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At CustomInk.com, we know a thing or two about event planning. Each month, thousands of customers rely on us to provide them with custom t-shirts, favors, and promotional products for their big meetings and events. Although we tend to be just one link in the chain of their big day, we've learned about the importance of advance planning and close calendar consultation. Whether your event is large-scale (wedding, conference, tradeshow) or small-scale (birthday party, class trip, bachelorette party, meetings) proper planning is the key to a successful outcome.
We thought we'd share some common-sense tips and tricks for all of the planners out there, in the hopes of helping you to have a smooth and enjoyable event planning experience.
Develop an event's game plan.We can't emphasize this enough! As soon as the date is set on the calendar, you'll need to start figuring things out. Imagine that you're building a house. You start with the architectural plans and then build the foundation, the frame, etc. The first step is to think holistically about your event. What do you want it to look like? How do you want it to go? Envision the entire event from start to finish. When do the guests arrive? What activities are planned? When will everyone eat, if there's food involved? What would be on your ideal menu? What might the guests enjoy receiving as a memento of their experience at your event? (This is where we can help!) Once you've plotted out your ideal day, you can sit down with the calendar and start charting a course for success.
Figure out how long each step of the event planning process will take, and then add in some buffer time!This step is crucial for your peace of mind and a successful development of the event. At CustomInk.com, we take our due dates very seriously, and we stand behind them with a money-back guarantee. Not all vendors are this reliable, and they may make turnaround promises to you that they end up reneging on. You'll keep your stress level in check by allowing some extra time - order things early, and consider yourself lucky if you have a few boxes sitting in your garage the week before the event. Better early than too late.
Enlist the help of trust-worthy friends and family to make your event go smoothly.Do you excel at making hummus and vegetable platters, but struggle when it comes to figuring out decorations? Call a creative friend and ask for her help with that aspect of your event. No one person should have to shoulder the burden of an entire event, and it can be more fun to have helpers in the mix. It's also nice to bounce ideas off of others - someone may suggest a unique activity or a special touch that surprises and delights you. CustomInk.com encourages this type of active collaboration by allowing you to send designs to your friends and family members for feedback, and by having a staff of friendly design specialists on hand seven days a week to help you come up with the perfect design. By breaking the event into manageable chunks, you'll feel much better as you progress toward the big day, and your event will benefit from having multiple perspectives and talents hard at work!
Pick a theme for your event and run with it!Some events are more flexible than others, so this tip may not apply to you if you're planning an event that has strict guidelines in place, but in most cases, themes are a big hit, and they provide an organizational anchor for you. If you're planning a birthday party for your six-year old son who loves frogs, for instance, you can design and order custom frog t-shirts or plastic mugs from CustomInk.com, and then choose decorations that support this theme: green balloons, nature-oriented plates and napkins, even a soundtrack of swamp noises! The kids will love it, and you'll love being able to ask the baker to make a frog cake without having to agonize over the hundreds of possibilities.
Event budget.Okay, maybe not the most fun event planning consideration, but a necessary one. From the beginning, you'll need to build a budget and stick to it. At CustomInk.com, we'll work with you to figure out how you can get the most for your money. Tip: If your event lends itself to fund-raising, you can even order t-shirts or other products from us at a low price and then resell them at your event to recoup some of your expenses. Our products and your design skills are so great that people won't mind spending a bit of money for a special customized keepsake!
Hopefully, these event planning tips will come in handy as you start thinking about your event. If you have any questions about how CustomInk.com can fit into your big day, please don't hesitate to contact us! We love helping people.
Additional ResourcesInternational Association for Exhibition Management
Association of Catering and Event Professionals
American Planning Association
A Selection of Event Planning Books
A Selection of Event Planning Software
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