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    32 Things Your Event Planner Needs To Know Before Your Catered Event

    Planning a catered event and want your guests to remember it fondly?

    Perhaps you're planning a wedding.  Maybe a large conference for your state tourism bureau.  Or, an event for your group or organization.

    Regardless of the type of catered event, you will want your guests to enjoy, and talk favorably about their experience.

    Your best bet is to be prepared with specific information for your event planner. 

    32 Things Your Event Planner Needs To Know Before Your Catered Event 

    The Roberts Conference Centre in Wilmington, Ohio shares with you the pertinent information you need to share with your event venue:

    Catering Checklist

    1. Determine the objective of the meeting.

    2. Set up a Master Account for meeting charges/review billing/who can sign.

    3. Desired menus, room set ups, and A/V.

    4. Who are the VIP’s?

    5. Review the preferred meal time line.

    6. What is the estimated attendance?

    7. What are the table linen color choices?

    8. Are centerpieces and decorations needed for head and buffet tables?

    9. How many places are required at the head table? Will the head table be on a platform?

    10. Is a floor lectern/podium needed? Where should it be placed?

    11. Is a microphone needed? If so, what type and where?

    12. How much time is needed for set up? When will the room be accessible?

    13. Are meals to be served at the head table, or will dignitaries take their places from reserved tables after the meal?

    14. If service is buffet style, are head table guests to serve themselves, or are servers to prepare their plates?

    15. If meal tickets are to be collected, who will collect them and where, at the door or at the table? (Provide the caterer with a sample.)

    16. How are late arrivals without tickets to be handled?

    17. Are tickets required for head table guests?

    18. Is a registration or supply table needed outside the function room? Is an award table needed behind the head table?

    19. Are programs or menus to be placed on tables or chairs or distributed at the door?

    20. Is a room needed for VIPs prior to the function?

    21. Must special arrangements be made for guests with dietary restrictions?

    22. Are there banners that need to be placed?

    23. Is a coat check room needed?

    24. Is the national anthem to be played? In the United States, the American flag is required. (The American flag must always be displayed to stage right, and state flags to stage left.)

    25. Will there be an audiovisual presentation? What type?

    26. Is background or dance music planned?

    27. Will there be a show or entertainment (including a band) for which an additional stage or platform is needed? If so, what size and height?

    28. Are platforms and stages to be skirted and/or carpeted? Are there lighted stairs with handrails?

    29. Is a rehearsal planned? When?

    30. At what time will the doors be opened?

    31. What is the timing for all aspects of the event? (Pre-program music, entertainment, meal service timing, formal program and presentations, dancing, etc.)

    32. Does this group need a pre-con?

    Upon the initial consultation, your contact at the event venue should should give you their direct contact information so that communication can be smooth and all deadlines can be met.  Your event planner should discuss the process with you, and give you an idea of how things will work once you are at the venue on event day.

    In turn, you should offer the event planning staff your correct contact details as well so that they can be successful in assisting you.

    What's On Your Plate 

    Which items on the list above were most helpful to you?

    Are there any other event planning tips for catered events that worked well for you?

    Please let us know in the comments box below!