We usually ask the following questions so before you call anyone, make sure you have a few of the answers so that your supplier(s) can give you accurate estimates, advice, ideas and quotes.
1. What do you want to do? We find it quite common for clients to call without the slightest idea of what type of party they want!
2. Decide on a date or a range of dates, without a date it is rather difficult for a supplier or venue to provide a quote or discuss venue availability including equipment, staff and supplies etc.
3. Decide on where you would like to host your party. Marquee, field, garden lawn, hotel, bar, sports hall. If you don't have a venue booked yet – don't worry, many event organisers have plenty of venues or venue solutions they can suggest to you.
4. How many people would you like to invite? In our experience we have found that its better to invite more people that you actually want to be there as you are bound to get people who can't attend for one reason or another. Needless to say a party for 100 guests is completely different from a party for 1000.
5. What is the postcode of the venue? It is very useful for a supplier to know the exact location of the event and the ability to decide on the cost of transport. Some companies build this in to the cost of their services – if in doubt just ask. If you're not sure just give an area like Oxford which will be more helpful than nothing.
6. Who's in charge? If you run the company by all means delegate the task of organising the event to an employee. Make sure that employee feels comfortable with the task at hand and that they are authorised to make decisions based on your instructions. It can be frustrating for a supplier not be able to deal with the key decision maker. It makes quoting and all the finer details involved in planning an event take that much longer. Keep in mind that planning a party during peak season times could be that much harder – Tip: allow plenty of time to plan the event! RJCC Events recommend at least 6 month lead time, although we have 'thrown together' successful 500 capacity events in less than a week!
7. What is the purpose of your event? Are you celebrating, showcasing, selling or sharing something? The end result will require different event production in terms of your event planning and the atmosphere achieved will be determined by the individual elements your suppliers recommend to you.
8. Try to think of a brief description of what you want to ask of your suppliers. Suppliers can throw loads of ideas at you so having a good sentence will get the ball rolling. Rather than saying “I would like to have an 18th Party” try saying ” I would like to have a themed 18th party at my house for 150 guests and all I know is I need a marquee and great music”. A good supplier will then be able to talk you through the different options available to you. A great supplier will come out to meet you for a site visit resulting in a no obligation quotation.
9. What is your Budget? We find it so helpful when clients say they have a certain amount to spend for the event. It is really important to have a figure in mind so you don't end up over spending and so that your suppliers can provide practical options within your budget. Our estimates and quotes break down into individual elements of the event for you to pick and choose from. We can guide you on a budget but inevitably you get what you pay for and strive for quality rather than quantity. Be wary of suppliers quoting lower than others so they get your business, on the other hand smaller companies may send out rock bottom quotes to get much needed business – everyone has to start from somewhere! Event organisers may have built up good relationships with trade suppliers when they out-source services for your event but generally speaking, by booking an event package from a single supplier such as ourselves you will save money in comparison to booking individual elements from said party planners or separate suppliers.
10. Enjoy yourself! We are lucky enough to love what we do and whether you’re organising a private party at home or a corporate event remember that planning your event should be fun. We let you be as involved as you want to be and we work with you to produce a very memorable event that hopefully you should get all the thanks for! Try to think of at least one 'Wow' factor element to the party that may not have been done before – a simple touch like asking guests to send in requests and/or shout-outs in advance for the DJ on the night can make all the difference.
Its your event so enjoy it and finally; if your event is outside, especially if it's in the UK, take out inclement weather insurance!!!
The RJCC Events Team