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Top 10 tips for stress-free party planning

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Depending on your personality, planning a party is either super fun, super stressful or both. We're here to break down the top 10 ways to prep for a party without getting overwhelmed. After all, if you're throwing a party, you should be able to enjoy it too!

1. Simplify the guest list

The more people you invite, the more complicated you make your party and the less opportunity you’ll have to connect with each guest. Less is more: Invite close friends, a few people you’ve been meaning to reconnect with and a some people you think would mix well with everyone else.

2. Start planning early

Pick a theme (if you're going for one) and send out invites four to six weeks before a formal event or two to three weeks before a casual gathering. You’ll also want to gather ideas for the menu and decor way in advance.

3. Create a budget and follow it

Figure out how much you can spend without breaking the bank, and set a limit on food, drink, entertainment, and other party essentials. If you can’t afford to hire a caterer, consider setting up a taco bar or another easy do-it-yourself station for food.

4. Make a checklist

Write down everything, from “check RSVPs” to “set up self-serve bar.” Not only does it feel really satisfying to check off to-dos, but it’s the only way to know for sure what still needs to be done.

5. Enlist help

If the thought of cleaning your house is overwhelming, hire someone to clean it before and/or after the party. If friends or family are open to helping, delegating a few responsibilities—say, picking up ice or putting out flowers—is a huge help and one less thing for you to think of!

6. Keep the menu simple

Strategy is key here, and we recommend making dishes that can be prepped beforehand or that can reheat easily and still taste amazing. Order takeout or catering for items that round out your menu and to ease your load.

7. Serve one specialty cocktail

You don’t want to be shaking martinis all day, so select one drink you can make in pitchers (sangria, spiked lemonade) and stock up on plenty of beer and wine. A make-your-own cocktail set-up like a mimosa bar at brunch, with different juices to pair with champagne, is also great.

8. Order what you can online

If it’s a particular size tablecloth or shade of serving tray you’re after, save yourself the hassle of driving all over town looking for something and get it delivered to your doorstep.

9. Create a playlist

Music is essential at a party, and there's nothing like a playlist personally curated for your guests' tastes. Consider making a playlist specific to the party, for instance, an all-female playlist for a Galentine's Day Brunch.

10. Do as much as you can beforehand

Things always take longer than we expect! Whether it’s decorating, setting the table, or preparing foods that can sit overnight in the fridge, getting things done ahead of time is key. Creating the right ambiance for your party takes time, so tackle decor a couple of days before.

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What makes Evite Signup Sheets different from Signup Genius?

Developed hand-in-hand with community organizers, PTA presidents, parents, and teachers, Evite's sign-up sheets are designed to make organizing volunteers a breeze. Here are a few ways Signup Sheets are different than Signup Genius:

  • 100% Free: Signup sheets are free to use
  • Ad-Free: No popup ads ever! Our sign-up sheets remain clutter-free, keeping your volunteers focused on signing up.
  • No Extra Login Required: Seamlessly use your Evite account to create and manage sign-up sheets, keeping all your events in one convenient location.
  • Automatic Reminders and Notifications: Stay on top of your event with automated reminders and notifications for you and your participants. Perfect for busy parents, teachers, and anyone juggling multiple commitments.
  • Customization Options: Tailor sign-up sheets to your specific event, whether it's a school fundraiser, potluck, volunteer opportunity, or team activity. Add custom tasks, time slots, and requirements for smooth coordination.
  • User-Friendly Experience: Our intuitive interface makes creating and sharing sign-up sheets simple for everyone, regardless of tech experience.
  • Real-Time Updates: Get instant notifications whenever someone signs up or makes a change, so you always know where things stand.

Choose Evite Signup Sheets for the easiest, most streamlined way to get volunteers and signups for your next event!

What is a signup sheet?

Signup sheets are the perfect way to streamline scheduling, volunteer recruitment, class parties, snack duty, potluck organization, parent-teacher conferences and more! You can think of them as your digital assistant for coordinating events and tasks and ensuring that your event is a success.

Evite SignUp Sheets offers parents, teachers and event planners customizable online forms that organizers and volunteers can access and update effortlessly. Volunteers can choose their preferred time slots, sign up for tasks or indicate what they'll bring to the event. It only takes organizers a few minutes to create a signup sheet and send it out with a shareable link, so they can get the word out via text, email or social media—whichever way they prefer! 

Long story short, signup sheets save everyone involved tons of time, avoid scheduling headaches and ensure everything runs smoothly before and during the event.

How do I create a signup sheet?

Creating a signup sheet has never been easier than with Evite! Here’s how to create a sheet that’s sure to make your event an absolute success:

  1. Go to Evite SignUp Sheets and choose the template that best fits your needs. Evite offers multiple signup sheet templates perfect for every occasion, including:some text
    • Signup sheets for standalone events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a class party, potluck or end-of-season party.
    • Signup sheets for recurring or multi-day events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a meal train, post-game snack duty or during appreciation week.
    • Signup sheets for single or multiple day events (with time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing concession stand volunteers, fundraisers and parent-teacher conferences.
  1. After selecting your sheet template, create a title for your signup sheet and add the date, the location, the time (if applicable), who the organizer is, the organizer’s phone number or email and an optional note describing the event to your volunteers. You can also change your signup sheet background and title image if you wish!
  1. Next, create slots for your signup sheet. If you aren’t logged into your account, you will need to do so at this point, but luckily, you can use your existing Evite account (no need to create yet another login!). What you’ll include here will depend on what your event needs, but you can include a list of what’s needed (along with optional descriptions), how many volunteers are needed, and dates and times.
  1. After creating your slots, you can then add a wish list from any retailer or include supply suggestions from Evite’s retailer partners. These are to help your volunteers find and purchase supplies quickly and easily.
  1. Finally, review your sheet, copy your shareable link and send it out to everyone on your list! Every time a volunteer signs up for a slot on your signup sheet, Evite will email you. We will also send reminders to you and your volunteers before your event so no one will forget about it, and we’ll even let volunteers know if you remove their slot or cancel your event sheet so you don’t have to!

What information should be included on a signup sheet?

When it comes to signup sheet information, there are some essentials to include regardless of what you’re organizing:

  1. A title for your signup sheet. Tip: Aim to keep your signup sheet title concise but clear. You want volunteers to read it and have a general understanding of what your event is about, and also make it easy for them to look for later if they need to reference your sheet again. You have the option to include a more descriptive note in a different field about your event, so save the more in-depth details for that!
  1. When and where the event is taking place. 
  1. The organizer’s name and phone number.
  1. Slots for volunteers to choose from. Once you choose the SignUp Sheets template that fits the occasion, the slots you’ll need for your sheet will be right there and ready for you to add the relevant info, such as dates, times, items to bring and tasks to complete. 

When adding your slot information, clearly define what people are signing up for, especially for a what-to-bring list or role assignments. If you want someone to bring healthy snacks for kids to enjoy after a game, specify that. You want your volunteers to feel confident in what they’re bringing and to make it easy for them to know what’s expected of them. It will save them time and stress (and you, too!). That being said, if you make your ask too specific (for example, asking for a hard-to-source item or something expensive), you may not end up with a volunteer for it. So be clear about what you expect, but also be reasonable!

Aside from providing the basic signup information, you can also add optional descriptions to both your entire signup sheet and individual slots. While not required, they can help guide your volunteers further and provide more information. You can add information about allergies, preferences and general info about the event. You can also add a wish list to make it easier for your volunteers to bring exactly what you need!

What are the benefits of using a signup sheet template?

Signup sheet templates offer a ton of advantages for both organizers and volunteers and with Evite SignUp Sheets, you'll enjoy even more benefits than other digital and paper signup sheets! Some benefits our signup sheet templates offer include:

  • A 100% free experience (no subscriptions required!).
  • Shareable links for quick and easy sharing.
  • No need to create another login—you can use your existing Evite account.
  • The option to add a wish list to help your volunteers out.
  • Automatic reminders—we’ll remind everyone on your behalf.
  • An easy-to-use experience with eye-catching guided templates.
  • Clean, modern designs with no pop-up ads.

With Evite SignUp Sheets, you can enjoy organizing and coordinating all your events with ease. Signup sheets streamline the signup process for everyone involved, ensuring that everything will go to plan on the day of your event while saving you precious time in the process.

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