Calgary Stampede is the biggest rodeo event in Canada, boasting an over 100-year-old tradition of celebrating and preserving western heritage, culture, and community spirit.
To kick off this fantastic festival, a Stampede party is a must.
However, planning a Stampede party can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time.
To help you get a better idea of what to expect, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you plan the perfect Stampede party this year.
Here are 3 common challenges and resolutions for planning a Stampede party.
1. You Don’t Take the Time to Think Through the Details
The biggest mistake an event planner can make is to wait until the last minute to make decisions about what you’d like to see at your party or to “fly by the seat of your pants” throughout the planning process.
The more thought you put into the planning, the better the party will be.
It is important to figure out all the important details including date, time, location, theme, decorations, catering, food and drink choices and music.
Not only will this help reduce necessary stress for you, but your guests will also appreciate knowing the details so they can prepare their outfit and their Stampede plans.
2. You Don’t Have Enough Food for Everyone
Having a well-thought-out plan should include all the food and drink details.
To make sure that you’ve gotten enough food for everyone, make a guest list with all the invitees and include the potential for your guests to bring their plus ones.
It is always better to have leftovers than to run out of snacks early!
Your guests will likely leave for other parties or for the Stampede ground if your party is not meeting their expectations.
3. You Haven’t Thought of Everything You Might Need
Having a checklist is the ultimate must-have for any event planner.
Things can still slip through the cracks even the most experienced without a checklist.
After all, this is one of the biggest parties of the year and there is a lot to consider and prepare for prior to the event.
A good rule of thumb is to start planning at least 6 months before the event.
We consulted with our experts to show you exactly what you should do to put on a great Stampede party.
Before You Start
Before planning the party, it’s a good idea to come up with some ideas to help you prepare better.
Brainstorm with your team about whether you’d like to have a theme for the party, or if there should be a dress code.
Is this a corporate staff party or something more informal with friends and family?
Do you plan to head to the ground together or will this be something separate from the festival?
Once you have an idea of what exactly you want to accomplish, you’ll be able to make decisions about the finer details more efficiently.
The Ultimate Stampede Event Planning Checklist
Start creating a checklist as early as possible to reduce stress and make sure no details will be forgotten.
1. Establish the event’s goals and objectives
2. Identify the budget
3. Set a time, date and location
4. Choose a theme
5. Select the vendors (catering, equipment rental, etc.)
6. Create a guest list
7. Look for sponsors (if applicable)
8. Look for bands
9. Promote the event and send out the invitations
10. Send out a press release
How to Plan A Stampede Party to Remember
Here are our top 3 tips for planning the best Stampede party.
1. Send Out Invites Well in Advance
The first thing you should do is create a set guest list and send out invites as early as possible.
Calgary Stampede has a huge variety of events to choose from, and you’ll want to ensure that you and your guests have tickets in advance before they sell out.
2. Stick to Your Theme
If you’ve chosen a theme for your party, the best course of action is to stick to it throughout the rest of your planning.
Doing this will help you stay focused and buy the things you need to keep the party moving.
It will also give you a good guide for what sort of music, food, and other entertainment to choose from.
3. Get a Great Caterer
If you find yourself getting too stressed over planning the menu for your Stampede party, then working with a caterer is a great option.
Make sure to find a catering package that covers all the bases – from getting the food ready to help you set up.
Whether it be a Stampede breakfast or a dinner party, our team at Fork + Farm Catered Events will work with you to create the perfect menu for your event.
We offer custom menus, using only local seasonal ingredients.
We also offer all-inclusive catering services which include:
– Access to one of our event professionals who will help you build your event
– Delivery service
– All service ware
– All tableware (includes all containers for grab and go lunches)
– Wait staff (if requested)
– Pick up of all food items and service/tableware after the event
Plan a Stampede Party to Remember
The thing to remember is that Calgary Stampede is a celebration, and whatever party you choose to through will be done in the spirit of remembering our wonderful western heritage.
So have fun!
It won’t be overwhelming if you take these tips and apply them to your own party planning.
Let our team at Fork + Farm Catered Events help you cross a few items off your checklist so you can plan THE Stampede party of the year.
Reach out to our team and let’s see how we can make your Stampede party one to remember!