3 Must Haves for a Successful Event
Like many Midwest Gals - we were raised in large families that threw even larger family gatherings. When we think about our favorite gatherings from childhood into adult life there are three reoccurring must haves that each of these successful gatherings boasted.
Kendall's sister Janell's 30th birthday party. Can you tell we like themes?
These three must haves not only apply to personal parties, but business events as well. Bottom Line - if you want people to come and enjoy themselves, not a single item below should be missing
First - Food
We know food freaks some people out. It's the doubt that your not a good cook that deters many from offering food at their events. But we are here to tell you, that you don't have to be a chef in a 5-star restaurant to put out a great spread. Here are the three things we focus on when deciding what to put out for an event.
Quantity: Often the biggest mistake in food is there wasn't enough of it. You don't want your guests to leave hungry and have to go get food after they leave your event. Kendall's personal motto when deciding how much food to put out for a party - prepare for an army, even if the group might be closer to the size of a small basketball team. Plus leftovers are great so you don't have to cook the next day!
Keep it simple: Pinterest (or Costco) is a literal god send when it comes to finding great simple food to feed guests. Look for things you can make in large batches a replenish as it gets gobbled up! Crockpot recipes are wonderful for a warm option! Also fruit and veggie trays with dip are always great and no cooking involved. Want to see some of our favorite recipes? Here's a link to our Pinterest page for our favorite event appetizers.
Don't forget that you don't always have to provide the food either! The majority of our events for Brass Tacks we've brought in a food truck where people could purchase food if they wanted. This kept our event cost lower with still offering a food option for those attending. The food is ALWAYS fantastic and there are lots of smiling faces! Plus you support another small business, win - win!
Know your crowd:
Whose attending this shindig? Is Grandma/Grandpa, your nieces/nephews, a group of adult friends, or a large group of potential customers?
You most likely don't want to feed 4-year-olds the same things you would feed a group of your adult friends. Plan recipes accordingly.
Second - What's to Drink?
Here in Wisconsin we are fond of our adult beverages and most occasions call for some sort of alcoholic beverage to be available. That being said, not every event needs alcohol. But you should always have some sort of FUN beverage option. We love to keep our drinks theme based! Examples:
When we hosted Merry Mini Market at the beginning of December we had a hot chocolate and coffee bar with all sorts of fun toppings
Our 3 year anniversary party we had El Grito Taquiera on site selling tacos and featured a fun Cantaloupe Margarita.
For showers punch is easy to serve lots of people, can be N/A or spiked, and there are a TON of options. Doesn't this Strawberry Lime Moscato Punch look DELICIOUS!!
Lesson here - make drinks fun! Invite everyone to partake in the fun drink but you should also have soda, water, and juice available.
Third - What's Keeping People Entertained?
Sometimes this item takes care of itself without much extra effort.
-We host Merry Mini Market in December in which we invite a couple other local businesses into our space to set up for the day. The entertainment is the extra shopping we have made available in our store. BOOM. DONE.
-For our anniversary party we bring in live music. EASY PEASY.
These examples are both come and go type events so you'll want entertainment that is available throughout the entire event without to much structure. People are able to enjoy the entertainment during their visit regardless of what time they show up.
So what happens when you have a party that you want people to stick around for a few hours if not all night? This will take a bit more effort to have more scheduled entertainment. Personally we are big fans of planning out some organized games and if you can make it a competition EVEN BETTER!
Kendall's favorite party EVER, was her 2016 New Year's Eve Party. It featured Minute to Win It style games and a required dress code. (double entertainment!) You had to wear some sort of athletic wear which could be from any decade and any sport. Some people got super into it and even those who didn't want to go crazy with a costume could still participate by wearing jerseys or just comfy work out gear. But the best part of all was the score board. Every event was scored so this kept everybody interested all night and we actually had to put the games on hold to ring in the New Year.
So there they are, those are our recommended 3 must haves for a successful event - food, drinks, entertainment.
Cheers and Happy Planning!