Planning an event is something that requires a lot of hard work and concentration, especially if it is your first time doing it.
We’ve experienced the pain that almost all of us find in the event planning business, but then we found a great and simple solution.
To make an event stand out is almost as hard as being an apple in the supermarket and trying to stand out from the others in the same basket. So, before you start searching for a venue, finding people to help you out, reaching out to partners and sponsors or getting volunteers, you should start with something easier.
By following our easy 10 step guide, you’ll have your event set up in no time.
Before we start I just want you to know that we also offer this guide in a Slideshare presentation. Just click here to see it.
1. Develop the event objectives
You should answer the following questions first, then you can answer others. These first two will help you define your mission, as well as the final objective that you want to achieve with this event.
- Why am I doing this event?
- What am I expecting to accomplish?
2. Write down everything that you’ll need
At this moment, you should not worry about your future budget. In many cases, you can meet a lot of those needs by doing partnerships.
The questions you should focus on taking care of right now is:
- What will be the venuefor your event?
- Who will be the speakersthat you would like to have? Organize the list by relevance.
- What kind of activities and entertainmentare you thinking of providing?
- Are you going to advertisethe event?
- Do you have in mind what kind of partnerships and sponsorshipsyou can gain?
- Will Volunteers be necessary? Yes or no?
3. Set a Schedule
If the event happens regularly you don’t have to think about this, but if it is a new event consider:
- 4 to 6 months of preparation
- Pay attention to federal and religious holidays
- Avoid times that fall during school holidays
- Start calling the major participants of your event in order to check availability
4. Event Branding
Next, think about the ambitions and essence of the proposed event.
Think about your personal style and vision to develop the event’s branding. This is crucial to connecting with your target audience.
Names brainstorming: When thinking about what to name your event consider:
- How does your event differentiate itself from the competition?
- What do you expect to achieve with this event?
- Create a simple slogan. Example: Youcanevent – “Easy event planning”
- Design your logo
5. Define your plan with a notepad
This plan is not the same as the one mentioned in section 2. At this point you must write down everything that will be essential for your event. However, you should always get ideas from what you have written in section 2.
You must include:
- Venue, logistics & catering management (contracts, permits, insurance, etc.)
b) Speakers/presenters (identifying, confirming, logistics & management)
- Publicity/promotion (online & off-line, ex: web page & online promotion; events calendars; printed programs; media relations; signage; social media, etc.)
- Registration (online sign-up, payment and tracking, on-site sign-in, etc.)
b) Sponsor/partner management
- Volunteer management
Keep going you’re halfway there!
6. Define the Management or Managers of the event
In other words, address people from your team to control the different processes during the event.
- Are you going to handle the means of arrival for the guests or will it be someone else?
- Who will be in charge of the check in of the attendees?
- Who is going to oversee vendor deliveries and set-up of the event?
7. Identify and establish partnerships and sponsorships
Are there any organizations that you could partner with, or call on for sponsorships, to lower the overall costs and increase potential participation?
When you involve other people or groups in your event, they have a stake in helping spread the word and making the event a success.
You might want to consider:
- Seeking corporate sponsors to fund a portion of the event. This can range from national organizations that might want to sponsor a dinner, offer a door prize or a key silent auction item, to local businesses that might be able to provide goods or services, such as flowers for the tables, gift bag items, etc
- Partnering with community organizations who might be able to offer a venue and/or assistance with organizing or staffing an event
8. Creating an Advertisement Plan
The best way to advertise your event is:
- Make phone calls to the most important and influential people within the industry of your event
- Advertise via social media (Facebook and if you have video YouTube works well), with the creation of Facebook groups and events to add all the attendees and keep them notified with updates of your event.
- Create graphics (flyers, posters and invitation cards), which work very well to provide a 1 on 1 relationship to the event
- Create an online ticketing system in order to help monitor the average number of attendees, as well as secure a commitment to attendance.
- Find your key influencers and pay or ask them to talk about your event
- Define a small number of Ambassadors (most of the time they come from key influencers) and give them the job of “Celebrity PR” (public relations).
9. Finally, set a budget!
You should consider all the topics mentioned in points 5 and 8. The partnerships and sponsorships mentioned in point 7 could be very helpful in regards to decreasing the overall budget.
10. How will you define the success of your event?
How are you going to measure the success of your event? There are different metrics on events success evaluation, and you should only choose the ones that suits you best:
- Number of attendees
- Donations raised
- Number of interactions after the event
- Social media promotion (if the crowd was responsive to your hashtag for example)
- Number of sales generated after you offered coupons
- Increased awareness on the industry because of celebrities and key influencers present at your event.
By following these 10 steps you will be ready to plan your event and make it memorable for everyone.