This time of year is a popular time for holiday parties, retirement celebrations, anniversary dinners, and many other special events. If you’ve been tasked with planning a special event, here are 10 tips to make your event planning a success.
#1 - Start Planning Early
If you’re planning an event this holiday season, don’t wait until the last minute. It takes time to look for banquet halls in Central Michigan, organize the space, determine your food and drink menu, hire entertainment, and finalize whatever else your event requires. It’s better to start too early than be overwhelmed with the task ahead of you — or worse, to find that all the banquet halls in Central Michigan are booked.
#2 - Find the Right Location
The right location for your special event should be one that makes sense for the occasion and is easy for guests to find. For instance, if all your guests are located in Mid-Michigan, don’t make them drive hours away. Instead, narrow your search to the many banquet halls in Central Michigan that are a convenient commute and still perfectly suited for your event. When searching for banquet halls, look for spaces that check all the boxes for your event in terms of amenities, aesthetics, and convenience.
#3 - Choose the Right Size Space
When booking your event space, you’ll want to make sure you have a big enough space to fit your guests comfortably, but also not have a room that is too big, leaving your guests feeling lost and out of place. The best way to choose the right size space is to have an accurate count before choosing the venue, or at least a close estimate. If your party is small, you may be able to rent a private dining room at a local restaurant, or look for something larger like ballrooms or banquet halls in the area if you have a long guest list. Local places to check for available event spaces are golf courses, casinos, municipal facilities, and hotels/resorts.
#4 - Book Banquet Halls Ahead of Time
This time of year, party spaces are in short supply. Besides holiday parties, other special events like retirement parties, winter graduations, bridal and baby showers, and wedding receptions commonly compete for banquet halls and private event spaces. It’s best to book as early as you can to make sure your preferred location is reserved just for you.
#5 - Plan for Extra Food
There can sometimes be a few more guests than you’re planning for, so always plan for a little extra food. You should also plan to account for an array of dietary restrictions — try to include at least a few items that are vegetarian and gluten free. Guests with no allergies can eat anything, but the ones that can’t will be grateful for the forethought. For event food needs, you can either hire a professional catering service and work with them to develop a menu for the event, or look for a venue that offers dinner services.
#6 - Choose a Venue that Fits the Occasion
If you’re treating your employees or celebrating the holidays, your event should impress and treat the guests to a comfortable atmosphere. Party streamers won’t do much to dress up a conference room, so look for banquet halls that fit the occasion and the mood for the evening. For example, if you’re throwing a party to show your employees your appreciation for their hard work, then treating them to a nice evening in a beautiful space with plenty of food and drinks will help achieve that goal.
#7 - Have a Contingency Plan for Weather
In Michigan, the weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to watch out for snow, rain, or sleet. Make sure your guests have a safe way to get to-and-from your event if the weather is less than ideal. You may consider providing transportation for your guests or have a postponement date in mind in case of a severe weather warning.
#8 - Get the Word Out
Once your party is in motion, it’s time to inform the guests. Choose the best way to communicate the event with the invitees, whether it's a handwritten card, mailed invite, or email. Give your guests the opportunity to RSVP well in advance, so you can take your guest count to your banquet halls and caterers for estimates.
#9 - Take Plenty of Photos
You’ve spent so much time planning this event, it’s sure to be a success. Hire a photographer to memorialize the evening. They can come at the beginning of the party to photograph guests as they arrive and encourage people to get together and have fun. During the event you can also have a photo booth or invite guests to take their own photos and use a special event hashtag so everyone can access them.
#10 - Have Your Guests Leave Happy
When the night is over, it’s a nice touch to send guests home with something as they’re leaving; whether it’s something as simple as food to-go, or a personal gift to recognize the occasion. You can also collect email addresses from your guests to later send professional photos, so they can look back at the evening.
If you're looking for a venue for your upcoming event, be it a holiday party, a retirement celebration, or an anniversary party, Bucks Run has the perfect space for you. Choose from our large banquet hall, our private VIP room, or our beautiful restaurant and patio for smaller gatherings. No matter your event, we can create the perfect space! Contact our events team to get started.