A very important part of planning an enriching and meaningful event is to cater to the group you are serving. Research those you wish to tend to. Every detail matters in order to provide an exemplary experience.
My expertise is serving the older adult community. I have worked in nursing homes, assisted living, as a home care aide, and as a case manager in low income housing for seniors.
If working with older adults, it may benefit them to have menus or pamphlets written in a larger text. The enjoyment of the event changes drastically if someone is struggling to complete a very simple task such as ordering food.
When designing the layout of a space, be aware of potential mobility challenges and arrange to have accessibility to the restroom. If the food is serviced buffet style, allow wheelchairs to go first or have a server tend to those who need assistance. Provide a space for walkers to rest yet be within reach of their owner. Be sure to have adequate lighting to ensure a guests safety when navigating the venue.
Prepare for dietary restrictions. These restrictions could be requiring soft, low sodium or sugar-free foods. My general rule of thumb is to offer something salty, something sweet and something healthy. Many older adults have difficultly chewing certain foods. If able, evaluate and communicate with the guests prior to the event in order to plan for such restrictions. I don’t recommend serving carrots to a group without any teeth (I have seen this happen!)
Make the party theme something they can relate to. I once hosted a 50’s dance party for a group of seniors. We had trivia, 50’s music and time period related decor and food. The guests sang along to the songs and laughed as they spoke about where they were in the 50’s.
Whatever age group or community you are serving, your guests should feel that every part of the event was hand crafted for their enjoyment. The seemingly insignificant details made a huge difference.
The best occasions are not successful by what you did but how you made someone feel.