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A Special Event Planning Checklist

By Expert Author: Justin Prietto

(Before Hiring a Taco Catering Company)


Most professional event planners will advise their clients that the key to a successful event is to have a basic checklist. Start with the ending: what do you want to have guests leave the event thinking, saying or feeling?


To get to that (happy) endpoint, you have to have a plan that remains focused on the goal. Every decision should remain fixed on getting there, and every decision should have its own checklist to account for variables, cost control – and to allow yourself to explore alternatives.


Food of course is a huge part of events, and key to creating a favorable and lasting impression. The top-line decision might include these questions:


A. Is formality important, and does that then require renting chairs, tables, dinnerware, linens and eating utensils?


B. Might a more informal, food-station approach be preferred? There are clear cost advantages, and some will argue it facilitates more fluid interactions between guests.


Then, if Option B is selected, how might that be accomplished? You can choose from carnival-style (hot dogs, cotton candy) to Asian (sometimes requiring plates and utensils) to taco cart catering (newer on the scene, easy because the foods are hand-held).


From there, if on-site taco carts are chosen, you should think through the entire nature of that event:


Should the whole event have a Latin theme, or is it just a type of food to fit within a different context?


A. For example, if it’s a corporate event themed on globalism, your décor, music and other elements might African, European, Australian and Latin American motifs.


B. If it IS to be themed specifically to Latin culture, then there are other considerations and options: Would salsa, tejano, samba, tango, merengue, bossa nova, Latin pop or reggaeton music be preferred?


C. Will the event include alcohol? Trending lately are the use of mescal, pisco (as a vodka substitute), domestic rums and agave syrups.


D. If the emphasis is on coffees or non-alcoholic beverages, can you provide Venezuelan style Tetero, Café Pascado con Pisco, a Cuban Cortadito or a Mexican-inspired Cae de Olla (use of cinnamon and piloncilo or brown sugar). At the very least, provide an authentic Mexican horchata.


As for the food, a good caterer will offer a vegetarian taco cart in addition to those that carry meat, chicken and fish.


The checklist is about more than a smart way to manage event details. It’s also about peace of mind, allowing the party planner to know the pieces fit, and that vendors and items are purchased in adequate time such that the days and moments before the party begins the planner will be able to enjoy the event as much as those people in attendance.

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