Big Tasks First: Don’t waste your time trying to plan the smaller tasks in the beginning. Make sure you get the location, the size of the location, the catering, the entertainment, and the date first. These are the most essential tasks to having the event be a success. People worry more about what happens at the event than what napkins they’re using.
Formulate a Realistic Budget: Before any of these tasks are completed, you have to take into account your budget, AND let it be realistic. Money will always be a factor into any decision made. Delegate your spending into specific categories so you’re not spending too much in one category and not enough in the other. Also, stay in your price range. If you can’t pay for the large space, look into smaller venues that give you what you want without having to compromise too much. However, if you need that large space, finding a sponsor to cover the costs would be the next best option. Some venues even have exclusive offers and can work with you to beat your costs, or help you to host your event at NO COST.
The Location: The location is one of the most important things to consider. If your clients are too far away from this event location/there’s no benefit for them to come out to this location, you’re going to lose some business. If the event isn’t all day, it’s good to know that in this location there are other places for people to pass their time, so they’re not stuck in their hotel rooms waiting. A desirable and nearby location is important to having people attend.
What kind of entertainment should you get? Who is coming to this event? Audiences will react differently to different types of entertainment. If you want dancing involved, consider a DJ or musical guest, but if it’s dinnertime entertainment, you can open up your options more. If it’s a presentation/expo, find presenters that will fit the theme of your event.
Wi-Fi Accessibility: The Internet is an essential tool in business nowadays. If the event has an app/needs use of the Internet, it’s nice to know that Wi-Fi is provided at the location. Guests can download the app and be on their way, or presenters can use Wi-Fi for their presentations. If a guest needs to, they can video call clients across the world. Always be prepared for someone to ask for the Wi-Fi password, it’s efficient and essential to the business model today.
Coordination of Volunteers/Staff: These people are your most important asset. Don't torture yourself by being a ONE MAN/ONE WOMAN show. That's how you burn yourself out. Get volunteers who are at the event hours in advance to help set up and hours after to take down everything. They are your crew of helpers. Make sure that these people are given something to do at all ends of time so that they can be productive in critical hours of your event process. Sometimes your entertainment/venue will have their own clean-up crew, which is always a bonus, but always have a team of your people there to help out. It looks good on you and your company, and the people you hired for the event will likely want to work with you again.
Publicity: Who’s Coming? Who do you want to go to your event? Is this a private or a public event? It’s important to market your event to attract the right audience. Posting flyers, mailing invitations, or posting events on social media may be good for the public market, but if you’re going private, it’s best to go through invitations privately on social media, or a personalized invitation in the mail. People like to feel special and part of a selected group, so the private invitation should feel personal to the kind of event you throw. Contacting your local radio station is also a good use of publicity.
Keep in mind that no matter what you follow, there will be things going wrong. It's just all about how you deal with it. Remember, go with the flow, do what you can, and most importantly, have all your ducks in a row.
Here's to making your evenot a success!