Event Planning: A Beginners' Guide to Planning Your First D&D
Planning for your first D&D can be a lot simpler with this guide for event planning beginners!
ALT Tag: Event Planning Dinner and Dance
Source: Best Wishes
Dinner and Dances (D&Ds) are corporate events usually held annually, to celebrate the company's milestones and for its members to unwind for an evening. Planning your first D&D can be intimidating. But worry not, we have broken it down into basic steps that will make the event planning process more manageable.
1. Getting the Basics Right - Objectives, Theme, Venue, Participants and Budget
ALT Tag: Event Planning Twenties Theme
Objectives and Theme
Establish your event goals and objectives. What is the main purpose(s) of this D&D? What will it hope to achieve for the company and its employees? Is there a theme? Decide on your event's name and remember to keep it short. These event planning basics will help set the direction for the rest of the planning process.
You want the event to be memorable and to stand out, no matter what your marketing goals are. When decorating for the specific theme you've chosen, consider including backdrops, props, digital LED walls and customised 3D props to make it outstanding. Remember to provide opportunities for guests to take photos throughout the event — you want them to remember it and share about it online!
Recruit an event committee, designate the event manager and establish the sub-committee chairs.
Select your venue for the event and book it well ahead of time. Doing so will allow you to cater the logistics according to the specific venue needs. Consider if the venue has parking options, is easily accessible and is large enough for your needs. The best way to see if the venue is exactly what you need is to make a visit and see the place for yourself. However, you may not always have the time and capacity to do so. 360-degree virtual tours are great if that is the case. These virtual tours let you have a close-up, virtual visit to the venue where you can see every part and angle of the venue as if you were there. Having a good look at the venue is crucial for event planning as you know exactly how much and what kind of space you have so that you can plan accordingly.
Who Will Be There?
ALT Tag: Event Planning DnD
List your guests out in the way that suits your event's needs best, eg. in alphabetical order or by category. Plan out who exactly is to be invited, then prepare the necessary invitations, RSVP information and who will be in charge of any inquiries from guests beforehand. Some applications like EventBrite and Peatix are great for tracking guest attendance and ticketing.
Is this a large-scale event? If so, consider hiring a security as well as an emergency medical team to be present on the day of the event.
What's Your Budget?
ALT Tag: Event Planning Budget
Nobody wants to overrun the budget while event planning! Lay out your financial blueprint for the entire event. Consider the price for each of the logistical needs — Venue, F&B, AV, entertainment, etc. Are there any sponsors that might be involved in off-setting the charges? Remember to take into account any unexpected costs and have petty cash set aside. You can take it one step further by getting budget details directly from the vendors' website or by calling them. Most vendors are able to provide general figures to give you a better idea of how you can plan your budgeting.
2. Audio Visual Checklist
ALT Tag: Event Planning AV LED Screens
The importance of hiring quality audio equipment cannot be overstated because good sound quality really delivers and enhances the desired atmosphere of any setting. The right songs and sound effects produced by the right audio setup can inject great energy into your event.
Nowadays, events are heavily technology-dependent. Ensuring that the audio-visual needs of an event are well taken care of can make or break an event. Here are some recommendations that you can include in your event planning checklist:
A/V Support — Hire a competent A/V Team to operate the A/V system if you do not have an in-house one
A good sound system with a right soundtrack can inject great energy into your event
A proper lighting system that adds depth and ambiance to your event venue
Video projector — these come in many different specs with screens of varying sizes.
The last thing you want is to be dealing with the intermittent internet connection or faulty lighting during the D&D. Make a good impression on your guests (and boss)!
ALT Tag: Event Planning Magician
SourcE: Infinite Imagination
Based on the theme, scale and duration of the D&D, some entertainment might be called for to make the evening a more enjoyable, unforgettable one. D&D entertainment options include magicians, comedians, singers, musicians and dancers.
4. Table Arrangements and Food
ALT Tag: Event Planning Dinner
Source: Gentlemans Gazette
Planning for food catering is one of the most stressful steps in the event planning process. As this is a D&D event, food will be the main thing on people's minds! Here are some tips which make for a great dining experience:
Hire a catering team that provides for multiple dietary needs—vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, halal etc. Don't let anyone leave hungry!
Have the catering team come in to set up about one hour prior to the event. Consider ordering light refreshments before the main event starts as guests start to trickle into the venue and mingle with one another.
Ensure that you have an adequate amount of fresh drinking water at all times.
Give guests multiple beverage options—soda, alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee.
For big events, plan the table and seating arrangements.
For smaller, more informal D&Ds, consider having a buffet set-up. This will make it more fun and intimate for guests as they get up to move around and interact with people not sitting at the same table.
5. Check-in Technology
ALT Tag: Event Planning E Ticket Check in
For bigger companies, D&Ds can be pretty large-scale events, so checking-in each individual guest can be a bit of a hassle and a security issue. Here are a few options for technology that will make for a seamless check-in experience:
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)
On-Demand Badge Printing
6. Post-Event Follow-Up
The post-event follow-up is no less important than the event planning process. No matter how the D&D went, the next one can always be better! Remember to invite your guests to take part in a post-event survey. Find out what they enjoyed about this event and how they think you could have improved. Have a post-event meeting with the events committee to review how the D&D went and to get everyone's input.
Event planning for a D&D can be a bit overwhelming, so plan ahead and be meticulous. But after all, a D&D is meant for you to enjoy an evening unwinding and dining. So, planning aside, remember to HAVE FUN!
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