Where do you start when planning an event in Melbourne?

Where do you start when planning an event in Melbourne?

Where do you start when planning an event in Melbourne?

This question would require more than one post to answer it! For the purposes of this post I will focus on private events rather than corporate and narrow it down to  6 key steps.  


  1. Vision – it all starts with a vision! A dream that will get finetuned with the following questions:


  • What is the purpose of the event?
  • When will it be held?
  • Where will it be held?
  • What will happen at the event?
  • How many people will be attending?
  • Is there a particular theme or colour scheme you’d like to go with?
  • What will you be handling and what will you be outsourcing.


  1. Create a Budget

Some of us don’t likes talking about money, but it will factor in to any decision that is made. Some outputs of the event might be more important for you personally than others and hence you may want to allocate more funds for it – be it decorations, entertainment, catering, or photography. Some services or things will cost more or less than you think, so your budget should be a document or an app, which can frequently be accessed, referred to and adjusted if needed.


  1. Choose a Date and Time

Start with a few dates that work best for you. Have some backup dates also available should your ideal date not be available at the venue or something else may come up that you are not thinking about creating a clash.  


  1. Location

You earlier vision on the guest list will give an indication as to how big the place will need to be to cater for everyone. If you are planning to cater your event at home and your space allows for it this will give some flexibility. If you need to make reservation, this is one of the first steps you want to make as early as possible for two reasons: i) to maximise your chance of getting the venue of your preference, ii) this may impact on how your other vendors need to work. If you already have a venue in mind – great, if not the internet and social media are great places to start, but as you are searching make sure to read reviews that other customers have written. This will quickly give you a feel for the place and its culture.


When you contact venues, keep this list of questions in mind:

  • How many people can the venue accommodate?
  • Does the venue suit the style of your event?
  • What services are provided for the rental you're paying?
  • Is there a minimum spend per person requirement? (This could blow your budget!)
  • Does the venue allow outside vendors? (If yes, are there any rules and requirements that they need to follow?)
  • What is the earliest “bump in” (set up) time and “bump out” (pack up) time for vendors to work within?


At Fairytale Balloons we have worked with many venues before starting from international chains such as Westin, Intercontinental hotels, Melbourne iconic venues such as Crown and Melbourne Old Goal to boutique bars such as ‘Speak Easy’ and ‘Aunty Kim’s’. The policies and rules around set ups can be very different between different venues bringing forward challenges for vendors and the host. The earlier all parties are aware of the requirements the easier it will be to plan.


  1. Guest List

Who are your ‘must haves’, ‘need to have’ and ‘keep on the reserve if the budget and space allows’? Write them all on the list.  

Get the invites out as soon as you have secured the date and venue.


  1. Vendors

What else will be happening at the party that needs to be coordinated. Will there be a DJ playing? Are you planning to have a backdrop for photos? Will a professional photographer come in? Are you planning to install props, decorations, balloons or tassels? Does the venue have any instructions for them on what to be aware when carrying out their tasks? Get these booked earlier rather than later to get your first preferences and adjust your budget accordingly if needed.


Enjoy you event

Planning an event can be overwhelming and no matter how well you plan there still may be last minute unexpected incidents that could happen. i.e. a guest that cancels last minute, vendor that doesn’t deliver as you expected, food that one of your guests can’t eat etc..  Our suggestion is to allow for mishaps and don’t allow to take away from your day. You started forming your vision for your event with an intent for it to bring joy to yourself and your guests. Make sure that this is one thing that your event does bring throughout and after through memories.


This photo is from Westin Melbourne, we recently did a balloon display for 60th birthday. This is a venue that is breathtaking with its interior and has a great culture that will work with you and around you to make your event planning and coordination an ease. They can do attitude and willingness to help could be felt from all teams and through all levels.


Hopefully this guide will help you to get started! If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.

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