Planning an event can seem daunting. From booking venues and confirming guest speakers, to organising exhibitors and finalising floor plans, there can be many different elements that all need to seamlessly come together to ensure your event is a hit.
It goes without saying that each of these elements require careful thought and planning, but what does organising a successful event actually involve? Here are our top 6 tips to help get you started:
1) Set some objectives
Think about why you are organising the event. What do you hope to achieve? Whether it's reaching a target number of attendees, raising a certain amount of money or informing and educating delegates on a particular subject, once you're clear on the reasons for staging your event set a goal and some measurable objectives as well as a budget.
2) Gather your squad
With so many plates to spin, any event takes a concerted team effort. The number of extra pairs of hands you may need to help you will depend on the size of your event. You may need to nominate people to co-ordinate specific elements, or you may want to set up sub-committees to take responsibility for particular areas, such as venue management, entertainment or publicity. Delegating the right jobs to the right people will make life a whole lot easier for everyone.
3) Set a date
If your event is recurring, or held annually, you may not have the luxury of being flexible on dates. If it is a new event though it is sensible to check the calendar to ensure you take into consideration things like public, religious or school holidays. Don't forget to double check with key participants, like VIPs and guest speakers, that the date is convenient before committing.
4) Get branded
Want to ensure your event attracts people's attention? Then allocate time to brand your event so it stands out from the competition. When brainstorming a name, think about how your event is different and what you hope to offer and convey. Will a tagline or catchy slogan add impact? Do you need to create an attention-grabbing logo or visual identity? Make sure you apply your branding consistently across all touchpoints, from social media pages to t-shirts, for stronger recognition among your target audience.
5) Create a master plan
Keep on top of all the logistics of planning your event by creating a master spreadsheet detailing every aspects of the day. The devil is in the detail so a master plan will help keep you on track with everything from supplier contracts and invoices to permits and publicity.
6) Plan your publicity
It might sound like stating the obvious, but if people don't know about your event then chances are attendance will be low. You don't want your weeks and months of meticulous planning to be for the benefit of just a handful of people, so properly marketing your event will help drum up interest and, more importantly, get people through the door. Start by creating a dedicated event page on your website and then start spreading the word across both online and offline channels to encourage registration. It's important to remember that no publicity plan is complete without factoring in the post-event thank yous, acknowledgements and articles about its success.