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When it comes to your guest list, remember, you can’t please everyone, so only invite the people who you would most like attend.
‘Plus ones’ can be tricky. You need to make it clear on the invitation whether or not partners are welcome. A good rule of thumb is only to invite partners
whom you’ve met before, with the exception of new partners of close friends and relatives, or long-term partners of friends from abroad who (for obvious
reasons) you haven’t had a chance to meet.
Corporate affairs are a different kettle of fish. Create your list by inviting a mix of guests who will achieve your event aim. Are you looking to create
anticipation about a new product, or to broaden your scope of clients? Be ruthless with your guest list. If your colleague down the hall has a reputation for
dancing on tables, leave her off the list. On the day or night of the event itself, even if you’re tipping the popularity scale, expect 20 per cent of your guests
to be no-shows. Even if people have RSVPed, unforeseen circumstances do happen. Keep that 20 per cent in mind when you’re speaking to caterers and
other vendors that require numbers. So, for a 100-person function, expect about 80 people to show. Many chefs place their orders and start initial food
preparations well in advance, and it’s easier for them to work with an increase in numbers rather than a decrease.
First thing’s first: pick a date. Forward thinking
is key. While Saturday is the obvious choice for
an event, for instance, there are only so many
Saturdays in the year, and function venues often
book out well in advance. You’ll also want to make
absolutely sure that the date you settle on doesn’t
clash with other events on the social, sporting
and arts calendar. You’ll have some very reluctant
party-goers if you accidentally plan your wedding
on AFL Grand Final day.
The best place to check for details of possible
competing attractions is scoop.com .au. The largest
events database in WA, it’s a lifesaver for anyone
trying to avoid awkward date clashes. You can
search events by date or by category– if your
friends are fans of ballet, for instance, you’ll
be able to check if there are any productions
on the date you’re considering for your party.
You can also search by location, which is handy
if your event is outside of Perth. Large regional
events such as car rallies, festivals or parades also
bring the possibility of road closures or heavy
traffic, so make sure you inform your guests about
any potential travel delays. For extra peace of
mind, it’s a good idea to sign up to Scoop’s weekly
newsletter, which details all new and upcoming
events that could possibly affect attendance at
Business events – unlike social get-togethers
such as engagements, weddings or birthdays – are
best held mid-week. Guests can come straight
from work if necessary. It’s difficult for anyone to
summon up the enthusiasm for a work function
on a Friday night or a Saturday, when the working
week is over. Better to catch people when their
minds are still on networking, rather than when
they are in wind-down mode or exhausted.
Once you’ve got your date fixed and are ready
to start sending out the invites and looking at
venues, head to the Functions & Venues database
at scoop.com.au. There you’ll find an extensive
collection of venues, caterers, decorators and
event planners from all over WA. The broad
catalogue puts everything you’ll need in one
place, saving you hours of searching on Google.
From electronic invites to deciphering dress
codes, planning the event of the year can be
like negotiating a minefield. This is your guide.
Wo r d s Jade Just Compiled by Karen Bilsby
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