July 28, 2014
1. Know your mission and goal
The most important part to start with when planning any event is realizing the mission and/or goal. Everything you do and incorporate should then be a means to reach your goal—whether that is team building for staff, an incentive retreat for top sellers, or introducing your re-brand to the community.
Although you may be working on the bulk of the event logistics, putting key players in those important positions is helpful from the start. Organize who will be the liaison for vendors, guests, and other involved parties. Delegating to these individuals early on in the process can prevent confusion and save time.
3. Spread the Word
When marketing the event whether it is via e-mail, social media, posters, or mailed invitations, make sure you are as clear as possible. This is typically the first component of the event that your attendees will see, so make sure it invokes excitement, provides a hint of what is to come, and is informative with all of the pertinent event details that your guests need to know.
4. Set a Budget
There are few things more disappointing than coming up with a great event plan then having to cut back exponentially due to budgetary reasons. Set a budget from the beginning and don’t be afraid to negotiate pricing.
5. Choose the Right Location
This goes beyond the venue selection to choosing the right city, state, or event country. Remember your mission and know your attendees. For more on selecting the right location, see our blog post How to Find the Right Location for Your Event.
6. Event Logistics
From power to room configuration to your audio/visual needs–a successful meeting has these details hammered out in advance with a back-up plan (or two). Arrange your meeting space around the event needs, host a catering menu that is outside of the box, and design an event with a cohesive look from centerpieces to banners.
Game night theme at WinMock
7. Compile an Agenda
Once you have an idea of how you want the event to look, feel, and flow, create an agenda. When contacting vendors, keep in mind the event schedule and ask important questions like how much time they might need for set-up, for the actual activity, if breaks are involved, etc. Staying on track with a set agenda is important for you, your vendors, and your guests.
8. Think of Everything from Every Angle
Now that’s heavy! Go through the event as an attendee from arriving at the facility (are there visible signs for parking, entry, registration) to using the restrooms. Then go through the event behind the scenes and as each vendor–this will help you see any missed details like extra power, additional amenities located in restrooms, or even the need for parking attendants.
9. Be Prepared
Create a Plan B and even a Plan C, where necessary. Don’t get stuck thinking that your event isn’t susceptible to last-minute changes and uncooperative weather.
10. Follow Up
Requesting feedback from planners, guests, and those behind the scenes is essential, especially if the event will occur again in the future. The follow-up process can even begin prior to the event beginning–reach out to guests to ensure their RSVP status and to make sure they don’t have any questions. Establish a guest services experience that is sure to please from start to finish.