Checklist for Organizers


Whether you are organizing a stand-up social or a sit-down get-together, we don't want you to forget anything. Organizing can be a simple as booking a table or an area in a bar for your friends. The difference is you are doing it for acquaintances instead. Let's make sure everything goes smoothly.

Get the venue on your side

Are you starting out? Tell them what you are doing and get your venue on side. They should welcome the opportunity and contribute ideas, even try something experimental that brings in business on a quieter night.

Who is paying who?

Who will pay the venue - you or the guests? If your guests are paying you and you pay a portion to the venue, then operate like a business. If the paying arrangement is between the guest and venue, it makes things simpler. (Think about what will happen if a diner is not happy with their meal.)

Communicate

Establish how you are going to keep the venue informed, and when you are going to communicate. If your event is complex, the venue may be taking on extra staff for you, or buying in supplies specially, and you should be aware of this.

The Detail

1 The Venue

Get the contact details down so it is easy to stay in contact and keep them informed. You’ll also need the exact address so members can use it for navigation for instance.

2 Date and Times:

When are guests 1] expected to arrive and 2] sit down.

3 Minimum numbers

It's OK to start small, especially if it is a sit-down meal.

4 Maximum numbers

You can book beyond stated limits on the site, so you can extend your table if the venue is OK with it.

5 Any complimentary meals

Don’t forget to about this for you, assistants and any speaker if you want, if you are going that far.

6 A menu

If organizing a meal, a limited / fixed price menu is ideal. Get an electronic copy to paste. Try not to show the venue’s prices.

7 Drinks

Any 1] introductory drinks, 2] drinks at the table and 3] coffees. Ask the venue to be specific about the drinks they are including in the price, and ask about the ‘what if’ a member wants another drink instead. E.G. “A drink on arrival, with a cash bar operating for the rest of the evening. Please order from the bar or staff.”

8 Price

Per seat.

9 Confirmation date

For final numbers and when any deposit is to be paid.

10 Deposit

If required from the venue. That's the amount and the date due.

11 Settling up

How are you going to do this? If people are paying their own portion of the bill, then the venue needs to know this in advance so they can manage it.

12 Tipping Policy

E.G. “Tipping on the night is at your discretion (but please do).” Alternatively, consider a fixed contribution in your price.

13 No-show policy

What if a guest does not turn up? Check there is not a charge from the venue for their meals. This is why a deposit is a good idea.

14 Buying extras

How is this handled, and paid for?

What else?

Before you start describing your event in the form, think about the following things and jot some ideas down.

Your guests

Who the event is for, as you'll be describing that in a sentence or two. Is age range important, and what about their career level? We suggest bracketing age ranges between the '5' figures, for example "45 to 65".

Describe your event

You will also need a name for your event and a paragraph to describe it. You can name them simply "Stand-Up Social" or "Let's Gather for Drinks" or names like "Member's Supper" or "Member's Dinner" are good because they say what the event is about.

When it comes to describing it, don't feel the neded to write a chapter. Think about where it is held, and how things will progress. Will you 'start at the bar and move to your table when called', for instance? It's part of painting a picture for the guests, so appeal to the senses. If there are any stories to be told about the chef or someone else associated, then mention it. It all adds to the interest.

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