Planning Birthday Parties: 13 Hacks and Secrets Unlocked

guide for planning birthday parties: an article
Pooja Jena

Table of Contents

We’ve heard from many event planners that organizing personal events is the hardest of them all. Among those, comes the struggle of planning birthday parties.

With fussy birthday queens and kings, come fussy parents, friends, and relatives. All of this combined leads to a stressful experience in event planning.

With experience, planning them can be like a cakewalk. But for those who want those years of experience in one article, we assure you won’t be disappointed.

A. Always Get The Date Right

What does that mean? Of course, a birthday is a fixed date.

Unfortunately, birthday parties aren’t always on a fixed date. Do have a discussion with your clients about it.

Some of the potential things to watch out for include:

  • Ask them if all the integral guests are available on that date
  • Cross-check with venue availability dates and prices
  • See if the party date coincides with any festivals

Having this discussion and clearing all qualms is the first step to planning birthday parties.

B. How To Have The Budget Conversation

Your client will try to skip to the quotation question very fast. This is where you ask them to hold their horses.

Try to indulge in an in-depth discussion about what their vision for the event is. This way, you can calculate all the expenses in your mind. Additionally, this is a good chance for you to build a rapport with your client.

While every client comes with a different idea, here are some fixed expenses you should keep in mind:

  • Venue (if it’s outside their personal property)
  • Caterer
  • Cake
  • Decorator
  • Decor items
  • Photographer
  • Your fees for party planning
  • 15% of this whole cost as the contingency cost
  • Percentage of the profit you want to keep

While these are fixed expenses, they’ll vary as per the requirements client has under each of these.

Try to prepare an excel sheet and note down all the added expenses under these headings. You will get an idea once your client starts explaining their vision.

Then, once you are able to calculate the price points, share the breakdown with your client. From there, you can add or subtract to fit their budget.

Maintaining this transparency will put your client in the deciding seat. Ultimately, you will not take the fall for not meeting expectations.

C. Next Step For Birthday Party Planning

When budgets and expectations don’t meet, you get a really upset client.

After the reality check, you jump in your savior shoes and provide options to the client.

For example, if your client cannot afford a particular venue, suggest a home party.

If they don’t want to do either, you may suggest booking a restaurant instead.

With decor, suggest more affordable options. Try to push simpler ideas that are easy to execute and also affordable.

D. Payment For Birthday Party Planning

As an event planner, especially for personal events, you must take advance payments.

It may be harsh but truth be told, it’s really hard to get complete payments in such events. Cancellations are also common.

To protect yourself from such situations, take the payment in installments.

We recommend 25% as the booking amount, the rest of the 25% one day before the event, and the remaining 50% in the event.

E. In-house Talent

Birthdays come all year round, so there’s no peak season in this market.

If you’re also getting opportunities of planning birthday parties regularly, you might want to try this.

A lot of birthday parties call for photographers, hosts, and other talented individuals. In such cases, it is more expensive to hire them separately for each event.

Having them work for you on a contract basis is a much wiser option. In-house talent always costs less in the long run!

F. Opportunity For Profits

EventTube also brings to you the ultimate hack for planning birthday parties. Have a side hustle of making party favors.

Ask your client what they would like to give as return gifts to the attendees. You can buy those items in bulk for cheap rates in the market. Assemble them together and you’ll save a bunch of money.

planning birthday parties for kids
Credits: Angroos

It requires time and effort but is definitely worth the profit you’ll make on each party favor.

G. Menu Do’s and Don’ts

Unless the client specifically asks for a particular item, try to keep the menu simple.

Recommend this to your clients too. The reason behind this is that having common food items at parties ends up getting most people to eat.

Guests can be picky and judgy when it comes to food. But, who says no to Dal Makhni and rice?

Having common foods as opposed to let’s say, lasagna, would also help you get caterers easily. You might even be able to get a caterer you’ve worked with before and are sure about.

H. An Important Conversation To Have

It is extremely important you ask your client about any dietary restrictions and allergies. This is a great way to avoid lawsuits later on if any mishap occurs.

You could even have a clause related to it in your contract. However, if your client has disclosed any such detail, ensure that allergens are not present.

I. Written Trail

Consider planning birthday parties a sort of teamwork between you and your client. And with teamwork comes lots of disagreements.

Sometimes, clients ask for something at the last minute claiming that they asked for it before. Denying having wanted something in the first place also happens sometimes.

To avoid such mishaps, stop relying on verbal agreements. Have a written trail for everything. From Whatsapp chats, and emails, to signing elaborate contracts.

Make sure everything is written down and consented to by both parties. This is not just something you do before the event, but throughout to note the changes and progress.

J. Invest In A Cake Dummy

Have you ever seen those big-tiered cakes?

dummy cake
Credits: MyFlowerTree

More often than not, only the top layer is a real cake. The bottom is just a plastic dummy cake covered in fondant.

Here’s a party pleaser act you can try. Get yourself a cake dummy to make the existing cake look even bigger without paying more.

People organizing such large-scale birthday parties wouldn’t mind an added touch of grandiosity. The cake doesn’t have to be big, it only needs to look big!

Do discuss this with your client.

K. Do Your Research

Clients come with all sorts of crazy themes. And as an event planner, you’re expected to execute it exactly how they want it.

However, since you’re the event planner, they may not understand the constraints that come with themes.

To bridge this gap, you must research the theme inside out. Find better and cheaper ways to execute it.

For example, your client may want a Disney-themed birthday party and call for Disney mascots. However, renting outfits and hiring people to wear them may not be the best way to go. You could rather go for Disney-themed cakes, decor, and activities.

L. Strict RSVP

Follow a strict policy when it comes to the number of guests who are going to come. It’s good to have a contingency amount but not so wise to spend it all the time.

When you come up with a more concrete budget, divide it among all the prospective guests. Discuss this per-head cost with your client so that you can make this a two-way process.

To avoid the scenario of spending the contingency money, make a guest list with all plus ones (or twos). Do notify your client that you can’t accommodate more people at the last minute.

Doing so will lower the chances of running out of food, space, activities, and party favors.

M. Know Your Staples

For every event, you will need certain things that can be reused and repurposed. Here’s a list of a few of those items:

  • Candles
  • Fairy lights
  • Streamers
  • Vessels
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Decorative cloth

You must purchase these items in bulk so that you can get a better price. More importantly, you can customize these items to suit each type of event.

This is a way to cut costs when you’re planning birthday parties.

Be sure that you don’t limit yourself in this case. For example, there are welcome boards outside party venues. Instead of getting a newly customized one made for each event, you should keep a reusable board with you.

Look at the picture below to understand better.

reusable items for kids birthday parties
Credits: Theme My Party

You can keep the middle part empty, and the rest of the design basic. Write the names and messages with a marker or pin-up alphabets each time.

This is a great way to generate recurring income without having recurring expenses.

We hope you found some of these hacks and tips smart. We would love to hear some more ideas from you in the comment below.

Additionally, if you’re a birthday party planner from Delhi, we have a bonus article for you. You can find some of the best birthday party venues in Delhi in this article.

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