8 Steps to Planning a Successfull Event
The first step of planning an event is to create an overall goal into why the event is being organised, and what it is going to achieve. It is best to imagine the end result, what you are going to have accomplished after the event. This will define how the whole event is organised and will allow all the following planning processes to have a structure to work towards.
Organise a Team
Any event will require a team of people to be able to handle all of the details and processes required to make sure everything runs smoothly and all areas are covered effectively. Each event will be different and will require different human resources for different areas, however there are a few subjects that will need to be managed when organising any type of event these include: venue management; entertainment/ activities/refreshments, publicity and sponsors, human resources and the budget.
Create a Master Plan
This plan should encompass all aspects of the event and should be as detailed as possible, the more detailed the master plan is the easier the event will be to put into practice. Consider these main areas when planning:
- Venue logistics and catering management (contracts, permits, insurance, etc.)
- Publicity/promotion (online & off-line, e.g. 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.)
- Sponsor/partnerships management
- Human resources (people, volunteers, staff, etc)
- Finances (available finance, budgets, costs, etc.)
Find the right Location and Venue
It is essential that your location and venue is big enough to stage the event that you are planning and can cope with the demand of any equipment, activities and the people that you are wanting to attend. Make sure that your venue is easy to find and close to where you are based, that there is suitable parking, space and access for any equipment, vehicles or activities you need to cater for. Consider holding your event in different and unique environments. Unconventional locations and venues will draw attention to your event, however make sure this still keeps with being able to address your identified needs and is adaptable to the target groups you want to attract.
Set a Date
GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME. Be aware of statutory and religious holidays. Be aware of any events or activities which may impact the attendance of your event on that date. Check dates with key participants – e.g, speakers, presenters, VIP guests, etc and then finalise the date.
Brand Your Event
To make sure your event stands out you need to create a brand for your event that sets you apart from your competition. This will include creating a dynamic name, theme, tagline and logo. This needs to directly appeal to the target audience of your event and get their attention. A good way to devise this is to brainstorm with your whole team, keeping in mind the goal of your event, how your event is different to your competitions and how you want to portray your event to the target audiences.
Identify and Establish Partnerships & Sponsors
To make your event more successful or share costs you may wish to get sponsorship whilst creating partnerships with other like minded businesses; these partnerships and sponsors might help to create added funds for the event, increased promotion and increased creditability with your chosen target audience.
Create a Publicity Plan
Even with the most interesting and exciting event it will need to be well publicised. Event promotion should start with an initial ‘Save this date in your diary’ notice, you should then build up your activities to include both online and offline publicity, media events and ongoing outreach to encourage the highest possible attendance, make sure you remember to plan those post event compliments .
Create an Event Calendar
Place all your plans into a calendar that combines the different planning processes,possibly creating a gannt chart dependent on the size of the event and schedule regular meetings to make sure everything is going to plan. If you keep to all your activity deadlines you are sure to be ready on time for your event.
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