Staging our own special events has never been more important since the pandemic. But where do you begin and what things should you know before you even get started? Expert event planner and owner of Qube Events and Productions (, Debbie Marks reveals the seven things she didn’t know about planning an event before she began her company:

Debbie Marks

Debbie Marks

1) When I first started planning events, I never realised how creative I was. I began my career by planning corporate events, full of logistics and I rarely had the chance to be creative. It was only when I started planning luxury private parties that I was able to put a creative twist on everything I was doing. I started to build a reputation where clients were coming to me for my expertise in logistics, but also for the creative and quirky ideas I was producing.

2) Events can be complex! There are lots of moving parts to any event and it wasn't until I started planning events that I realised how much it validated the need for an event planner. The hours on the phone to suppliers, the emails, the floor plans, the design details and more, there are so many different elements that can be easily overlooked at the outset.

3) Creating a great event is not for the faint hearted. I truly believe what makes you great at what you do is the experience that you have behind you. Perhaps you work in a corporate environment but think about the skills you already have – such as team building or creativity and make the most of those skills. Planning an event is like anything, once you have done it once, you start to understand and foresee what could go potentially wrong, so you can pre-empt it by trouble shooting. I now have 23 years of event planning under my belt, so each event no matter how complicated, is always fun.

4) Expect the Unexpected! However, much you plan there are always elements that could be thrown at you at the last minute. Expect to receive the curve balls but know that it’s how you deal with them that is the most important thing. Anything that doesn’t go according to plan, will at the very least help you to become resilient.

5) Planning your own special celebration or event can be so much fun. You will soon start to find suppliers that you enjoy working with, or those who get your vision for the event that you have planned. I never realised how big this sector was until I started working in it and there are so many incredible suppliers too.

6) In the event planning world, no two days are the same. I always knew I didn't want to work in a hotel as I didn't want to be constrained to the same walls every day. The variety I get now is incredible. One day I could be in a stately home, the next day on a photoshoot, the following in the basement of a luxury private home creating a party or styling a wedding in a castle.

7) Working to deadlines is a must! The event date is the event date, it’s not going to move if you are not ready. Learn to become structured with your time and know that if things are not ready, you will either have to work late or bring in more people to make the event happen. It's also important to build a loyal team that can support you around an event, that you know you can trust. It always comes together but you just need to be prepared that beforehand, it can be tiring as you may be working long hours to get everything ready. I've learnt the more organised you can be the easier it will become closer to the time.

Debbie Marks’ best-selling new book Extraordinary Parties is out now and available on Amazon UK as both an e book and paperback