In many cultures, multi-day events are the norm--however, coordinating a three-day event is not quite the same as planning a one-night celebration.
The goal of planning a multi-day event is to ensure that each night is distinct and carries its own vibe, while still flowing cohesively with the rest of the event. Guests should move from one memorable experience to the next without a hitch. Keep in mind that every event will have its own flow, so it’s important to bring in the creative partners that can help meet and adapt to the client’s vision.
With guest experience in mind, try to have a one-day break in between the parties, if possible. Oftentimes, these celebrations end in the wee hours of the morning and, by working in a spare day, it gives everyone a chance to recover. It also provides another opportunity to wow the guests--a "day off" can be filled with fun activities such as local tours, wine tastings, or special dinners at a nearby restaurant. That way, the guests continue to enjoy their experience while getting ready for the next day of festivities.
If you must do a back-to-back event, be sure you are mindful of the timing and pace of the events. You don’t want to lose that "wow" factor simply because the group is so tired from partying the night before. Provide everyone with enough time to get their bearings and recover before starting the next day’s celebration.
A lot of the planning for multi-day events boils down to preparation. Pull together a great team with experience that can oversee each aspect of the event. Anticipate any possible challenges in advance, which will limit the risk potential. Set expectations from the get-go and ensure that all of the communication lines are ironed out from the beginning of the planning process. As with any event, multi-day events run smoothest when everyone is on the same page.
A great team is really the key to a successful multi-day event. In many cases, especially with weddings, the client wants the planner to be nearby. This can easily make coordination difficult if you can’t be checking in on everything, but a solid event team will make it work. Assign someone to be in charge when you’re away and keep them as your point of contact. During one wedding that we produced, I was with the couple most of the time, but my team was sending me videos every 15 minutes so I knew how they were doing on the next day’s design.
Multi-day events can be exciting and fun to plan, just as it is for guests to attend. However, a solid event team is essential to the success of the experience, so be sure to pull in some great professionals!
Fabrice Orlando is the CEO of Cocoon Events Management Group, a luxury event planning company based in Marrakech, Morocco, that specializes in high-end weddings and special events worldwide.
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