Over the years we have seen many events, and we have identified ten key steps that will ensure a successful event.
We can’t give you all the details, but we can offer some suggestions.
We, event company Manchester, have also created an easy to use checklist to ensure that nothing gets left behind. Start by looking backwards at your event date to determine the timeline.
We also have a downloadable Virtual Events Checklist if you are planning an online event.
We hope that the following will help you get started with your event planning. Here are the ten steps.
Planning your event starts with establishing a goal and objective.
Start by asking yourself the following questions: Why are you organizing this event? What do you want to accomplish?
You can make sure that your event achieves its goals by knowing your organization’s main goals before you start planning.
Do you want to raise awareness or get donations for your next project, or both? Do you want to draw 50 or 500 people?
Your team will be able to achieve their goals easier if they have quantifiable indicators of success.
You can get a better understanding of your event management requirements by creating a list with tangible and intangible goals. You might have three goals: 500 people, 100 sales, $1 million charity fundraising, etc. These tangible goals can be driven by your intangible goals, which may include raising awareness of a cause or product or recruiting volunteers.
Organize Your Team
To manage all details of an event, it takes a team effort. You might consider naming one event manager or chairperson, as well as individual chairs for subcommittees.
- Management of the venue
- and volunteer management.
It creates accountability and prevents tasks from being forgotten by assigning roles to team members. It will allow you to delegate, but remember to include committee meetings into your event planning timing.
High-quality events require buy-in from all levels of the organization. You will need the support of your executive team and your on-site event staff to create an unforgettable experience.
Establish Your Budget
Planning an event is only as good as the budget. Many great ideas have fallen by the wayside due to the fact that the original team responsible for them didn’t take their budget into account before planning.
These are some of the most important expenses that you should include in your budget:
- Location: This cost should include the rental and any insurance that you may need.
- Food and drink: This field is fairly self-explanatory. But, keep in mind that your ability to afford tickets can also affect the number you are able sell.
- Entertainment This field can be customized in any way you want it to be. Whether it’s for speakers, a DJ or a talking pig. Make sure you allow for travel and accommodation costs, as well as compensation.
- Decor:Will your theme be a DIY mason jar or something more expensive? You can determine which one you can afford by establishing upfront the cost.
- Staff This category is often overlooked, but it’s crucial to account for transportation and lodging costs, especially if your event is out of town. Budgeting your staff time is important. What would they do if they were not working on this event? This will help you decide if it is worth the extra meeting.
- Marketing Whether you choose to promote an event via Facebook, or go old-school and put flyers all over the town,
- Software If your event planner doesn’t have event software, you might consider including it in your event planning.
- A/V This category includes a variety of costs, from projectors to wi fi to speakers to projectors.
- Other: Even the most well-planned events will incur additional costs. These costs can be accounted for in your budget to ensure that you don’t get caught unprepared.
- Even though some of these items may not be fixed costs yet, such as a venue selection, it is important to know what your maximum budget can handle before making any decisions.
You might have a date already set for a regular event. However, if you are setting a date for something new, make sure you consider these things before setting your date.
- You need to give yourself enough time. You should allow at least 4-6 months for planning, depending on the event.
- Pay attention to religious and statutory holidays
- Avoid school holidays (winter, spring, and summer)
- You can check dates with speakers, presenters, VIPs, and other key participants.
Make an Event Masterplan
Now that you know the cost and timeline of your event, it is time to begin the actual planning! Your event master plan will help you coordinate volunteers and other event committee members, while ensuring that every detail is on track.
The event master plan must include all aspects of the event.
- Venue, logistics, & catering management (contracts, permits, insurance, etc.)
- Presenters and speakers (identifying, confirming logistics, management, and management).
- Entertainment and activities
- Promotion and publicity (online and offline, such as events calendars, printed programs, media relations, signage, social media, etc.
- Register (online sign up, payment, tracking, on-site sign in, etc.
- Management of sponsors and partners
- Volunteer Management and Responsibilities
To ensure that your event runs smoothly, you should also create a timeline. You should include when permits and insurance policies will need to be submitted. Also, indicate when registration ends.
It might seem tempting to say “It’s all just in my head!” It’ll all be fine! and not worry about writing it down. However, this mentality can make it more difficult to assign responsibility. This mentality will make it harder to recall what you did at the next event. Do your future self a favor and write everything down.
Final note: If your organization has previously run events similar to this one, you can review any documentation at this stage to ensure that you aren’t missing anything.
Make sure that your activities and services cater to the needs of your audience. We have had open bars at our events in the past. Each person would be served a drink by a single bartender. It would be frustrating for our guests and the line would grow too long. We knew there had to be a better way, but we couldn’t afford another bartender. So we made large batch cocktails before the line. We were able to cut the cost of the event by doing this and the guests loved the cocktails we created. Try to cut down on costs by DIY’ing when creating your master plan. You will also find many talented individuals who can provide a service at a fraction of the cost on new platforms like TaskRabbit or Craigslist, which will make it easier to plan and execute an event.
It is important to secure your venue quickly once you have set the date. Before you can advertise for your event, it is important to set a date and a location.
You might consider allowing for some flexibility in the date to make it more flexible and allow you to choose from a wider range of venues.
Consider these things when choosing a venue to host your event:
- Accessibility. Do you have access to the venue’s entrances or elevators for people with disabilities? Are there washrooms that are all-gender? Are there spaces for interpreters? These and other factors are important in choosing a space where all participants feel at ease.
- Size. A 50-person event will require a different space than one for 500. Consider whether you will need separate rooms for breakout sessions and the like.
- Insurance. Do you need separate insurance? What are their liability rules
- Audio Visual. Make sure you have enough space to install speakers and microphones at your event. This is true for both wifi access and cellphone connections. You can also request any other technology needs for your event.
- Prices. What deposit does the venue require? Are there additional fees? What amount will you receive back if you have to cancel?
Don’t believe everything you see on Instagram and Pinterest. This is a sad fact, but the industry is getting more creative with their marketing materials. They are experts in choosing the best photos, angles, and photo editing to make venues appear larger, cleaner, or nicer. We recommend going to the venue personally, meeting the vendors, and doing your research. If you don’t have time to do this, consider hiring a professional to help you.
You want your event stand out from the rest. This is why you should choose a compelling and timely theme. You need to choose a compelling theme, and be careful about the name. It can be an important attention-getter online.
- Brainstorm names Think about these things when you brainstorm the event name:
- What makes your event stand out from others in the sector?
- What message do you want to send through this event?
- What are the key components of your event’s success?
- Make a tagline: Once you have a name, create a tagline. This is a brief, memorable branding slogan that describes your event.
Create a logo: This is the final step. A logo is a powerful branding tool that can instantly be identified as your event on all promotional items, such as t-shirts, water bottles, bags and other promotional items.
Your name, tagline and logo are now part of your marketing collateral. This will help people to recognize your brand and remind them that this event is taking place!
Create a hashtag to be used by attendees and your marketing materials when discussing your event on social networks. While the hashtag should be shorter, it should still be unique.
If your event is called the National Conference for Dogs you might create a hashtag like #NCDwoof2019. It is unique, memorable, short, and simple.
Designate someone to monitor live tweets using the hashtag: “like the Facebook posts”, “retweet the tweets”, etc. to amplify the buzz as the event is taking place.
You can search every social media platform to find posts that contain your hashtag after the event. This will give you a great post-event report.
Identify and Establish Partnerships and Sponsors
Do you know of any organizations that could be partnered with or called on to sponsor the event? This will help defray costs and increase participation. In addition, other people and groups have an interest in spreading the word about your event and making it a success.
This is something you might want to think about:
- Looking for corporate sponsors in order to finance a portion the event. These can include national organizations who might sponsor a dinner or offer a door prize, or a key item in the silent auction, or local businesses that could provide goods and services such as flowers for tables or gift bags.
- Partnership with community organizations that might be able offer a venue or assistance in organizing an event.
- When you are looking for sponsors for your event, remember that businesses will be more inclined to support it if they see the benefit to them. If you have had sponsors before, that’s a great thing. But if you don’t, you should be ready to make a strong case for your support.
Make a publicity plan
You need publicity to bring people to your event, even if they have the best speaker or entertainment lineup. The promotion of an event begins with a page or notice on your website. Next, you add online publicity, media relations, and ongoing outreach to encourage registration.
You might consider the following components to your plan:
- Announcement on the Web
- Social media
- Email blasts
- Media connections and press
- Print materials
Final word: No promotional plan is complete without thank-yous, acknowledgements from sponsors, and articles on the event’s key messages and fundraising success.
A professional photographer can be hired to photograph the event, which makes it easy to submit your event to publication. It’s also a great way to thank your attendees.
After you have prepared all the necessary details for the event, the next step is to keep track of the order and plan your program.
You can be prepared for any situation by creating an agenda that walks you through every step of the day, from setup to clean up. It will make you feel as though you have everything under control, regardless of how small.
Here’s an example of how something similar might look:
5:00: Drop off silent items at the venue (Diana).
6:15: AV set up (Terry, Diana).
7:00: Have quick volunteer coordination meeting (Terry + volunteers)
7:30: Attendees start arriving
8:00: Hors d’oeuvres served
8:30: Speaker 1 takes to the stage
9:00: Speaker 2 takes to the stage
10:00: Award Presentation (Diana).
10:30: Mingling, silent auction bidding finishes
11:00: Clear the tables
12:00: Bar closes
12:00 PM Event over; All guests must depart
It is important to identify who has to do what in order to ensure clear accountability.
You can use a simplified version in branding materials to communicate your public-facing agenda.
This software makes it easy to run (and fill) events!
There is a software program that will automate your event registrations and payment processing online if you are tired of doing it manually. It’s called Membership Management Software. Here’s how it works:
- Allows easy creation of online registration forms
- Place a calendar of events in your website
- Your website will be automatically updated with information about upcoming events
- Directly deposit event payments into your account
- Send event reminders and invoices automatically
- Event attendee information can be directly inserted into your contact database
Membership Management Software not only manages all event logistics but also automates many administrative tasks like managing contacts, finances, emails, and website communication.