Are you planning an event at home or for the office? No matter what event you have to cater for the best gift I can give to you is to tell you to plan as far in advance as possible.
Making a list of what decorations, lighting, entertainment, food and beverage you will require is essential.
Ensure you remember the little things such as napkins, garnishes for the cocktails etc.
Once you have decided on the location and approximate number of guests the best thing to do is try and visualise the outcome of the even in that space... how do you see the guests moving in the space, are there areas for them to rest or chat to others. Will the food being provided be able to be set up on a table in that space or will you require everything to be served on platters and served stand up style?
What lighting will you set up? Colourful, ambient or bright? How will the music interact with the lighting and what style of music will you provide?
Remember to set up the drinks area with sufficient non alcoholic as well as alcoholic beverages. Offering an Urn for Coffee and Tea is a great way to ensure guests are well hydrated before departure.
In regards to the food when planning the Menu make sure there is something included for Vegetarians and having a Gluten Free and Vegan option will keep you popular with those that don't let you know and ask once they arrive.
With Stand and Eat options always choose bite size pieces to avoid guests requiring plates or having to set up obtrusive tables. If you are going for a more relaxed atmosphere choose a selection of finger food that is easy to identify with your guests and try and void deep fried or foods that require assembly by the guest. Oily foods can cause spills on clothing, floor and greasy fingers... avoiding messy foods such as tacos (even mini). Think light tasty and filling. If you are choosing to provide the food yourself it is always a great idea to do a practice run on each menu idea to ensure a positive turn out and for timing of heating.