Tips For Planning Your Event
- Understand what your event’s purpose is
After you have decided that you would like to host an event, the first step that you need to take is to determine what you want to achieve.
Brian Worley, owner and creative director of B. Worley Productions says that it is critical to know what the objectives and goals are for the event you are attempting to produce before doing anything else.
Begin by asking why you want to host the event and what you are expecting from it. After you have identified your expectations and goals, you can then decide what type of event will resonate the best with your audience.
Serena Holmes, Tigris Events CEO says that instead of thinking of it as only a corporate view, view it as you are delivering a brand experience that is interactive. You want your event to be engaging and meaningful.
- Determine who your audience is
An important component of your planning process is to define your target audience. Is it the company’s community members, business partners, or upper management and executives? Is it for prospective clients or your longtime clients? Perhaps it is a combination of all or some of them. Determining who your target audience is and figuring out how to best reach them is critical to having a successful event. After your audience has been named, you can cater your program to their interests and needs.
It is always quite stressful trying to figure out how many guests should be invited to these types of events. However, Julian Jost co-founder and CEO of Spacebase, says it is better for too many people to be invited rather than too few.
Jost says that for small businesses, uneaten snacks and empty seats waste money and look bad. In most situations, an event is not really going to be spoiled if too many people end up showing up – except when a three-course meal has been planned or is taking place in a venue that has very limited space. If too many people show up, it is great marketing as well. The next day it is sure to create a real buzz and will provide added anticipation for your next event.
No matter how large or small your guest list is, the thing that people are going to remember is the way they were treated. Valerie Gernauser, principal planner and owner of Sapphire Events says that every person who attends an event is a word-of-mouth spokesperson or brand ambassador for your business. It is essential to significantly impact your guest experience by not neglecting the fine details that every attendee will be able to appreciate.
- Set a budget that is realistic
It is important to determine the amount of money you have available to know what kind of event you can produce. Worley says decide early on in the process how much money you would like to spend, and then expect to spend 10% more at least.
He says that things change constantly and you need to have a cushion for unexpected and additional expenses that may arise.
After you have set your budget, it is essential to allocate most of the resources. For example, your event may lack substance if you spend more money on decoration compared to personable speakers or a talented tech crew.
Also, do not skimp on beverages or food, and take guests with dietary restrictions into account. Although this might not seem to be as important as other event planning aspects, audiences will be more forgiving of mistakes when they are not thirsty or hungry.