Whether you’re getting married, planning a special anniversary trip, birthday party, bachelorette trip, or anything in between, planning a destination event takes hard work.
While they are undoubtedly fun, they can also be stressful to plan. When you have a big group traveling for an event, it’s important to consider the needs, wants and budget of the group. Booking flights, hotels, excursions and the event itself can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to planning your perfect destination event.
Event planners know how important it is to prepare ahead to deliver a successful event. Whether it’s an intimate gathering or a big occasion, you’ll want to get organized. You need to know where to go, how to get there, and understand the needs of your guests.
The first step of your big trip is figuring out where to go. While you might have the perfect spot in mind, you should ask yourself the following questions before you make a commitment to a specific destination.
Above all, the nature of your event will be the primary influence on your chosen destination. For example, if you’re planning a beach wedding, you’ll want to look at locations such as Hawaii, Jamaica, or the Bahamas.
A wild girl’s weekend or bachelorette party will likely be in its element somewhere known for partying, such as Las Vegas, Barcelona, or Nashville. However, a family reunion or business trip would be better suited to a more laid-back spot like Charleston, Charlotte, or the Hamptons.
For a successful destination event, you need to tailor it to your group’s demographic. If, for instance, it is composed of active adults, an adventure-filled vacation with excursions like hikes and boat trips may be best.
Should you have many children traveling with you, you’ll want to ensure there are kid-friendly activities available. Or, you might have guests who would much prefer to unwind in a luxury hotel and relax on a beach. Knowing your guests’ individual needs is a cornerstone of a successful destination event.
Of course, keeping money in mind will be an essential part of the planning process. You want your group to have fun while still being able to afford all of the opportunities the trip presents. So, with that in mind, come up with a budget and share it with your guests (if practical).
When it comes to logistics, it might be best to hire an event planner. That way, you do not have to worry about planning the event.
For instance, do you need lighting, staging, or flooring? It’s not something that you should have to worry about managing. An event planner will have should know what’s needed for the entire event production.
If you need to figure out the event logistics yourself, try to have enough time to set up. That might involve arriving a week to a few days earlier than the rest of your guests.
This can be one of the more stressful parts of your destination event. Give yourself plenty of time to decide what will work best for your guests.
If your event is relatively local, some may opt to drive. Be sure to have a detailed schedule of the event mapped out so they know the ideal time to arrive.
If you’re hosting a large event like a wedding, you’ll want to provide a shuttle or bus service from the hotel to the venue.
While this can be prone to change, having a general idea of guest numbers can aid your planning. With that information on hand, you’ll be better placed to book rooms in bulk and organize transportation. Barring cancellations, try to make sure your guest list is as accurate as possible from the get-go.
Picking out your venue is arguably the most important step in the planning process, especially if organizing a significant occasion like a wedding or family reunion. Working with event planners can help alleviate the stress of this task. They will help you identify, then navigate, your requirements and narrow down your possible choices accordingly.
Once you pick your event venue, it will be much easier for you to select suitable accommodation. Ideally, you’ll want to find lodging close to your venue to streamline travel arrangements for guests.
Aside from attending the event, what will your guests do for the rest of their time at the destination? You can always let them go their own way, but it can be nice to offer some options for the group.
This can be as simple as places to go or more organized like a group brunch or cocktails at the hotel bar. What you decide depends on your group dynamic, so have fun with it!
Planning a destination event can be daunting at first. However, it doesn’t have to be with the right preparation. Know what your guests want, keep ahead of the logistics, choose the ideal lodging and venue, and make sure everyone is entertained.
Bringing in experts can help. LIV Technical is an experienced event production company with over 15 years of experience in the field. Our specialties include staging, audiovisual, flooring, lighting and entertainment for your events.
Contact us today to learn more about our event production services!