Painless Party Planning
Do you love the party planning process, or loathe it? With so many things to consider from choosing the right facility, to finding a reputable caterer, to making sure that your guests will have easy access to restrooms, the whole process can become overwhelming. The good news is that if party planning isn’t your strong suit, there is something that can be done. So before you let your world turn into a whirling ball of chaos splattered with hot pink streamers and price quotes, follow these steps to ensure that you have a truly painless party planning experience.
1. Read the Reviews: Reading a company’s reviews can tell you a lot before you even visit their website. But when you search for reviews, make sure to read what people have to say, rather than simply looking at the star rating. While the rating will tell you about the overall experience, you can get some good tips from reading what guests have to say. You’ll often find recommendations on exceptional staff members, what activities to try, tips for a smooth check-in, and other helpful hints.
2. Location & Facilities: Is venue close by or will you and your guests have to travel far for the party? Is public transportation accessible? Do they have free parking or is there a charge? Do they adequate restrooms?
3. Check for Height, Weight and Age Restrictions: Got kids? Make sure to check on height, weight and age restrictions before booking. If you’re having a party for an older child and have little ones in tow, ask what nearby attractions there are to occupy the youngsters.
4. Look for Deals. Some companies run Groupon and Living Social deals throughout the year. Before paying full price for your event, it’s a good idea to check for these deals, but always make sure to read the fine print. Many of these vouchers can’t be applied towards group packages or special events, but they’re great if you’re planning a party for a smaller group. Ask about military and early sign-up discounts as well.
5. Call Ahead: Thinking about bringing your son and his five friends to a popular party spot on a beautiful weekend? Don’t take your chances walking in without a reservation. Some facilities require reservations for groups of 10 or more, and often reservations must be booked more than a week in advance. Be sure to call ahead, or make your reservations in advance. Calling ahead is also a great chance to clarify any concerns you have about parking, directions, or check-in.
6. Check for Perks: Some companies like to provide added incentives for you to book with them. Complimentary water and hot cocoa, temporary tattoos for the guests, or even a t-shirt for the birthday girl or boy –always ask to make sure you’re really getting the most for your money.
7. Consider Catering Options: If you’re planning a party that will last through lunchtime, it’s good to consider your catering options. Many facilities provide party rooms where you can store your goodies until lunchtime, but if you’d prefer to let someone else deal with the lunchtime hassle, see if your venue offers catering services. While it’s much more cost effective to bring your own lunch, that can be a source of unnecessary stress on party day. And keeping your budget in mind, many venues offer lunch options at a wide variety of price points.
Still can’t decide? Narrow the venue choices down to two or three, and create a comparison chart that displays the similarities and differences between the companies. Use the checklist below to compare and contrast your options for example.
|Reviews – Positive or negative? Tips?
|Location & Facilities?
|Age Restrictions – What do they offer for younger children?
|Deals – Military or early sign-up deals?
|Reservations – Reservation policy? Call ahead?
|Perks – What added incentives are offered?
|Catering Options – Party rooms? Catering services?
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Lauren Daly, Guest Relations Specialist, Terrapin Adventures