Planning an event is a big task made up of hundreds of small tasks. It requires time, patience, and persistence. Marriott offers a good online event planning guide, which covers over a hundred points. Here are some that we think is very important, yet seemed to be neglected by many. Plan ahead - way ahead If I ask you to plan a holiday party for this year, you may think it's too early since we are still in February. Then let me ask you this question: When did you start planning your wedding? Event planning takes time and there are lot more details that you think that goes into planning. Foremost, you need to think about the following three points. ONE: Secure the date If you want everyone to come to your party, you need to invite them and ask them to RSVP the date before they make their plans. TWO: Popular venue gets reserved quickly During the busy wedding and holiday seasons, the venue gets booked quickly. The more popular the venue is, the earlier you need to book THREE: It just takes time There are so many details go in planning an event that you think. When one thing changes, it affects ten other things. In order to have a successful event, you need time to plan and go over the details. FOUR: Set Your Purpose Ask yourself this question: What is it that I want to get out of this party? Sure, you can throw a fun party without no reason and that is fine, but that is like getting in a car and starting driving without a destination - you will get somewhere but the question is where? Having a purpose is for your party creates deeper meaning and emotional feeling. As a result, the party will become more memorable. Some example includes, “Company celebration” or “To congratulate your team’s recent success.” FIVE: Create A Theme Choosing a theme for your party will set the tone. It stimulates guests’ imagination and builds excitement. For example, one company we catered for did a Japanese-themed office birthday party. They had people dressed up in kimono and did sumo wrestling. We served sushi, set up make your own sushi rolling stations, and they had Japanese beer. It was a blast! SIX: Do Your Market Research Put your guest list together, event description, send it out and ask for their feedback. Make sure to ask if they like or dislike the event including why. That way, you can find out what your prospective guest is looking for and change your plans and your guest list. You see people on our guest lists are not really your guest. A real guest is one who is physically present at your party. SEVEN: Start Contacting Vendors Now you have a solid plan for your party, you are ready to contact vendors like event organizers, caters, and venues. EIGHT: Send Invitation At least two to three months in advance, email potential guests to announce the party. Make sure to RSVP so that you know the exact headcount. You can keep updating the progress via email or even set up a private blog to post new development for potential guests to see. In conclusion, please allow me to share just one more tip - I believe flexibility besides patience is the key to successful event planning. No matter how prepared you are, many things will happen, and they will force things to change. I look at them as challenges to solve and an opportunity to grow, instead of problems that will give me a headache. If you fight them, you will have a very very hard and difficult time. However, if you stay being flexible and adjust to the changes, you will find things will flow much smoother even during a storm. Stay open and focus on finding an answer rather than complaining about the situation. And most importantly, have fun and always keep your smile!