Planning an event? 10 things you might have overlooked!

You’ve sent out the invites, booked the caterers and designed the décor on pinterest. But are you completed prepared for your big event?


No matter how much planning and preparation goes into an event, there’s always something that pops up unexpectedly that you have to deal with on the hoof. Here’s 10 things you might not have considered that could catch you unawares:


  1. Setting up your venue. Have you allowed enough time? What state will your venue be in when you arrive? Will you have to do any furniture rearranging? Have a chat with your venue and see what they can prepare in advance. Can they produce a room plan of your set up so you’re both working from the same page?
  2. Paying suppliers. Nowadays most suppliers expect a bank transfer in advance, but occasionally we still come across someone who likes cash on delivery for things like bouncy castles or string quartets. If you’re not likely to be at the venue at the right time, see if you can leave payment with your venue contact.
  3. Clearing up! It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Make sure you discuss in advance who’s taking down the decorations, whether equipment can be stored overnight, and when this can then be collected.
  4. Cake knife. In our experience, the most commonly forgotten thing at a wedding is the cake knife! This isn’t something that your baker normally provides, and isn’t always available at a venue. Chat this through with your venue and decide whether a normal chef knife will do, or whether they can hire in an ornate knife on your behalf.
  5. Entrances and exits. Do your guests know where to head to, especially if it’s a large site with multiple entrances? And is there an easier route in for you if you have equipment to offload?
  6. Background music. As those first few guests are arriving, the atmosphere can be a little flat. It’s often an afterthought, but a carefully selected playlist can get the party started from the off. If your venue has a sound system and laptop available, the simplest way is to put together a Spotify playlist in advance, and log onto your account at the venue on arrival.
  7. Accessibility Requirements. Do any of your guests require support to attend? Does the venue have accessible parking spaces and level access? Are there accessible toilets within easy reach of your space?
  8. As much as Apple computers can be great, they often don’t play nicely with AV systems – trust us! If you are planning on bringing your own Apple laptop, make sure you have the correct adaptors and we recommend arranging a time beforehand to check everything works with the venue’s system. It’ll save a very stressful morning on event day!
  9. Dietary requirements. It’s easy to remember to ask for dietary requirements when planning a three-course sit down menu, but did you ask for your morning conference? With an estimated 5-10% of people suffering from some degree of gluten intolerance, your guests might love a GF alternative to those mid-morning bickies or brownies, or how about soya milk for your vegan or lactose-free delegates?
  10. Insurance. No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario, but will you be out of pocket if something major happens? Public Liability Insurance will be required if you are planning on behalf of a company, but peace of mind might also be a good investment for private events, such as big birthday bashes and wedding receptions.


At Cheltenham Ladies College we’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt when it comes to setting up for events, from a small-scale meeting to high-profile conferences. Give us a call today if you need any advice or to pick our brains on all things events!