Regardless of whether you need to plan a simple meeting for higher management, a big conference for your organization, or a large event for your customers and partners, event planning is a lot of work. You need to be organized and take all the tiny details into account for it to be a success.
Every event is different, but there are commonalities in how you go about planning each one. Even though one may have a miniscule budget and an in-house audience while another consists of hundreds of guests from your customer base, if you follow the steps below, you will be able to keep everything on track and take credit for yet another successful venture.
Select Your Audience
You need to know what you want your event to achieve before you can do anything else. Take note of all your objectives for the day and determine the best audience to invite to the event to reach your goals. For example, at a staff recognition day, you would need to have all employees present at the function so that the winners can be acknowledged, and other teams can be inspired to achieve prizes the following year.
If you are looking to tap into a new consumer segment, you will not be inviting your current customers but advertising your event where the target audience can be found, whether that is on social media, radio, or an industry publication.
Knowing who your audience is and what you want the end result to be will influence every other decision you make about the event, such as numbers, program, catering, venue, and gifts. It will enable you to tap into their unique interests and keep them engaged on the day.
The nature of the event will give you some indication of how many guests you should be inviting. Sometimes, this is predetermined, such as the total number of employees in the company for a staff recognition event. At other times, with consumers for example, it can be much harder. However, depending on your budget, the latter type of event lends itself to as many as you can accommodate. This adds to the excitement and news around the event. Make sure that you cater accordingly. For example, extra guests arriving when you have organized a three-course sit-down meal will not work.
Whatever budget you start off with, experts recommend that you add on a cushion of ten percent. This ensures that you can cope with the unexpected. The amount of money you have to spend on an event will have a big impact on its success. Sometimes it is better to reduce the size of the event or reschedule for when funds are available than to prepare for an event on an inadequate budget. You need to impress your audience, and if you cut corners, that is not going to happen.
Substance should prevail over décor. First calculate the costs of any special guest speakers, sound technicians, and technology. The next priority is catering. Guests are less likely to fuss over other aspects of the event if you have seen to it that they are fed properly. Remember to cater for dietary restrictions such as halal and vegan or you will have some unhappy guests.
Theme, Topic, and Format
An event should be themed for consistency. For example, you can book your event space Colorado Springs to get a space-themed venue. This should be carried through to the venue and decorations you choose. It can also give you great ideas on fun icebreakers to get participants to engage and relax.
There should be a main topic that the event is covering. For example, with sales staff, the title would focus on sales targets or sales achievements, depending on the purpose of your event. With a new consumer segment, it would provide the sales message you are imparting based on how you have chosen to portray it, e.g., wellness if your product has health benefits.
The format refers to how you plan to present the items on the agenda to the attendees. This could include guest speakers, a comedian, or drumming sessions, for example.
Make sure you include fun activities that get guests moving at times. Sitting down for formal speeches, however interesting, is a drain on most people’s attention span. Alternate your activities and include breaks at optimal times. This will keep your audience engaged right up to the end of the event. Even with a formal meeting you can include a round of golf or something similar to break the monotony of sitting around a table for a serious meeting. Make time for light-heartedness too.
Successful events are interactive and include an element of fun. Aim to make your event unique.