Planning an event can seem daunting at first. From the event space, entertainment, and vendors to seating arrangements and more, there’s so much to keep track of. The best way to ensure that your event runs smoothly is by staying organized. You can follow this Event Planning 101: 8 Step Guide to Planning a Successful Event to help you stay on top of things.
Whether you’re an inexperienced event planner arranging a family gathering or a professional interested in a future in event planning, you can use this Event Planning 101 Guide when planning your next event.
If you’ve ever read the book “How Do You Eat an Elephant? One Bite at a Time” by Bill Hogan, you will know that the key to getting a big task done is to break it up into small, manageable steps.
Whether you’re planning a hybrid event or a celebration, follow these simple steps to ensure that your event goes exactly as planned.
Before you can get started with the planning process, one of the most important steps is to determine what the goals for the event are. This must be done by assembling all those involved to agree upon the event’s objective.
Is it a virtual event that aims to provide information about a company, or is it one of those large events designed to celebrate women? Whatever the goal of your event, all your planning efforts should work towards achieving those goals.
Setting a solid foundation for the event planning process is key. It’s important to have clear vision of what you would like to achieve by hosting the event.
Setting goals also gives your event direction and keeps everyone on your team in sync.
When you set goals and objectives at the start of the planning process, you give your event direction. Without clear goals, your event will not go as planned.
Your Goals Become Your Ally
Make a list of your objectives once you’ve decided on them. Include the details of these objectives in your contracts with various vendors. That way, if a dispute arises, you’ll be able to refer back to your established objectives that were agreed upon at the start of the planning process.
These goals will become your partner, preventing the event from straying too far from the original plan and keeping you focused. Additionally, upon completion of each event each goal should be measured (1-10) to assess achievement in the post-event debriefing.
With clearly defined goals in hand, you can work towards ensuring that the event meets the host’s standards.
While you may want to begin by deciding on your theme and color scheme, it is best to start by determining what the overall objective is before working out the details. When assessing your goals for the event, be sure to ask yourself these questions:
After the objectives have been established, it’s time to allocate roles and responsibilities. One of the most significant services event planners could offer is clarity.
In fact, minimizing confusion should be the focus of everything you do when planning an event!
By communicating clearly with each team member, you help to get everyone on the same page and ensure that everyone is working toward the predetermined goals.
Ideally, duties should be assigned during an initial meeting with the various key role players in the event. It’s advisable to assign roles and tasks at the beginning of the event planning process to get management or stakeholders involved.
Costs can accumulate when planning an event, so developing a basic budget early on can help you keep track of your spending and make good choices as you finalize vendor agreements.
99 percent of events have a strict or limited budget, which is given as a general figure. You will use that budget to create a basic outline of what you expect to spend on each vendor, allowing you to manage your expenditures and vendor selections successfully.
Here are common expenses that you may need to budget for:
Once you’ve drawn up a basic budget, it’s time to finalize the event logistics. Depending on the season, the size of the event, and the type of venue, you may need to book the venue months in advance.
By determining when and where you want to have your event, you can narrow down your options. Look at venues in the location you have agreed on, consider your options in that location, and book a venue quite easily by reserving it for the predetermined date and time.
When choosing a date and time, be sure to take public holidays and the availability of your guests in mind.
A strict timeline and a detailed schedule will be critical to your success during the event planning process.
Begin by creating a rough plan of action using your budget as your guide. This can be a few scribbled notes in a notebook with the information of a few vendors and a to-do list.
Make notes of details like the date, time, location, and how many guests you expect to host.
Consider creating a more comprehensive master plan as everything starts to come together. The more comprehensive your event strategy or plan is, the better you’ll be at managing the different components without anything going wrong.
Here are some of the things you should include in your plan:
If you’re organizing an event with a group of people, try building a dashboard or shareable plan to keep track of who’s accountable for what and to view the team’s progress at a glance.
It might be a good idea to use event management software if you are working with a large team to ensure that everyone is on board and working toward the same goals.
At this stage, you should already have an idea of which vendors you will need for the event. Contact vendors, get quotations, and narrow down your options by looking at your budget, what value the vendor can add to the event and the company’s reputation.
Before deciding on which vendors to go with, schedule a meeting with each of them to discuss your requirements and expectations and learn more about the company.
When negotiating terms and payment arrangements, be sure to keep your budget in mind.
One of the most important steps in this Event Planning 101 Guide is promoting the event because there’s no point in planning the entire event if no one shows up to enjoy it.
Whether the event is public or private, marketing is essential. Regardless of what method you choose to market the event, it is vital to start early to ensure that you reach enough people.
If you are planning a public event, you may need to pay more attention to your marketing strategy. Here are some of the means you can use to market an event effectively:
A week before the event, you will need to review your plan and check whether everything is moving along as planned. This is a good time to finalize any last-minute details.
You should also check in on your vendors to ensure that they are ready and have the information they might need from you. This may include final numbers, seating arrangements, and other last-minute details.
Next, you will need to finalize the event itinerary. You might want to create a checklist for your team at this point to ensure that everyone knows which tasks are still outstanding.
Lastly, you will need to contact the venue, finalize details, and make sure everything is on track. You should also test any equipment that you might need.
If something isn’t working, you will have enough time to replace it before the event.
To be successful as an event planner, you will need to have the following skills to pull off successful events every time:
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At LIV Technical, we combine meticulous planning with impeccable execution, so you can rest assured that your event will be flawless. Contact us today to find out more about our event production services!