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The 5 Fundamentals Of Planning A Successful Event
We've helped plan and manage countless events in Wellington and New Zealand. Here's our top tips to make sure your event is a success.
It's time to plan an event!

It's time to plan an event! We know, it's exciting. The food, the music, the band. There's so much to look forward to.

But before you call that caterer, you need to sit down and take a breath. There's a whole heap of planning that needs to go into each event long before you settle on the menu or print the invites.

We've been a part of countless events around Wellington and New Zealand, and we've seen some massively successful events and some, well… less successful events.

Over the years we’ve seen just about every kind of event, party, soiree and shindig. Here's our top tips to make sure yours is a success.

Understand The Purpose and Format

Before you plan an event, it's important to understand why you're hosting it in the first place. Typical reasons for an event may include:

  • Fundraising
  • Gratitude or Celebration
  • Major Launch or Announcement
  • Business lead generation

The format and purpose of the event will decide who is invited. The invite list will decide the demographic, and the demographic will decide other key elements such as menu, entertainment, catering and event duration. Be clear about your purpose and the rest will follow.

Start With The Simple Things

It sounds obvious, but you'd be amazed by how often simple details like confirming a date and booking the venue are overlooked until too late. People often have big dreams for an event, and have already started planning the catering and calling DJs only to find out that their desired venue isn't available for 18 months, or will be closed for renovations.

Planning out your budget is another key part of this stage. Understand your overheads and how your budget needs to be allocated, allowing for the obvious things such as entertainment and venue hire, but the less obvious like decoration, transport and accommodation for prominent guests. There's no point trying to book Taylor Swift if you can only afford Vanilla Ice.

Start with the fundamentals and go from there.

Put together your team

Great events are delivered by a great team. It’s rare that every element of an event is coordinated and overseen by a single person. Surround yourself with organised people who you can trust to deliver key tasks. By going it alone you risk overwhelming yourself and not doing any one particular part of the project well.

Also, don’t be afraid to take the advice of the experts around you. Venue managers, photographers and caterers have seen it all before, so if they’re telling you that something simply won’t work, it’s ok to listen.

Designate Clear Responsibilities and Processes

Have an Event Day run sheet that clearly details key tasks, timelines and responsibilities. Make sure the team is fully briefed and aware of their roles. And if you have the luxury of time, organise a pre-event dry run to identify any glitches in your event plan.

Be Flexible When Things Go Wrong

The many moving parts of an event means that something usually goes wrong. A key speaker runs overtime, a waiter drops a tray of champagne, a toilet gets blocked, or your event happens to coincide with the Greatest Thunderstorm The World Has Ever Seen. Maybe it’s all of the above.

Don’t stress, accept it and keep right on going. We’ve found that by controlling what you can, you’re better able to calmly respond to any problems that pop up. As long as there are no major disasters, chances are you’re the only one who noticed the minor hiccups anyway.

Planning an event is super exciting, but by taking care of the fundamentals you can make sure it doesn’t become stressful too.

Hype Entertainment is Wellington's leading audio visual and event production company. Since 2011 we've been mesmerising audiences around New Zealand with fully immersive experiences that dazzle, delight and entertain. Check out some of our projects and Contact Us to find out how we can make your event an experience.

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