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Organising BYO Boat Party Google Docs

Organising BYO Boat Party Google Docs

Get on the Water Soon with Bridget's Tips

Recently, Bridget O’Donnell (second from the right) organised a party boat charter for the end of year farewell for her colleagues at the Sydney Conservatorium. (You are looking at some of Australia's most talented dedicated musicians in the photo above) She came up with a most simple and ingenious idea to organise the farewell party charter with Google Docs. A private skippered cruise requires two payments- a deposit and the balance paid- so how do you easily track payments so the organiser can pay for the charter promptly? Bridget is happy to share her effortless party planning tips so you can get out on beautiful Sydney Harbour more often.

Easy Payment Tracking
The spreadsheet lays out all the invitees, payment due and payment received. When someone deposits their payment, they simply add it to Google Docs. When it has been received in the bank, it is marked as received. The smart thing about this is that everyone on the list can see who has or hasn’t paid. Peer pressure does the work for you to get prompt payment.

Easily Organise BYO Catering
Bridget wrote suggestions for suitable ‘boat friendly’ food, which was yummy and easy to serve. She left some options open so that people could add their ‘signature dish’ if they wanted to. There was an incentive to claim your dish first- especially if you wanted just to bring the no preparation chips and nuts for example. Everyone can see who is bringing what and the final BYO boat party catering is full of taste and balance with a few surprises thrown in.

Did You Know That the Washing Up is Done For You?
Yes. That's right. Even when you bring your own food on a boat, you can leave the washing up to us!

Throw in a Little Extra $ and Let the Experts Cater!
Another option is to throw some extra funds each to cover catering. You will be surprised how cost effective this can be. See more here:  Boat Charter Catering Options

From Bridget:
There is surely nothing more gorgeous than a summer evening spent sailing on Sydney Harbour with delicious food, wine and your best friends. This was the image I had in my head as a way to celebrate the end of the university life chapter with my best mates. The task of group planning can be painful, especially when you’re trying to get everyone’s money to together, quickly and easily. By creating the Google doc for the party, all the information that I needed to share was in one place for everyone to see!

I made a Facebook group chat with everyone who was invited with the details of the party, the cost and my bank details and put the link to the document at the end of the invite message. I asked that once each person had paid the amount into my account, (don’t forget to ask them to put the transfer description as their name and boat party!) they could then edit the doc and write in when they had paid. When I had received it, I put that on to the doc so they knew it had come through. It made it easy for me to get together the money for the deposit as the cash came in very quickly once the message was out! Because everyone could see the list of names, and who had paid, it put the perfect amount of pressure on to everyone to get their payment status locked in. All I had to do was sit back and wait for the money to come in, and sure enough, it was all there within a few days!

Having been out on a few charters myself, I knew the kinds of food that worked really well on the boat (think deli platters and dips, barbecue food and gourmet salads) and made a list of food on another tab on the Google Doc. Everyone could choose what food they wanted to bring and on the day, we had more than enough to go around. On the night, three of us threw together the platters of food in the kitchen once we were on board and the guys looked after the barbecue later in the night. It was easy, no fuss and delicious. We choose to do BYO booze which worked a treat as we had a few people who were non-drinkers.

In the end, we had one of the best nights of our lives as we danced, drank and ate ourselves silly while the sun set over the harbour in front of us. I wouldn’t have changed one part of it, and felt relaxed on the day knowing that everything had been organised and taken care of beforehand. If you haven’t been out on the water, take the plunge, it's so much easier to plan than you would expect!”

Photo Credit: Conrad Hamill

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