Figuring out where to start when planning an event can be a challenge.
Our top 10 tips will help make your event a success. The biggest thing is to enjoy creating the event and your guests will enjoy it too.
1. Start Planning Early
Begin planning as soon as can. If your event is a large event you should realistically begin planning it four to six months in advance. Smaller events need at least one to two months to plan. To keep the final run up to the event flowing smoothly, try to ensure that all supplier contracts are completed a few weeks before the event and are in place and ready to go
2. Create a Shared Document
With the cloud comes many benefits, and collaborating with your team couldn’t be easier. In order to keep everyone on the same page, create a central manual or document that details everything to do with the event, including vendor contracts, attendee information, and the floor plan. With a shared document everyone can refer back to it if they are unsure, and your entire team can spot if something is out of place.
3. Get Online
An event is the perfect way to up your social media presence. Create a custom hashtag for your event on Twitter , Linkedin and Instagram and encourage your followers to talk about it. Similarly create an event on Facebook, and encourage your followers to tag the event in relevant posts.
4. Get Ready for Change
Over the course of planning the event, things are going to change. Whether it is event times, locations or even the type of event you’re hosting, you need to ensure that you’re flexible and can meet the changing demands.
Despite what many vendors will tell you, everything is negotiable. Remember that with every event there will be unforeseen costs, so try to negotiate as low a price as you can. Determine your budget before meeting a vendor, and offer to pay 5-10% lower than this figure. Your vendor may put up a fight, but ultimately they want to win your business.
Break up the various elements of the event into sections (e.g. registration, catering, transport), and assign a section to each member of your team. As they are solely responsible for their own section they will be much more clued into small detail changes.
7. Have a Plan B
It is rare that an event is ever pulled off without at least one issue, an item may not turn up or an important person may arrive late. Assess the most important assets your event will have, and create a backup plan for each. If a number of issues arise in the future, triage them and decide whether an alternative can be found, or if it should be cut entirely from the event.
8. Do a Run Through
About two weeks before the event, do a run through of the entire event process. Organise a meeting with your team and mentally walk through everything, from initial set up to the follow up process. Often complications are highlighted at these meetings, and you will have time to correct them. A few days before event organise another run through at the venue.
9. Record Everything
Photo sharing in the lead up to an event is a great way to build anticipation and similarly sharing photos afterwards highlights the best bits If you have the budget hire a professional photographer, they will be more clued in to the kinds of photos that are required and will approach you for specifics. Ensure you capture the ambience as well as the guests and the small personal touches you’ve added to make the event a success. Remember GDPR too and get consent from those you photograph.
Upload your photos once the event is over and actively encourage users to tag themselves./p>
10. Debrief ASAP
Once the event is over, sit back, take a breath and then arrange a debrief. Some of the best lessons are learnt through debrief, and be honest – what worked well and what you would do better in future. It is important to follow up with guests and clients too on their experience of the event.
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