For decades the social has been a large part of Manitoba rural communities, especially in the Interlake. It served not only as a fundraiser, but as a place where people were able to gather, socialize and have fun. It was, and is, not uncommon for partygoers to travel several towns over to attend a social.
In urban centers like Winnipeg, wedding socials are a weekend tradition for many people. Often held in community centers, not only does it help the couple, it helps the community and is a great alternative to a bar for your guests.
When planning your social, there are many things to consider. We will point out just a few on this page, but for more information please feel free to contact us.
The first, and one of the most important steps, is choosing the venue. When deciding on a location, make sure to get all of the details. Do you require your own liquor license, or do they provide that? If you are making money from the bar, then most likely you will. Or, if you want to limit your own liability with drunkenness (drunk driving or someone injuring themselves while intoxicated), some halls will keep the liquor sales and hold the license, thus taking on the responsibility.
Ensure you choose the right sized venue for the amount of people you anticipate will attend. A large venue for a smaller event will appear empty and cost you more, while having a menu too small will cause you headaches as you will have to turn people away.
Check the closing time and how long you have to clear out of the venue. Some venues close at midnight, while others are at 1am. There is even the odd one that is open until 2am. How long the venue gives you to clear out is important too. We have been to a few that require everyone out by 1:15, which is difficult if it is still packed. On top of that, the average DJ needs 30-60 minutes to tear down and load out. If you have to clear out the bar and take the leftovers, you will need time for that too. Ensure you have a hard leave time on the contract. This way if you are being pushed out at 1:30, but the contract says you have until 2am to clean up, then you can stay until 2am cleaning and gathering your stuff.
Luckily, the majority of the venues in Winnipeg are very accommodating and will work with you to ensure everything will go smoothly and you have the time needed to properly clear out.
Often the late lunch will be made up of lunch meats, kielbasa, vegetables, pickles, cheese, bread and other small items. If you using the venues liquor license, they may even have a "hot lunch", such as meatballs, served. Traditionally the "late lunch" was made up by the family and friends of the couple, but lately having it catered has become very cost effective and is becoming more commonplace. Places like Dominos Pizza and Harvest Bakery offer social packages to fit any budget.
Choose your DJ or band carefully. A small crowd can be difficult to perform for (we know) but a good DJ or band will thrive in this environment (we at Gudlite thrive in this environment - sorry, shameless plug).
When selecting a DJ, make sure they are using quality, professional equipment suitable for the size of venue you are using, that they have the music you want and they are professional. There are many different styles of DJs in Manitoba, most of them great. Ensure you hire a DJ with the skills you want (some are great mixers, others read a crowd really well and some have knowledge of music beyond belief) and that you like their personality. Remember: the DJ is representing you all night.
If you choose to go with a band, ensure they will play your desired songs/genre and find out how they will fill time between sets. Do they have a DJ? Do they stream pre-recorded music? Often when hiring a band, a DJ is hired to perform at the beginning and end of the night as well as between sets.
There are many great places to have tickets printed locally. Galaxy Printing is a great, local place that does an amazing job. Of course, you can use an online printer such as Vista Prints offers great price, however the quality might not be as good. You can always print tickets yourself using a business card template and a home printer.
When designing your card, ensure to include some enticing information. Some of the Grand Prizes is a great thing to include on a social ticket. This way people will get an idea of what is up for grabs and how much money they will need to bring! People will stop for cash on the way to the social but will rarely leave the social to go get cash.
Do not print more tickets than the venue can hold. If you do, and you sell all of them, you will be relying on not everyone showing up. That can be risky. You can, however, sell "support" tickets. These are tickets usually sold at lower prices that people can buy to "support" the couple.
Stay on top of sales
Delegate the sale of tickets to family and friends and ensure they are trying to sell them. If you only have 200 tickets to sell, and someone is hanging on to 50 of them but not selling them, then that is 50 tickets wasted. It is OK if someone is not comfortable selling tickets. It is not everyone's bag. But you need to ensure that tickets are moving. Make sure to have people selling to different groups of people. Having three people selling to co-workers will usually sell the same amount of tickets and one or two people selling as the same people will be buying them.
Keep track of ticket sales and how many are left. This is important since tickets will make up a large chunk of profits. Collect the money weekly and issue out more tickets as required.
Some people are also selling tickets digitally via PayPal or Square. Eventbrite is probably one of the best sites for online ticket sales. Remember, with online sales there will be a cost involved to use their site and for them to process credit cards.
Promote on social media. Make an events page on Facebook, use twitter. GET THE MESSAGE OUT that you are having a social. This is also a great platform to inform everyone of the amazing prizes you have! Using social media and keeping guests updated is a great way to get people excited about your social.
Security at socials is important, not only for everyone's safety but your liability. This is especially true with large socials. Many venues now require security on hand and some will offer this service for a nominal fee, or may even include it in their packages. Security not only help keep the peace, they prevent alcohol from leaving (or entering) the premises.
Look for a security service that is well trained and knowledgeable with the rules regarding socials. Also, a provider that is trained in emergency first aid is essential.
Hope these helped
We tried to answer the most common questions we hear, but if there is anything you wish to know please contact us.