Event Planning Series: Beginning Your Planning Process

How many times have you wanted to throw a party but said, I can’t afford it. How many times have you planned to have one event that ended up being something completely different without even knowing it. I believe it is important for you to evaluate your purpose and financial ability prior to having an event so you know what you are truly capable of doing without going into debt or completely missing the mark. It baffles me when I see parties for children that costs thousands of dollars. I don’t like waste and that to me is a waste. It not only spoils the child but it also wastes money unnecessarily.

I’m going to give you a couple of suggestions for planning your event(s) in the future and hopefully, you won’t go overboard this holiday season. (1) What is the purpose of your event, what is it that you are trying to do and why? Are you just getting friends together because you miss them? Are you celebrating something…are you just not wanting to watch the game alone, whatever it is verbalize it, write it down. (2) Evaluate the budget for this event. Now the key is not to start preplanning at this point, just evaluate your finances and determine how much you believe you can realistically spare for this event. Note, this doesn’t mean you will spend all of this amount, it just means you are earmarking this as the amount you can work with, without having to take out a loan or mortgage your house. I mean seriously if you have to do that for an event there are bigger issues here. (3) Conduct a brainstorming session with yourself or others documenting your ideas, visions and dreams for the event. At this point, you can try to adjust to what you know from #1 and #2, or you can just free flow. I do suggest a little free flowing here because it is all adjustable later…and you want to make sure you really think about what it is you really want. (4) Prioritize – now really look at your list from #3 and prioritize them in the order of most important to least important. During this process you may even eliminate some things from your list, realizing it is really not important in the grand scheme of things. (5) Scope your event – now comes the “hard” part, you need to take everything you have done and determine what stays and what goes…you look at the purpose and say do the items I have on my priority list align with my purpose for the event…are the items on my list possible within the budget allotted?

Congratulations, you should have a pretty solid foundation for your event planning process. You now know where to focus your planning juices and overall budget. You know where your money should go and where it shouldn’t…how many people to invite, how much decorating and what type you need to look for or create. You know what type of food/beverages you want to have. This doesn’t mean you have everything figured out, it just means you have your foundation and boundaries to work from and within.

Happy planning and good luck on your event!

About Dana LaRieal Morales

Dana LaRieal Morales is the Founder of The Happiness Bucket where she coaches individuals and teams on having a better work-life balance. She is a Certified Project Manager, an Alum of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she earned her degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and she is also an Alum of Tennessee State University where she earned her Masters in Public Administration, She uses her vast organization, project management and process improvement experiences to help those around her be their best selves.

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