Who doesn’t love being at parties? On the flip side nobody has the time to actually plan or manage it, without missing out on all fun. Most folks panic at the thought of inviting people and hosting a party, managing logistics, and cleaning up after it's all done. And this is where the value of a professional party planner pays off. The upside of being a party planner is that you can use your creativity and have an opportunity go to parties as part of your job! Of course, there is always the downside that you will find yourself working over weekends and missing time with friends and family. So if you’re ready to become a party planning professional, here are the “why, what, when” to get you started! Why is this party taking place? A party can only be successful when the needs of your customers and attendees have been met. It is imperative to understand why the party is being organized and the best way to do this is by having an open conversation with your clients right from the get go. Make sure to setup time in advance to understand and draw out the true needs of your clients and prioritize them. From the prioritized list, create a set of goals that can be turned into specific tasks and can easily be tracked. What needs to get done? Once you have established a clear set of goals, they should be used to create a list of tasks that will help you focus on what needs to get done. Make sure to be as specific as possible about every element or task - what the task is, the amount of effort (hours or days) required to complete the task, who will carry out the task, and what is your contingency in case something goes awry. When do things get done for a successful party? Once you have determined the amount of effort for each task, start by estimating the resources needed, work involved and set a completion date that meets the overall party timeline. To keep track of tasks and their progress, use a simple spreadsheet in combination with a calendar or task management application. Don’t forget to capture all of the details - tasks, durations and the resources who will complete each task. These three steps are key to planning any successful party no matter how large or small. Comments, feedback or suggestions? Join the discussion on Facebook!