Being responsible for the success of a large event is enough of a challenge in itself, but when this event is being held in your own home, then the difficulty levels can significantly increase. Whatever you may be hosting, be it a wedding, an exhibition, a charity fundraiser, a competition, or a performance, the preparation involved in making sure that your home is ready to receive a high volume of guests can be daunting. The following tips will help you prepare an efficient and enjoyable event with as little stress.
What is the Purpose of Your Event?
First, being clear about the event’s purpose is key. Without a clear objective, it will be almost impossible to prepare any aspect of it adequately. Most normal events hosted in a domestic residence tend to be dinner parties or other forms of social gatherings where the guests know each other. However, big events such as weddings or corporate evenings can be much larger in scale and require additional preparation. Are you hosting all of your colleagues for a company-wide event? Have you invited various possible donors to your ambitious fundraiser? Knowing why the event is being held in the first place will allow you to give it more structure.
Create a Thorough Budget
Although your home is the venue of the event, you may be acting on behalf of your company, charity, family, or other groups. If this is the case, you should discuss the budget and where the money for the event will come from. If you are hosting your family member’s wedding, perhaps you have offered to plan and host the event for a small fee or for free. The costs of large events can quickly add up, so writing out a thorough budget will help to keep you from overspending.
Give Detailed Invitations
If you expect your attendees to adhere to a specific dress code, you must include it on your invitations. It can also be extremely helpful to provide detailed directions to your home in case some of your guests have not been before, even if it is the address of the venue to look up for themselves. For catered events, provide a form for your guests to complete and return stating any dietary requirements or restrictions.
Structure the Event
Use the purpose of your event to create a loose yet reliable structure. Instead of letting your guests aimlessly mill around your home with nothing to do, arrange for small sections of time leading up to the main event for people to chat, dance, eat, or drink. This will depend on the type of event, of course, but breaking up the time can help to reduce the possibility of boredom among attendees.
Over-Estimate the Number of Guests
Always anticipate a few extra guests in case someone fails to adhere to the no plus-one’s policy or has to bring their children unexpectedly. This means having plenty of food and enough seating for everyone you have invited, plus several more. Of course, do not go overboard by preparing too much food and wasting it.
Provide Adequate Toilet Facilities
Almost every one of your attendees will require using your facilities at some point during the event. If you have a large home with many bathrooms, you should still consider making arrangements for additional facilities to keep the event comfortable and hygienic. By contacting a portable toilet rental service, you can avoid the dilemma of many guests having to queue outside your home’s bathrooms throughout the duration of the event. Being able to wash their hands and refresh themselves will greatly improve your guests’ impressions of the event overall. It is much easier to enjoy yourself when you are physically comfortable.
Have Enough Food and Drink
For larger events, it is often easier to hire the professional help of external caterers. These people are experienced at preparing food in unfamiliar kitchens and serving big groups of guests at once. Ask in advance what they might need from you so that you can make their job as straightforward as possible. If you plan to cater the event yourself, give yourself plenty of time and do not attempt anything new or over-ambitious on the day of the event, as this can lead to unnecessary stress.
Prepare Your Home
The cleaner your home at the start of the event, the cleaner it will be after. You cannot expect to maintain a spotless home at the end of a large-scale gathering, but you should still create a clean and welcoming atmosphere for your guests to enjoy upon arrival. The nature of the event will dictate the type of decoration you might need to consider. Do you need flowers, balloons, posters, banners, or special lighting, for example? Make it clear where guests are and are not permitted to enter with simple signs or by keeping certain doors locked.
Protect Your Valuables
One of the drawbacks of hosting an event in your own home, especially a large one, is that there is an increased potential for theft. To keep your belongings safe, store them somewhere secure and make that room inaccessible to guests. Do not have any valuables on display unless you are confident in your home security system. While no one wants to treat any of their guests like criminals, it is unfortunate that some people take the opportunity to steal from their host’s home.
Whether you are the most experienced host, or this is the first time you have ever held an event, it can be painful to notice errors or have a minor disaster to contend with. Afterward, you may feel that this has made the entire event a failure and might put you off hosting one again. However, no guest expects one hundred percent perfection, and small details you see as flaws will most likely go completely unnoticed by your visitors. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy the event without worrying too much about everything going to plan.