Planning a successful event takes months of preparation, a lot of dedication, and a willingness to remain flexible to make sure that you’re equipped to deal with any pitfalls along the way.
photo credit: Stefan Lorentz / Pexels
Planning an event is no small feat – you’ll need to draft the first plan, set a budget, assemble a dedicated team, and negotiate with vendors. But you’ll also need to anticipate any problems that may arise and make sure that you have a backup plan for each.
Use these seven expert tips to plan and organize an event to ensure that yours is a success.
1. Plan Early
You should begin to plan your event as soon as possible. For a large event, start planning four to six months in advance. For a smaller event, give yourself at least one month.
To keep everything flowing smoothly, try to make sure that all vendor contracts are signed off a few weeks before the date of the event.
2. Set a Budget and Negotiate
Something to keep in mind when negotiating with vendors is that there will always be other unforeseen costs. Create a budget before you meet with vendors and offer to pay 5-10% lower than what you planned so that you can give yourself some wiggle room for any other unforeseen expenses.
3. Stay Flexible
Some things will inevitably change during the course of planning an event. Event times, locations, participants, or even the type of event you are hosting can change – remaining flexible to meet changing demands is important to ensure the success of your event.
4. Assign Responsibilities
Categorize all the different elements of the event, like transport, catering, registration, etc. Create a document that all team members have access to and assign responsibilities according to each category – doing this will ensure that every team member is responsible for his or her section.
5. Do a Dry Run and Have a Backup Plan
Two weeks before the event, hold a meeting with your team and walk them through everything that needs to happen. Go through the entire process – from the initial setup to the end – to spot any complications that may arise. Do another run-through a few days before the event at the venue.
Bear in mind that events are rarely pulled off without a single hitch, so you must have backup plans for every important element of the event.
6. Get a Photographer
Hire a professional photographer for the event if you have the budget for it. Ask for prominent shots of the attendants having fun, the entire space, and all the event branding.
Positive photographs like these are an excellent way to demonstrate the success of an event, and they are also a powerful marketing tool. Post them online to create brand awareness and encourage your followers to interact with your posts.
7. Follow Up After the Event
The event may be done, but your work is not. Many event managers take a break after all the logistics are out of the way, but it is vital to follow up with the attendees immediately after an event to measure satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.
You can utilize social media or email – just be proactive in following up so that you can measure the overall success of the event.