Forget New York--New Orleans is the city that never sleeps. With events, festivals, and parades year-round, New Orleans event planners face a unique set of logistical challenges when executing the perfect event.
Here are five hassles that every New Orleans event planner faces, along with tips to overcome them.
1. Staying on budget
Budgeting is a consideration for all event planners, but an event planner in New Orleans can have an especially tough time with it. Whether your event is a corporate gala, a family reunion, or anything in between, you may be expected to include bells and whistles unique to New Orleans--for example, you might need to hire a brass band or supervise the printing of second-line handkerchiefs. The key to meeting these expectations is to build relationships with local vendors that can supply everything that you need.
2. Working around a parade
New Orleans is well-known for throwing a parade for every occasion possible. As much fun as they are, they can be a transportation and procurement nightmare for New Orleans event planners. But remember that the city has an entire municipal department dedicated to parades, so you can be in constant contact with municipal authorities to find out if somebody has scheduled a parade on the day that you expect to hold your event.
If you absolutely can't prevent your event from coinciding with a New Orleans parade, then your first priority should be booking all of the day-of services you need. Also, establish alternative travel routes for guests so they can circumvent any parade holdups or roadblocks.
3. Unexpected client requests
In some cases, clients will be very hands-on with the planning of their event. If a client makes a request out of the blue, don't panic. Local services like The Occasional Wife may be able to help source furnishings and day-of personnel at the last minute. Speaking of hiring hands...
4. Finding enough reliable help
Whether you need volunteers, paid assistants, or caterers, finding enough help for your event can be troublesome. No matter how clearly you schedule things, some people will simply not show up. If you regularly have difficulty sourcing workers, consider booking a venue that has some event staff available for you already. This will be a huge help on the day of the event, when timeliness is critical.
5. Making your event more interesting than the rest of the city
With more than 400 festivals per year in Louisiana, your event will likely compete with at least one other event on the same day. Your clients want their event to be engaging enough to prevent anyone from being tempted to sneak off to another party.
There are two keys here. First, make sure that the event space you choose provides an engaging atmosphere--think lighting, music, and decor. The space creates guests' first impression and helps sustain their interest in the event. Second, learn as much about the guests as possible beforehand, and tailor the event's activities and amenities to better suit your audience.
Got any tips to add? Leave us a comment.
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