Becoming an Event Planner Overnight
Many of us have gone through it, the frustration of planning a wedding, birthday party, charity event or banquet. We’ve spent all this time and energy calling companies, making invitations, figuring out who is going to sit where, where the DJ booth and bar are going to go, choosing the location, and making an itinerary of activities, this process would drive anyone crazy. Wouldn’t it be nice just to hire someone to do it? Wouldn’t it be even better to save that money and do it yourself? Luckily for me I found the solution! With the help of the Seating Arrangement software, I have become an event planner overnight. Now whenever I have to plan an event, I never drag me feet to do it, I just get right to my computer and let the Seating Arrangement software do the work for me!
When I first found out that I was in charge of planning an event I went straight to the internet. I found tons of articles and tips, but nothing that actually could give me direct assistance on how to plan a party. While at the grocery store one day, I overhead a women talking about this new program she found that did all the work for her, called Seating Arrangement. I could not believe what she was saying, so I had to check it out for myself. When I finally came across the Seating Arrangement software I was amazed to see how easy it looked.
After watching all of the demos and reading all the testimonials from other Seating Arrangement users I knew that it was the right program for me. Especially since my brother and I were planning our parent’s 50th wedding anniversary and we were struggling to get the job done. We didn’t know where to begin or even how to organize the event. Once I registered and downloaded the software, planning the event was a piece of cake.
We had decided to make the event a themed party, but also keeping with the traditional symbol of using gold to represent 50 years. I sent out invitations two months in advance since many of our guests would have to fly out. The theme was entitled ‘A Blast from the Past.’ Each guest was not only supposed to dress up from their favorite decade but also we asked that they brought an item that represented a blast from my parent’s past, especially since my parents insisted on not receiving any gifts. My brother and I decided it would be nice to use these items as decoration, allowing my parents to reminisce over the last 50 years. We didn’t know what a big project this would be, but fortunately the Seating Arrangement software, made it very simple.
Thinking of a theme and sending out invitations was the easy part, but my brother and I we still not sure where to start. But luckily the Seating Arrangement software had its very own checklist. After reading and re-reading the check list I knew all the things that I needed to do. I used the checklist the entire time, before and even after the event. It became my very own personal assistant, reminding me when to do things, who to call, and making sure I didn’t forget any important details like ordering the food!
My parents had given my brother and me a pretty lengthy guest list. Before purchasing the software I had planned on make a spreadsheet on the computer. But I didn’t know what to include and what not to include in this itemized report. With the software it wasn’t necessary for me to create my own spreadsheet. The program had a section where I could input all the vital information in regards to the party.
The first thing I did was entered all the important details, allowing me to create a guest list and keep track of who sent an RSVP and how many guest were attending. In this same report I was even able to keep track of the relationship each guest had to my parents. This was very important when it came time to assigning each guest a table. I needed to make sure that I differentiated between my immediate family members and my parents co-workers. In the same report I could keep track of which guest brought what item, so that it could be returned to them after the party.
The report also came in handy when I was working with the catering company. I had asked each guest to select a meal when they sent back an RSVP. Once I received their reply I was able to input their meal selection into the report. Since the caterer needed to know who was eating what, the number of meals requested, and how many types of meals were selected at each table, the report was able to show just that. Afterwards I was able to print a copy of the report. Once I had all that information I was able to fax it over to the catering office. They were amazed at how professional it looked, and it made their work a lot more efficient. At the actual event the caterers had no problem serving the food to the correct tables, and to the correct guest. The owner of the catering company even asked how I organized everything. I let him in on my secret and he said that he planned on recommending the Seating Arrangement software to all his clients and even purchasing it for himself.
The next part of planning the event was choosing the right location. My brother had suggested having the anniversary celebration at the same hotel where our parents spent countless weekends, when they were younger, getting away from their busy lives in the city. The banquet hall was a decent size and could accommodate about 80 guests. My brother and I drove up to the hotel to check out the banquet room. Afterwards I was constantly getting calls from the hotel coordinator asking me how we wanted the banquet room to be set up. It was hard to make that decision after seeing the empty room only once. I never knew how important it was to set up tables and chairs until planning the event.
Well, once again the Seating Arrangement software came to my rescue. I was able to recreate the banquet hall on my computer. From there I could create different ideas to how I wanted the tables and chairs in conjunction with the dance floor. I was even able to pick a specific place for the DJ booth and the bar. And no matter where I placed an item, if I felt like it wasn’t going to work I was able to make changes with no hassles. I printed out the floor plan and the once empty space was now filled with the elements of a soon-to-be party.
Everything was just getting easier and easier. I didn’t really need help from my brother anymore so I just gave him the minimal task of calling and getting estimates from a variety of vendors. I also put him in charge of designing and purchasing a custom made banner for our parents. I was having so much fun using the software that I was even starting to neglect my work.
After using the floor plan creator I was able to assign each table a designated number. I had the option of seating everyone manually or letting the program do it for me. I actually did it both ways. Although I had fun arranging where the guest sat and purposely putting my relatives who always feuded over politics together, I wound up using the assigned seating that the Seating Arrangement software automatically did for me. In the end the seating arrangement turned out better than I had done. Because I had created the report which indicated how many people were in a group and the relationship of each guest to my parents, it was just that simple. Once again I was impressed on how fast and easy everything was coming together.
Now that I had arranged the floor plan, assigned each guest a table, found a DJ that played a variety of music from each decade, and purchased decorations that corresponded with the theme, I just had a few minor details left. Since I had allocated a specific table for each guest, I need a system to make sure that the guest knew where to sit. From the same report that I had used many times before I was able to print the names of each guest and the numbered table where they were assigned to sit.
I was then able to create tent cards in the Seating Arrangement program. The tent cards would serve as table locators for the guest, and help the caterers find where each meal went, since I had printed out a report for them as well. In the same section I created place cards with each guests name on it.
The place cards would be set on the table allowing the guest to find their seat, and it made the event more formal. I had found the perfect paper from a party store, which had a decorative background of different icons from each decade. I used that paper to print the tent cards. And I used a beautiful cream cardstock with a gold trim to print the place cards. I assigned my brother the task of checking everybody in upon entering the banquet and letting them now which table they were assigned to.
And the last thing that I did prior to the event was created the final itinerary. As hostess I needed to know what time everything was going to happen. We had asked my Dad’s cousin, and mom’s sister to speak, my brother and I were going to recite a poem, and I had created a slide show of baby pictures and our family vacations. Between those events and the serving of dinner, plus a little dancing time, I wasn’t sure how I would organize those activities to utilize the time that we had. I wasn’t surprised to find that the Seating Arrangement program had a specific section to do just that. Once I had assigned a time for each activity I printed multiple copies to be given to the DJ, the hotel coordinator, the caterer, my Dad’s cousin, our aunt, and a copy for my brother and me. Everyone was on the same schedule, and I didn’t have to worry about a thing, besides getting stage fright!
In the end my parent’s were very pleased with how the party turned out. They asked me multiple times if my brother and I had hired an event coordinator, and why did we hire such an expensive one? Since they did not believe me, I had to show them the Seating Arrangement software to prove to them I did it all by myself, with the much needed help of the program itself. Two weeks after the event I used the same report to send out thank you cards to everyone who attended and contributed with their ‘blast from the past’ item. I would have never guessed how much this program would make a difference and how much fun I would have planning the party for my parent’s 50th anniversary. I’ve been asked on multiple occasions by family members and friends to help plan an event. Of course I’ve jumped at the chance to use the Seating Arrangement software again, but now I’m trying to decide whether to leave my job and start a new profession as an event planner! I’m very satisfied with the investment I’ve made, and I constantly recommend the Seating Arrangement program. It really was the highlight of the party!
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