How to Plan Your Own Birthday Party: 10 Event Planning Necessities

Brookline recently took a moment to celebrate what is fondly referred to around our office as #10yearsofhappy, by hosting a Brookline-themed anniversary party. The event was no small feat and expectations were high – especially considering that we throw events for a living. Luckily we know a few tricks of the trade that made executing a seamless event a little easier. Here are 10 event-planning necessities that make all the difference when it comes to organizing a killer party:

  1. A head start. The one thing you can never get enough of when you’re event planning is time. The earlier you get the ball rolling, the easier your life will be when you’re juggling vendors, guest lists and venue selection. Believe it or not, Brookline’s birthday bash was actually in the works months in advance of its execution.


  2. A place to call your own. Location, location, location! It’s more than an old adage – choose a venue that is the right size and feel for your event and think creatively about how you can make the space your own. We transformed our restaurant location into Bar Brookline for the night, rebranding the venue inside and out to create a totally different look.



  3. A theme to set the mood. Whether it’s a colour scheme, an overall ‘vibe’ or a specific theme that you’re going for, ensure you tie each aspect of the event together. The last thing you want is to confuse your guests with a hodgepodge of mismatched or random décor. We kept things simple with a black and white colour scheme and a chic New York club vibe.



  4. Party People. What’s a party without guests? Take time to strategically prepare, update and thoroughly review your guest list – you don’t want to forget anyone! Ensure that contact information is up to date and that you have a second pair of eyes to check your list over (or in our case, 10 pairs of eyes).



  5. A warm welcome. It is crucial to make a good first impression. Guests should be made to feel welcome and provided key information (where they can check in, hang their coats and get a drink) as soon as they step through the door. Be sure to also keep traffic moving, this will prevent bottlenecking and help to fill your event space.



  6. The right sound. Having the right kind of music to fill the silence or get people moving is just as important as décor. Whether it’s a DJ, live music or both, it’s important to coordinate your sound with the mood of your event to round out the ambiance that you’re trying to achieve. Brookline enlisted a DJ as well as conga and saxophone players, to create an upbeat, lounge-y atmosphere.



  7. A little something to whet the appetite. If your event is taking place close to a meal time, be sure to have something tasty on hand for your guests to snack on (or you may end up with more than a few ‘hangry’* guests). We went with a selection of trendy hors d’oeuvres that catered to the demographic of our guests– deep fried mac and cheese anyone?
    *Hangry: A state of anger or irritability resulting from being hungry.


  8. A tweet or two. Social media is extremely pervasive in the world of events and what people post before, during and after your event will have a lot to say about its success. Keep social media top of mind during your event by providing your guests with visual reminders of relevant social media handles and hashtags. #10yearsofhappy made more than one appearance on the day of our event and kept the momentum going in the days that followed too.


  9. A rock star team to back you up. Pulling off any event should always be a team effort. Second opinions, site visits, vendor inquiries, set-up and take-down all require a little help from a friend (or 10). Having a solid event team makes all the difference and at Brookline we’re lucky enough to have a stellar team of event rock stars to make the magic happen.


  10. Something different. Set your event apart and incorporate a creative twist or two to keep people taking about your event even after it’s come to an end. We surprised guests by unveiling our #10yearsofhappy music video, which paid tribute to Pharrell’s Happy and included cameos by some of our amazing partners and clients. Haven’t seen it yet? Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qtu6LE46Etw

While our 10 year anniversary has certainly been a significant milestone for our team, the last 10 years have really been made possible thanks to the wonderful clients, partners and friends who have journeyed with us along the way. Thank you for celebrating with us, we can’t wait to see what the next 10 years have in store!



– Erica Morgan is an Assistant Account Specialist at Brookline Public Relations. She brings experience in the areas of internal communications, branding and business ethics. Erica’s main areas of practice focus on event management, social media strategy and media relations.

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