Where to Invest in Production for your Event

While it’s true that one of the goals of hosting an event, be it big and bold or simple and elegant, is to create a spectacle that guests will remember long after the day or night is over. However, the elements of an event that guests don’t see are equally, if not more, important.

The decision to invest in production elements can mean the difference between a successful event and one that, at best, doesn’t communicate your desired message to guests and, at worst, is an embarrassment to the host. Here are a few examples of where you should invest to have the best, most memorable event:

Invest in Time

The most common mistake I see is when a client tries to contain costs by not allowing enough time for load-in and set-up. Time is an element of event production that’s impossible to see, but is incredibly influential.

While it may be more expensive to book a venue starting from the night before your event to allow your team to set up the space, not having that time for your load-in and set-up means the process will be rushed and stressed, your staff will be rushed and stressed, and you will have set yourself up for mistakes.

No matter what, the unexpected will occur during your event — it is a live production after all. But, if the production team is harried before the first guest even walks through the door, they will be less equipped to handle whatever issues arise.

Invest in Staff

A sure-fire way to distract guests from the mood you want to convey, or just plain irritate them, is to make them wait — particularly for something for which they have a perfectly reasonable expectation, like food and drinks. For this reason, making sure you have enough servers and bartenders for the style of your event is money well spent. You’ll need more servers if you seat your guests at one long table rather than tables of ten, so plan your staffing carefully – and increase if needed – to avoid the wait time.

Invest in Sound

Another element you don’t really think about when it’s done well, but is painfully obvious when it’s not, is sound. If you have live entertainment, you need one kind of microphone and speaker setup for music, and another kind for remarks and presentations. It’s worth your while to invest in both. If your audience literally can’t hear your message, then you’ve sabotaged your own event. And, I can’t stress this point enough: use the extra time you paid for to test your audio and video setups and cues. Technical difficulties are unforgiving

Invest in Lighting

It sounds obvious, but if you invest in something like beautifully prepared food or anything else visually engaging, make sure the space is lit so that your guests can see it! Particularly, poorly lit food areas can make food look unappetizing and off-putting, which can distract from even the most beautiful ambience.