Event Planning 101
As event specialists, we know a thing or two about putting one together that makes your participants feel welcomed and engaged. No matter the type of event from an evening cocktail party to a product launch to a community 5K, there are some universal truths about what needs to be done so that everything goes off without a hitch.
Secure your location early
This is a no-brainer. You can’t have an event without a location. But, and this is important, your job isn’t over once the location is selected. At a minimum, you need check it out in-person a few hours ahead of time. Even better, do a run-through a day or two beforehand so that you can troubleshoot any unforeseen issues.
Send save the date announcements
While people may not be “committers,” most are planners. You’ll want to let them know your event is coming up using email, social media and USPS if needed.
Develop an event flow with timing
This step ensures not only that the proper amount of time has been allocated for your event but also that everyone involved in its planning and execution is on the same page.
Determine who will be doing what
Along those same lines, think ahead to who will be doing what. Can you use only your staff or will you need to hire professionals or secure volunteers? Assignments could include event set up and tear down, catering , music, announcers/emcees, and people to coordinate various aspects of the event such as speakers, volunteers and others.
Be prepared to go with the flow
Things don’t always go as planned. Once for a tech client, we had planned a wonderful trip to the mountains for a private dinner at a small restaurant. Inclement weather and concerns about potential canyon flooding prevented us from going the “pretty way” through the mountains, which was a large part of the draw. We were able to still make the (less pretty highway) drive fun by shifting it to more of a networking opportunity with appetizers and beverages.
Most importantly, have fun!
Trust me, people won’t know if something minor goes off the rails. And even if it’s a more major thing that ends up sideways, most folks are very forgiving. Besides, if you have a good time, others will as well.We’d love to help you plan your next event. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.