14 Party Planning Tips that Guarantee an Amazing Event (Plus a Party Equipment Checklist)

party tent with dance floor tables and chairs

Party season (graduation parties, anniversary parties, bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, summer picnics!) is approaching fast, making it the perfect time to brush up on party planning tips. As they say, the best events should look effortless—without guests knowing about all the hours of planning and effort!

Party Planning Tips

  • Start planning early. Early event planning ensures first choice of event equipment rentals.
  • Get organized. Organized party planning is the key to event success. Start with a party planning checklist, and set a calendar of important dates (i.e. confirmation dates with vendors, sending out invites, etc.)
  • Don’t wait to set a budget. A budget ensures that funds are allocated for the most important party details that make the biggest impact, such as the venue and food!
  • Set a guest list. An estimate guest count can help planners ensure that they have enough space for the party.
  • Consider setting an event theme. An event theme provides clear direction for coordinated event details.
  • Select a party date carefully. The party date should be convenient for planners and guests.
  • Think about entertainment. Choose activities that fit with the guest list (activities for kids, entertainment for adults, etc.)
  • Don’t hesitate to bring in the pros. The best party planners know when to delegate and when to bring in help. When questions arise, it’s time to ask party pros for their recommendations.
  • Sweat the details. Find out what parking is available and any restrictions on volume. Guests’ll appreciate the effort!
  • Consider guest comfort. If the weather is questionable (and in Chicago it usually is), ask the party rental company about fans, AC, or heat in the party tent.
  • Don’t forget about lighting. The right lighting keeps guests at the party and sets an unforgettable atmosphere.
  • Have fun with the menu. Whether the party is catered or not, party planners should embrace the chance to serve drinks and menu items that align with the theme and guests’ taste buds. For an over-and-above touch, consider renting a specialty machine that make a big impression on guests, such as a cotton candy or slushy machine.
  • Plan for mosquitos. Unfortunately, mosquitos are one of the most common uninvited guests in Chicagoland. Take steps to ensure guests are driven away by the pest, such as with citronella and sprays.
  • Don’t procrastinate. The best party planners try to get as much done as possible as soon as possible. A little bit of effort early on can mean a much shorter to-do list days before the party.

Party Equipment Rental Checklist

Pro Tip: The exact event rentals are different for every event. Contact an event planning specialist for ideas and recommendations based on event needs.

___ Tents

___ Food Service Dishes

  • Chafing dishes
  • Chilling tubs for drinks

___ Chairs

___ Tables

___ Table Linens

___ AV Supplies

  • Speakers
  • Screens
  • Microphone

___ Event Décor

  • Centerpieces
  • Curtains

___ Lighting

  • Uplighting
  • Entrance Lights
  • Patio lighting

___ Dance Floor

___ Cooling Tables

___ Grills (Huge grills!)

___ Stages

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