Archive for August 8th, 2007

For Parties, One Size Does NOT Fit All

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Even when I was growing up in the thriving metropolis of Gainesville, TX (pop. 13,083), party planners had choices: for venues – the VFW, KC hall, or Community Center. For bands – a Swing septet, a Country foursome, and 2 or 3 Garage-Rock ensembles (including my own).

Here in the Big City, such options multiply exponentially. So there is no excuse for having the wrong venue or music at an event. Somehow, though, it still happens with regularity. With foresight, it won’t happen to you. But please, read on.

Venues. The 2 main questions you need to answer before selecting your venue are: what is going to happen? and who’s coming? With regard to the first question, an event where speeches are expected (a testimonial dinner, for instance) requires a room with good acoustics (not a gym, train station, or museum), while a wedding reception demands a hall large enough to accomodate every guest at the same time (because they all want to see the First Dance, Cutting Of The Cake, etc.) But a location which fits this first criterion can still be unsuitable for who’s coming. If a significant number of your guests are older, getting in and out of the venue easily is essential. Should many of your invitees be from out-of-town, the site should be handy for them (either because of bus service you provide, or by using your host hotel as the venue.)

Music. When the guest list has a limited demographic (like a class reunion), the band or deejay’s job is fairly simple. But at corporate events (like conventions or the company Christmas party) and weddings, multiple generations of very different guests should – at the very least – not hate the music. Tempo, selection, and – especially – volume are critical components in their enjoyment. Any band or deejay who ignores even one of these ingredients guarantees that you will have unhappy guests. And, since you cared enough about them to invite them in the first place, don’t you want all of them to have a good time?

So, no matter how charming a venue or band might seem to you personally, if they don’t fit your purpose or your invitation list, they are wrong for your party. And ultimately, keeping your guests’ comfort and enjoyment paramount in your planning is your best guarantee of a successful event.