Professional event organizers are well aware that running a smooth event involves a lot of pre-planning. They need to prioritize and stay focused. Organizing an event is not an easy task, and an event planning vendors can face many challenges during executing the plans.
Here are a few actionable tips and best practices to follow for any event.
1 Start early planning
One golden rule to planning any event is to begin as soon as possible. If your event is large, for example, 500 guests, you should start planning at least a year or more prior. If it is a smaller event, at least six months of prior planning is crucial.
Early event planning helps to get more choices for different elements. For example, planning with more lead time gives you many more marketing options, sponsorship options, talents/speakers options, venue options, etc. The more options you have available, the better your chances of getting exactly what you want.
2 Decide on your events purpose and goal
Before you begin the planning, it is crucial to understand the events purpose, and set some goals. The reason is that based on the events purpose and goals, it will be easier for you to make strategic decisions on the different options available to you (as mentioned above). You will be able to set objectives, and measure them with quantifiable metrics, and this way, you can measure your progress to reach them and ensure that you hit all of your goals.
3 Establish an early budget
One of the most important steps, after setting your purpose and goals, is to set your budget. You won’t be able to start shopping for your venue or vendors without a firm budget in mind. It’s best to start planning this as early as possible.
A few things to consider in your budget are:
- Labor costs
4 Create a plan in writing
Once you get an estimated budget and have successfully established a rough timeline for your event, you should develop a written event plan as a roadmap for the success of your event.
A comprehensive event plan will help you manage your team and coordinate volunteers. It can also help to secure sponsorships and talents.
Here are the elements that an event plan may cover:
- Promotion plan
- Management and sponsorship plan
- Day-of responsibilities
5 Identify your target audience
Another crucial factor to consider is to get an understanding of the guests who will attend the event. Based on the purpose, objective, and type of event, you will want to consider who will be attending.
It is best to gather as much information about the guests, including their behavior, demographic data, and especially things that motivate your audience to visit the event. You should also try to identify the potential obstacles that may prevent them from registering for your event and choosing competing events. This will aid you greatly in your marketing efforts.
6 Select the right venue
When we talk about an in-person event, venue selection is something that can break or make your success. If it is a recurring event, the date of the event might already be set, so you get a limited number of venue options as well. However, if it is a brand new event or if you have enough wiggle room to decide the date of the event, it is recommended that you consider these factors:
- Pay attention to religious and national holidays.
- Avoid school holiday periods as venues are usually expensive around this time.
- Some venues may have seasonal periods, and booking them in their “off-season” may be less expensive than during their peak times of year.
- Check dates with your VIP guests, speakers, and other key participants.
7 Successfully market your event
One of the key challenges to executing a successful event is to make sure that it stands out among the competition. Never underestimate the importance of having an easy-to-remember and unique event name. Demonstrate the value in a clear way so attendees consider your event one that is “not to miss”. Offer a discount for very early registrations to get the word out and create a buzz amongst the community of your target audience.
Planning any event is difficult and time consuming. With enough pre-planning, you should be able to build a great plan and execute on all your goals. And if event planning is not your expertise, remember that there’s always an option to hire a professional event management agency to help you along the way.