One of the most important facts and figures to know about your next party is how many people will be attending. The question of how to better guess headcount is often asked. Below are some answers to help you prepare for the number of guests visiting your next social event venue in Atlanta.
Headcount helps you better determine:
- The amount of food required for your guests
- Quantities of parting gifts
- How to plan seating for your guests, or organize event space layout
- Overall event budget and expenses
Even with save-the-date notices, early and pre-registration and any other method of contacting your guests, you’ll rarely estimate exactly how many people will show up to your event perfectly. So don’t panic. You can get close to a number and save enough room for no-shows and plus-ones (or twos and threes) so that everyone is happy and comfortable at your event.
Pre-Register and RSVP’s
Pre-registration helps alleviate the challenge of walk-in guests altering the quantity of guests you will have to accommodate. With a well-determined deadline far in advance of your event date, you will magically make it much easier to prepare for a select number of guests. Take into account any flex seats you want to add in case of Ambassador Smith’s surprise acceptance or if plans change for your favorite cousin and her family can no longer attend. Its safe to use your headcount and add 10-15% in the event of additions or extra guests.
Standard Rule of Thumb
For many wedding planners and caterers, there is a static number that the industry will hold as true. The typical rule of thumb is 80 percent acceptance, but as stressed before, this number can vary widely. Most hosts and planners have to keep in mind, that multiple factors can prevent guests from attending including the time of year; the location (destinations that are hard to reach typically have a larger percentage of regrets); and holiday weekends, which can be a difficult time for some people to travel, especially those with children. Consider that many families plan summer vacations in advance or may not be able to attend due to back to school activities or educational commitments.
Don’t Try to Overcompensate
Now that we’ve established that the guest count can vary, what you never should do is over invite to max out your event space. For example, if you are seeking to accommodate 250 guests, inviting 275 or 300 because only 200 may actually show up (per our 80% rule of thumb) you may put yourself in a bind if guests actually do plan to celebrate with you. Talk to your caterer about final numbers and financial adjustments you can make if your count is actually below your target range. The best thing you can do is communicate with your venue to ensure that money is not wasted on numbers, but on guaranteeing that your event is memorable and special for those on your guest list.