Multi-day events may be standard in certain cultures, but they have recently risen to popularity among other couples as well. Often elaborate, multi-day events are great opportunities to unleash your creativity and party spirit, but they are also more complex to plan and execute than one-night celebrations. It’s best to follow these best practices when navigating a multi-day event.
Photo Celine Cartallas
Make each event unique
Each day of a multi-day event should be distinct with its own personality, but they all need to flow cohesively with the rest. It’s like creating multiple scenes in a single event—everyone can be totally different as long as they all have some common thread. Vary the entertainment, décor, and the menus. You might have light stationed fare at a welcome dinner, family-style service at a rehearsal dinner, and a black-tie-required, formal reception after a wedding ceremony for a multi-day wedding. Or, plan different themes or ethnic influences for each event. If you’re planning a reunion over a long weekend, begin with cocktails and finger foods; throw a rousing BBQ and sports-themed get-together at a local park over the weekend, and a more traditional sit-down meal as the main event.
Photo courtesy Cocoon Events
Plan for great flow
When possible, try to leave a one-day break between each party. Many events last until the wee hours of the morning and guests need their rest. Don’t fill every minute of every day with a required activity. Instead, give great suggestions for independent exploration between planned excursions and parties. If you must have your events back-to-back, keep track of the timing and pace of each event, and make sure that you leave an opportunity to recover from the last before moving on to the next.
“You need trusted designees to manage the movements of each day while you keep a professional eye open, allowing you to simultaneously supervise while giving personal attention to your client.”
Choose the right team
Enlist a top-notch team with designated leaders who can oversee each aspect of the event and properly manage staff. Many times the client wants the primary planner by his or her side at every moment, which is hard to do if you’re tending to every detail of every event yourself. You need trusted designees to manage the movements of each day while you keep a professional eye open, allowing you to simultaneously supervise while giving personal attention to your client.
Photo courtesy Cocoon Events
Apply your best planning
Be prepared. Anticipate possible challenges and take the appropriate steps to avoid them. Set reasonable expectations for your clients and the highest expectations for your vendors and your team. Take communication seriously, looking for any wrinkles before the event days begin to ensure smooth delivery. Be clear about every detail, confirming that everything is in order during those critical last days before the events begin.
Next time you tackle a multi-day event, be creative, prepared, and ready to both delegate and supervise. You’ll most certainly be able to celebrate your success once your clients and their guests have come and gone, taking with them the most amazing multi-day event memories.
Fabrice Orlando is the CEO of Cocoon Events Management Group, a luxury event planning company based in Marrakech, Morocco that specializes in high-end weddings and special events worldwide.