Are you wondering how to plan an event. It can be a little like learning alchemy, but it is possible to think about how to plan an event. It starts with a vision and budget. Then you transform it into an event that has many guests and moving parts.
There are many details that can vary depending on the event. There are ten steps that you can count on, regardless of the event.
These steps are outlined in this article, as well as many tried-and-true tips and tricks for organizing an event. We wish you all the best!
It is important to recognize that people are seeking more than just an event. They want an experience. Every element of an event must be tied back to its purpose, from the venue and the food.
To determine that purpose, you need to work with key stakeholders. The “Meetings Imagined” framework by Marriott does a wonderful job of distilling this concept down into seven possible purposes.
- Celebrate – Recognizing an Achievement or Milestone ( Exemple: One Millionth Customer Celebration).
- Decide Outlining strategies and a path forward in a certain manner ( Exemple: Quarterly board meeting).
- Educate To be used for professional or educational development ( Exemple: SaaS user conference).
- Idea – Working together to create new ideas or approaches ( Exemple: An internal design sprint).
- Network –Open doors for people with common interests to connect ( Exemple: Tradeshow).
- Produce-Attendees collaborate towards a goal ( Exemple: Volunteer event).
- Promote- Communicating new offerings or ideas in order to create desire among a new audience ( Exemple: Product Launch Party).
How do you measure success?
Working with events company Manchester is an important part of collaboration. It’s crucial to agree on how you will determine the success of your event based upon the purpose. Although attendance is an indicator of success, it doesn’t matter what the purpose of the meeting, there are often multiple layers to success.
If the event’s purpose is to promote a product, then the measure of success will be the number and quality of leads that your sales team generates. For an event whose purpose is education, the key measure of success will be the quality of content translated into attendee engagement.
Event planner success depends on your ability not only to create successful events but also to communicate this success to others based on shared performance indicators.
Lock in your event budget
The purpose of your event is dependent on how you view it from a visionary standpoint. However, when it comes down to execution, the reality of what you can achieve boils down to the budget. This number will likely come from your stakeholders and there won’t always be wiggle space. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t negotiate.
Tips to negotiate a larger event budget
Negotiating an Event Budget is where the language of most stakeholders is data. If you don’t have past events, it’s likely that you don’t possess enough data to support your case.
You will need to do some extra work to get the budget you desire. We’ll show you how to map every part of your event. Spend money and make an educated estimate of the cost of the event. Next comes the most important. Ask!
Although you may not be in a position to get enough money to close the gap, you may be able make ends meet by having a little more budget for the pieces that matter most to you.
How to budget for an event
The majority of your money will go towards the venue rental, food, beverage, and A/V costs for a typical event. There are many other places these funds came from. Check out the infographic below, which we created using exclusive survey data from Social Tables.
To avoid over-budgeting, ensure that each item is included in your budget when you plan your event budget.
Tip: Budget concerns aside, there are hidden expenses you should be aware of, such as last-minute printing jobs or additional audio/visual materials. To protect yourself in the event of any new ideas or additional costs, estimate anywhere from 3-10% to your total cost and include it within your budget.
Find out who your potential customers are.
Once you have figured out the “why” of your event, you can now decide “who” should attend. It’s often a question about 1) who is going to benefit from this event, or 2) who needs be there to help you achieve your goal.
It is easy to put together and reach a guest list for small events where your audience is well-known. For larger events, such as a conference or community event, it is easier to put together and reach a guest list.
The power of attending personas
Your potential attendees have different learning styles and preferences when planning large events. Using the same strategy at all stages of the event would result in a decrease in engagement.
It is easier to group potential attendees into personas that are based on commonalities, the larger and more diverse the audience. These personas can be used to create more targeted tactics that appeal to the people you are trying to reach.
This is a real-life example showing how to plan around people
Experience has a collection of 20+ personas that help event planners gain a better understanding of attendees’ motivations. Planners used some of these personas at a conference hosted by the company to help them plan unique experiences.
One of these peopleas was the “be wellster”, a type of attendee that is focused on holistic health and wellbeing. The Experient team designed runs, yoga sessions and healthy meals for this persona. There was even breakout time to allow for meditation during the session.
While your event might not be as sophisticated as Experient’s event, all events can benefit from personalization. When you look at the next layer of the “who” puzzle, there is always more to the “who” riddle.
Choose a venue that suits your event’s purpose and budget. These are some of the things you should know.
According to , a great destination can increase attendance by up to 80%, according to a recent study. This is just one reason why it’s so important. This has enormous implications for content delivery success and attendee engagement.
Setting the stage for a play is a simple way to look at choosing a venue. A great play can’t be produced with the wrong set-up stage. So what is the best backdrop for your purpose? It should also be affordable.
The internet has made it much easier to search for venues, particularly with the advent of site search engines. Planners can search for venues and filter the results according to event details. They can also submit electronic requests for proposals (eRFPs).
You can also work with the conventions and visitors bureau (CVB) of the host city for larger events. These non-profits are funded by tax money in major cities. They help to connect events with venues and planners at no cost.
Consider rates, dates, space, and other factors.
Are you looking for tips on choosing an event venue which will work? You can generally find the right venue for your event by looking at it in terms “rates, dates, space”
Get started with rates
Your financial reality will limit your options for venue venues. We don’t have the obligation to tell you! So, the search begins here. You can do some research to find the venues that are most affordable. Although you may not know the exact cost of your event, you will be able to determine if it is possible.
You can start assembling a list of these venues quickly without much effort, other than to make sure that they have enough space. You will find the right venue for you. We will help you to narrow down the options.
Space is a way to narrow down.
You may have looked at the capacity of the venue when you first created your list. But it is important to consider how the space will accommodate the specific needs of your event, beyond headcount.
Although you won’t have all the details you need to make a decision between the finalists, these questions about “space” will help you to get there.
It’s time to start talking dates.
Now you can narrow down your list to a few venues that might work for you event. This will help you narrow down your choices to the finalists.
You might be limited if you have a date in mind. If your date is flexible, you might be able to lower your quote. Many venues will offer to schedule you elsewhere on the calendar if you are unable to move on a busy date.
Send your RFPs and get ready for negotiations.
Once you have your final list, you will need to send a request to proposal to many of them (especially hotels). Get a price quote for your event. If the venue or hotel sees sufficient potential value in your RFP they will send you a proposal detailing their price and the details of the services that are included.
The details of the proposal don’t have to be set in stone in most cases. With some experience and confidence, can negotiate a venue contract that is much better than the original proposal. Remember to always request a site inspection in person before signing the contract.
Establish the event team.
You will need someone to help you, even if your event is small. You’ll need several sets. You’ll be stretched thin if your focus is on all aspects of planning an event, even though you might have the perfect vision. You might also not be a great expert in digital marketing.
Your role as director is that of the visionary. You are responsible for assembling your team and making sure all wheels are moving in the right direction.
There are several team members who can assist you depending on the event’s size. This is your “internal team”. You will also need to work with suppliers and venue representatives.
This post will cover the basics of a marketing plan. But, we are confident that you may need an expert to help promote your event. Marketing experts can help you create a cohesive strategy that spans multiple channels to increase your reach and draw people to your event. Make the most of your marketing budget!
Administrators of Programs
Content is crucial to the success and promotion of your event. Your program administrator(s), will assist you in creating and executing a compelling agenda to keep attendees engaged for the entire event.
Events must follow the rules and not break the bank. This can be more difficult for larger events. An accountant or treasurer can help you keep your finances in order, and ensure that your budget is within reach. You will definitely need an accountant if you are putting on a fundraiser.
What is your event logo? What are your colors? What are your colors? How will you bring the personality (e.g. brand and voice) to life? These are all questions that creative professionals like copywriters and graphic designers can answer. This team works closely with your marketing team to ensure that all collateral and communications reflect your brand.
A strong marketing plan will help you promote your event.
Your ability to attract registrations is a key factor in the success of your event. This is unless you are planning an all-hands meeting or another type of meeting where everyone can show up by simply sending an email. You must spread the word to get registrations.
A strong event marketing strategy is essential. However, there are no single-size solutions. Some events will benefit more from a strategy that relies on local SEO and small partnerships (ex. weekly farmer’s market); while others might need a more aggressive strategy that focuses on social media (ex. industry conference).
Remember, promotion is almost universal. However, the art of creating the right marketing plan can be difficult. There are three major channels that you will likely be focusing your marketing efforts.
These are just a few of the social media platforms that can help you expand your reach: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. While targeted ads on Instagram or Facebook will likely consume the majority of your budget, each channel has its strengths and you can capitalize on them. These are the social-media tips that each platform offers.
Facebook provides targeted advertising capabilities that allow marketers to target hyper-specific groups of users. A “events page” is another option that you’ll likely enjoy.
Tip: Since 2016, content usage on Facebook increased 57%. Event marketers must think of ways to differentiate posts and ads from all the other content available on Facebook.
The platform is used by more than 1,000,000 users each month, 71% being under 35. It’s a great way to reach millennials! The platform is highly visual, so photos and design are crucial to this young audience.
Tip:Don’t sleep on Instagram Stories! Statista reports that there are more than 400 million Instagram users who create stories each day.
It can be thought of as your water cooler. It’s where you can have frequent conversations with people that you know. It can be used to share the news, fun tidbits and tag speakers and sponsors.
Tip: Start conversations with potential partners, sponsors and other potential partners to expand your reach.