5 Tips to Ace your Event.
Have you been avidly watching the World Cup or Wimbledon over the past few weeks? Despite which team or players win, a whole team of people have had a very busy few months in preparation, planning and organising. These people are the events team, who deal with all the logistics, attendee management, catering, staff, timings, costs etc; etc; and they will definitely have had a well-deserved drink if they got five minutes following the finals (before they launched straight into planning the next…). They might be behind-the-scenes, but without them, there wouldn’t be an event.
Does the idea of organising an event scare you? Remember that in life, it always seems impossible until it’s done. It’s natural to feel a little apprehensive with the prospect of guest lists and venue choices and everything else that goes with events. In my previous job working for a local Hospice, event planning was a big part of my remit and I used to love organising the fundraising events, but, like everything, it took time to become comfortable with all of them.
Event planning requires a combination of skills such as organisation, management, excellent communication and the ability to evaluate, all the time, keeping the delegate or attendee in mind.
If possible, make sure you’re not in it alone – get yourself a good team of people and make sure you delegate tasks. Set out each person’s responsibilities (including your own) and timescales or deadlines. Ensure that throughout the planning process you’re in touch with all your team to keep everyone on track.
As with any event, be it large or small, there are 5 key things to consider:
- What are you looking to achieve? For example, is it marketing a new product or service, showcasing your business, reaching and securing new clients or fundraising? There are many different reasons to hold an event but set your objectives at the outset and refer to them throughout your planning, before evaluating against each one of them following the event date.
- What is your budget? Is the event to generate a profit or is the business absorbing the costs? This will help you at the start of your planning when you have looked at your cost estimates. Costs can very easily spiral out of control if you’re careful. A good tip is to get 3 quotes for the same product, so you’ve got a comparison. Don’t just go with the first supplier you come across.
- When are you going to hold the event? Do your research! Make sure it doesn’t clash with other similar, local events, or events such as the World Cup final, for example, where people will have their mind on other things! Date and time need to be relevant to your invitees – there is little point in holding a business lunch on a Saturday if you know the firms you are inviting are limited to weekday working.
- Location, Location, Location – choose a venue where your attendees will want to visit. The place isn’t everything, but every little helps, and that little extra draw may be the reason someone signs up rather than not. Make sure your venue is accessible, caters for all and do your research on venues that are easy to work with.
- Learn from mistakes! And by that, I don’t just mean yours. I’ve already mentioned it, but research is really important, and you can learn a lot from events that you’ve been to, as well as from colleagues, family and friends. Remember to evaluate your own event soon after the event date to avoid forgetting what happened!
There’s one more thing – enjoy it! Events are a great way to engage your audience and can also open up new networking opportunities. They are challenging but rewarding and as I said – it always seems impossible until it’s done.
What are you waiting for!? It’s time to get planning!
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