Organizing a Large Gathering

You have organized parties and get-togethers before, but you have never organized a large gathering. Larger numbers of guests or people attending an event require additional planning. You cannot just put together a gathering overnight. You need to invest time, energy, and resources into securing venues, arranging food, drink, and even entertainment.

The Purpose of the Gathering

Before diving in at the deep end, you need to think about what the purpose of the gathering is. Are you organizing a gathering for leisure purposes, perhaps to connect with those who have similar interests and hobbies to you? Are you organizing a large gathering in the interest of business or are you trying to arrange a family get-together – perhaps thinking about getting several generations in one place? When you have a purpose for your gathering, you can then start to create to-do lists and itineraries to ensure you cover everything,

How Many People Are Attending?

Who is coming to your large gathering, and how many people are you expecting? You need to know how many people are attending, as this will have an impact on the budget, and on the venue you choose. To get an accurate number, you need to ensure you send out invites in advance. Give people as much notice as possible and give them time to respond. When you are organizing large gatherings, you need to work in months, and not weeks.

What Catering Options Will You Offer?

Whether you are holding a gathering in the afternoon or for the whole day, guests will expect to be fed. Are you going to look at arranging buffet-style catering for large gatherings or are you going to look at sit-down dining options? The catering options that you offer will be dependent on your budget, and on the venue you select. Always think about what guests and attendees will want and expect in terms of catering and try to meet these expectations.

When Will You Hold the Event?

You must plan out your event at least a few months in advance (ideally more). When you are inviting large numbers of guests, you need to give them ample time to plan and prepare on their end too. They may have arrangements they need to make, and they may have to travel to attend your gathering. So, make sure you factor in other people’s time, as well as your own. You may wish to hold your event in the springtime when the weather is fairer, and when better travel is guaranteed. Or, you may wish to host a large gathering in the fall or wintertime when more people tend to have time off.

What Is the Budget?

A realistic budget together with a contingency is essential when you are planning a large gathering. It costs money to accommodate guests and to feed them, so factor this into your budget. If you are trying to plan a gathering without a budget in place, you may find that costs quickly escalate. When this happens, you then start feeling extra pressure yourself, and this is not what you want – especially if you want to attend the event (and enjoy it too).

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