Planning Your Event

A well planned event may be more successful than a last minute effort, especially if a large number of guests will be attending or guests will be traveling a substantial distance.

Addressing the following questions, and actually writing a response to each of the questions early in the planning process may be beneficial for you:

  1. When is the event?
  2. Where is the event?
  3. Who will be invited?
  4. How will you be sure your guests are going to be available?
  5. If you are planning a theme for your event, what is the theme?
  6. If you are planning a surprise event, how will you be sure the guest of honor will be there?
  7. What is the menu? Who will prepare it?
  8. What activities will you be doing?
  9. What is your budget? How will you pay for it?
  10. Who will help with all of the details?
  11. Do you want to feature the honoree on the invitations/signs?
  12. If there is a theme for the event and it is "a surprise" how will you arrange the appropriate clothing for the honoree?
  13. Who will be taking your photos?
  14. Who will be taking your videos?
  15. What will your photo album look like?
  16. What photos do you need to collect prior to the event?
  17. Do you want to have a gift such as a book, a picture or poster, a stuffed animal, a plaque, a card or a t-shirt for all guests to sign?
  18. Is everything you have planned safe and healthy?
  19. Will the honoree and guests enjoy everything?

We recommend that an honoree be included on planning when their event will take place even if the rest of the event is a surprise as discussed in our article Birthday Party Planning, to Surprise or Not to Surprise? This will prevent disappointment (e.g., no one is doing anything for me on my birthday) and scheduling conflicts. Trying to resolve scheduling conflicts on behalf of an honoree without their knowledge may lead to an upset honoree (e.g., you arranged for the honoree, a server at a restaurant, to have the highest tip day of the week off). We also recommend asking the honoree who should be (and perhaps, even more importantly) who should not be invited.