Ever needed to plan a party, but been lost on where to start? Well, Microsoft Office has just the tool to help you get the ball rolling. Party planning can be fun, especially if you can manage to stay within budget and organized throughout the entire process. Microsoft Excel is the perfect tool for you to use to get the job done. Excel is a spreadsheet program into which you can input a variety of information and use to do a variety of tasks. I am going to help you plan the perfect party; all while working at your desk!
When planning a party there are a few things you need to think of:
First and foremost: Venue.
Where are you going to have this extravagant event? Well, the internet is now your best friend, and Excel of course! Use the internet and search for all the possible locations you think you might want to hold your party. Input the information into Excel. You should use columns to organize it all. At the top of your page, make a category for name of location, phone numbers, and cost of location. Then, copy the information from the websites of each location into the underlying fields. You then have a list with which to work with! My next step would be to call each location and see if it is available on the desired date. Put a Y/N column on your spread sheet to either confirm or eliminate locations. While you are on the phone, be sure to ask about cost! It is important to have as much information as possible! In addition, talk about decorations with the venue. Some places provide decorations for the party, other require that you furnish your own. Keep in mind how much money you want to spend on decorations, it will play a role in your budget. To keep things organized, add a column dedicated to decorations. If the venue provides decorations, again find out the cost! Add two cost columns, this time for decorations. One will be potential cost, the other actual cost.
Next most important thing to itemize; food!
When you are planning a party, big or small, there needs to be some sort of refreshments. Once again, Excel to the rescue! Within the same document as your venue information list, add another page. This will be the food page. Here, you can make a menu. In addition to the menu, add a potential cost column to add next to each menu item. This will help you stay on track financially. Also, I would add an actual cost column next to the potential cost. This way, you not only have a plan of how much to spend, but you know exactly how much is being spent as well. A handy feature Excel has is that you can create equations based on columns. For example, say you have a budget of $2000. You want to figure out how much is being deducted, totals left after each item is added, and the total after all items have been added. So set up column A to be subtracted from the total budget of 2000. Then you will have a total remaining at the base of the column. Then for item rows, have 2000-row A; then remaining balance, we’ll call it Beta -row B, Beta-row C, etc. Now that we have figured out a menu, let’s move on.
Let’s talk about guests!
A guest list is a very helpful tool to have. To use Excel is an easy way to organize your guests. Using another new page, within the same file, I like to put my guests’ information into five categories: Name, Address, Phone Number, Email, and RSVP. Starting with names, just plug in first and last names into a column. Each guest will have their own dedicated row of information. Once all the names are input into a column, a handy way to keep track of guests is to have them alphabetized. A simple highlight and click of a button, and there you have it, names from A-Z! Now that your list is alphabetized, begin putting in all the pertinent information. An address is key to sending the invite to the correct location. (If you are doing an Evite, we will also be inputting email addresses.) Be sure to input information accurately! An inaccuracy could cost you a guest! In addition to mailing address and email address, be sure to include a phone number on your spread sheet. This ensures that, should you need to call them to get a RSVP then you have the number in a good, convenient place. Finally, the attending column is the final box in the row of each guest. If the guest is attending, you simply put an X in the box. You could set up this column to total the number of X’s at the bottom, so that you are sure to have an accurate head count.
As you can see, there are many facets to planning a party that can involve using Excel as an organizational tool. Although not all facets of the party were covered, this is a basic outline, providing beginning basics to using Excel as your party planner platform. You can make the totaling of columns much more complex, and have equations for many more things. But for the sake of time, this is a rough outline. Hopefully this was a helpful introduction on how to use Excel to plan a party. Happy planning! And don’t forget to save your file!