Desert Island Disc time in the office the other day when the rest of the team spent a happy half-hour coming up with their all-time favourite songs (with a worrying number of 1980s power ballads in there too, I may add).
But while the others were busy pouring over a questionable selection of tunes, I was more interested in what luxury item I’d be granted to save from the seas.
The answer, as any event planner worth their salt will tell you, is simple: stationary. Ideally, the entire contents of a large Paperchase warehouse, but if we’re really going back to basics then I’d settle for a good spiral bound A4 notebook and biro.
You see, for me, there’s nothing that can’t be achieved without rigid, meticulous, planning – even an escape from castaway island. And while I’m all for spreadsheets and smart phones, there’s something deeply satisfying about filling crisp, white sheet with lists, plans and reminders.
The success of any event – from weddings to awards ceremonies – all hinges on the planning. Throw all the money you like at a celebration, if there’s no-one there keeping tabs on who is doing what, the end result will fail to shine.
Event planners are all about making sure the right choices are made, and that involves more than simply picking colours and selecting a venue.
Dedicated events planners will seek out references and reviews of outside suppliers, have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the layout of your venue and will be able to recite a minute-by-minute breakdown of the plan for your day.
They’ll know exactly who is doing what, and at what time. From florists and waiting staff to entertainers and musicians – your events planner should be on first name terms with them all.
And what’s more, there’ll have a multitude of phone numbers at their fingertips (I have been known to have the telephone number of a florist’s mum stored in my notebook, just in case I needed to call in the heavies to get the job done on time).
But perhaps most importantly, there’ll have that extra little something that goes a long way: charm. Because a smile can make all the difference when it comes to getting things done on time.
So remember, when your event is gliding effortlessly with zero stress; take a moment to think of your events planner and their trusty notebook.