PARTY TIPS

1) Don't begin your party planning without first planning to have fun yourself. Your own positive attitude will ultimately be reflected in the party itself.

2) While planning ask for other people's opinions. You get so engrossed in the planning that you don't step back to look at the whole event. Does the scheduling and theme make sense? Will people readily understand what to expect in mood and dress when they arrive? Have you stubbornly clung to an idea that nobody really understands or gets excited about? For the sake of your party you should be ready to regroup and change things if need be.

3) Do not plan this event in your head. Put it down on paper and list everything, including valuable phone numbers. Keep this document updated and make copies that you can find.

4) Don't be afraid to call in the Party professionals at any point. They can save you so much time and save you needless frustration.

5) If you are planning to have a comedian consider the atmosphere planned and the guests' tastes. Risqu&eaccute; and raunchy comedians are best left at the comedy clubs. A few off color jokes that offend the crowd will come back to haunt you no matter how good the food or other entertainment. And even if some guests are not personally offended they will be offended for the sake of other guests. Some people worry for others who they imagine cannot "handle" this type of humor. Look for comedians who work "clean". That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice laughs. More often than not they are the most hilarious for public events.

6) If you are using a public banquet hall or hotel venue find out what other events they have scheduled around yours. In some cases the actual room you are scheduled for has another event just hours before yours. You cannot move in and set ups chairs, tables, decorations, and platforms until the other event has completely cleared out. Discuss with the venue-catering manager how much time you will need and exactly what you require by what time in that room.

7) If you have really big stuff to move in for your event go a couple days ahead of time and take a tour of the venue. Look at the loading docks, the freight elevators, the path the delivery people will have to take to get to your room. When the deliveries arrive make sure you have people immediately available to take it straight to your setup location. Otherwise it may be stored in an inconvenient place to get to, or actually locked up! Also, you won't have the delivery guys' help for problems if you don't meet them during the unloading. Furthermore, you must double check to see that everything was delivered. If you are missing something you need to know ASAP.

8) If your event requires a technical rehearsal be there on time. Have copies of your event schedule ready for everybody involved. Make it large print and spaced enough to allow technicians notes.

9) Do not ignore the in house staff, the waitpersons, the custodians, the girls and guys in uniforms clearing tables from the previous event, or arranging tables. Be friendly and outgoing and appreciative. They are important to your success. They can be of great assistance to you above and beyond the call of duty, particularly when treated with respect and courtesy.

10) Don't ASSUME anything. Nothing. Doublecheck and triple check that everyone is on the "same page" during the whole planning period. Always send faxes and emails outlining your telephone conversations with services and supplies vendors. Ask them to print out the emails and put them into a folder for your event. When putting in a complicated order ask for a fax back to verify that everything on their list matches your list.

11) If you are in charge of the main details for party planning please try to enlist a reliable assistant to whom you can delegate details. Use that person as a second "brain" to keep you on track and thinking of what has to be taken care of next. A moderate to large event is no time to heroically or stupidly go solo.

12) A really engaging personality as an Emcee ensures your guests are having a great time. Remember how much you either enjoyed or loathed a televised awards ceremony depending on how well you liked the host? Your guests at a party or event respond the same way. If you are not quite this caliber of personality then relax. Hire a likable professional Emcee or comedian who is used to assuming this role.

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