There’s nothing like employing the use of a swanky new metropolitan venue (read: Indy’s downtown JW Marriott) to really make a statement at a planned event—and it doesn’t hurt that they know what they’re talking about. Snappening recommends you take a look at Marriott’s Step-By-Step Planning Guide, an easily digestible overview of all the necessary and exciting steps that you should consider when planning your next big shindig. Here’s what we found most helpful from their selection:

Although it may sound like overkill, preplanning is an important part of the party-planning process.

–    Marriott recommends creating an outline for each event that explains part-by-part, hour-by-hour, how to keep things on track. It’s a good idea to pass out a few copies of these at least 24 hours in advance of the event so your planning cohorts can familiarize themselves. Collaboration is key.
–    Preparing a timeline for producing invites and any other materials, event promotion and registration is helpful way to stay cool, calm and collected day-of.

After your initial research regarding the venue is solidified, submit your meeting or event specifications by using a Request for Proposal (RFP).

–    Benefits: This allows a property to see your group’s specifications in writing. Not only does this inform the venue, it requires you to think about the needs of your entire party.
–    Marriott says you should be sure to document:

o    Preferred dates and optional dates (if available)
o    Number and types of guest rooms
o    Number, size and usage of meeting rooms and the times they are needed
o    Range of acceptable rates
o    Dates and types of meal functions and breaks
o    Exhibits and any other special events or activities
o    Any related information such as complimentary requirements

Food is the important part of any event. Planning your event’s menu ahead of time makes the process less stressful. Marriott gives some good ideas about making the best out of your food budget, while still making it taste good. Here are a few good pointers:

–    Generally allow 30 to 40 minutes for breakfast, 45 to 60 minutes for lunch, and 20 minutes per course for dinner.
–    Plan on two drinks per person for a morning break and one drink during an afternoon break.
–    Consider a luncheon buffet for small group working sessions. Buffets offer variety and faster service.
–    Consider donating leftover food to homeless shelters or distribution organizations for the needy. There’s never a bad time to give back!

This surprisingly isn’t as obvious as it sounds—please, please, please take a look at the room that you reserved for your event early in the planning stages and familiarize yourself with any technology you plan to use. It’s important to know the layout that you’ll be working with. The farther in advance you do this, the more of a chance you’ll have to work out any spatial concerns before they become day-of execution nightmares.

We know you have that special seed in you—the negotiator seed. You’re the go-getter of your office firm, so why not use your skills as an expert human resources analyst in order to get what you want out of your event!

Negotiating with venue representatives has many benefits. In order to get the best deal, schedule negotiations early, ideally six months or more in advance.

Asking about peak, off-peak and shoulder seasons can also cut you a break. Also, if your meeting dates are flexible, you may get better leverage.

Even at the best planned events, there is always that one pesky thing that gets in the way. By preparing to go with the flow andanticipating possible unexpected situations, you will also alleviate your stress.

After your event has gone by without a hitch, send follow-up thank you notes, newsletters or emails to your supporters and guests to communicate your appreciation! Last but not least, don’t forget to share the wisdom you learned on our Facebook page!