1. Gather ideas – Brainstorm, get creative if you’re the creative type or simply get inspiration from other events. Pinterest is amazing for this.
2. Check out these resources: Amazon, Etsy, your nearest art supply and party stores and maybe even the market if you know where to go. In Lagos especially, there are a lot of good places within Balogun and Teju Osho so inquire about the actual locations within the markets so you don’t waste too much time navigating in the heat.
3. Take advantage of local talent – We have great carpenters, artisans, tailors e.t.c. consider using them to give your event a more personal touch.
We got a tent made to have something closer to our vision.
4. Figure out a workable budget – Bearing in mind that you really don’t have to splurge to have a great party.
5. Find an appropriate location – Consider the season, number of guests, your pocket and the party theme.
6. Spend some time inquiring about the right vendors to suit your taste and budget – We can’t emphasize how important it is to compare vendor prices and negotiate. In Abuja, Michelle of Narnia Events was such a joy to work with and Judy of Cheese Cake Express put big smiles on our faces. Her cakes are amazing!
7. Actively take advantage of Excel and create an event spreadsheet – Ok, this may sound like you’re doing the most but guys, it’s essential. It keeps your mind straight, budget straight and your vision intact.
In Nigeria, most vendors prefer to collect cash so it’s very helpful to keep tabs on exactly how much you are spending as well as how much you have left. This is also especially important because some prices may fluctuate.
Oh and it’s also important to include a little extra in your budget for contingencies.
8. Have a personal timeline for the event day – To make sure you are on top of your to-do list and are on schedule and to avoid forgetting the little or even the big things. When you’re under a little bit of pressure it’s crazy how you can forget anything really. For example, we spent time choosing and creating flower crowns, but forgot to give them out. 😑
9. Have an actual timeline for the event – Create a very strict timeline that your vendors need to stick to considering that our people are not the best with time. For example, aim to be done setting up 2 or 3 hours before the time reflected on your invitation (even if you don’t expect people till 2 hours after that time). It’s also helpful to have a short program regardless of the size of event.
10. Unexpected things always happen, so relax and respond by actively thinking of a solution. - Only dwell on things you can change and deliberately try to enjoy the process.
We hope you found these tips useful! Any suggestions on other things to look out for? Did we leave anything out?