matter how pretty it is, your guests will leave if they are uncomfortable. Fact.
2. Choosing a color palette without seeing the space first.
Venues tend to be neutral in colors, but that doesn’t mean everything will look good in the space. A lavender and hot pink floral arrangement is going to clash in a room with a burgundy rug. Neon rainbow napkins are going to look odd in dark wooden room. And as weird as it sounds, colors can make people uncomfortable. It’s like when a painting is crooked on a wall but there’s nothing you can do to fix it. Weird color combos can have the same effect. Walk through the room or space before you choose your colors, and ask the venue staff what the best combos have been. I’m positive they have opinions. Just ask!
3. Not choosing the best time of day for your event goals.
If you want a dance party reception or cocktail networking mixer, don’t set the time for 2 P.M. Even on a Saturday, no one is going to be ready to get sloshed and hit the dance floor. They might even leave early because it seems odd. If you are having a business conference don’t make it at 5 P.M. on a Friday or 8 A.M on a Saturday. People have lives and if they do come, they really aren’t going to want to be there. Once again, no one wants angry, grumpy people at their event. Venues might give you discounts at strange times, but there’s a reason. Don’t give in.
4. Not having a hook.
Now if you are a bride reading this, note you and your spouse are the hook. So, play it up. Be creative. Share your favorite things with your guests. Now if you aren’t, you need to come up with a reason for people to stay. Do you have a well know speaker coming? Is there interesting entertainment? What kind of food will guests get? Are there prizes for people to win? People aren’t just going to come just because. You have to give them a reason to show up and to want to stay.
5. Choosing to forgo music.
It might seem small, but not having some kind of background music can be a mood killer. It makes people feel like they have to converse with people to fill the silence. This is especially true at events where people don’t know each other. The music can kind of fill the void and help guests relax. Depending on the event, it could be nice soft cocktail music or loud dance music. But it does help prevent guests from trying to escape the awkward conversations that can plague your event.