Basics of successful eventplanning
Eventplanning is very time consuming and you should start early enough. Below you find 10 steps to be considered when planning an event.
10 Steps to Get You Started With Event Planning
1. Develop Event Goal and Objectives
The very first step is to establish a tangible goal and objectives of the event. (e.g., why are you organizing this event and what do you hope to achieve?)
2. Organize a Team
Any event takes a concerted team effort to handle all of the details. Consider identifying one key Event Manager as well as individual Chairpersons for subcommittees, such as:
• venue management
• transportation, accomodation
• teambuilding or other activities
3. Set a Date
The date might already be pre-set for a reoccurring event, but if this is a new event, be sure to consider the following before firming up your date:
• Give yourself enough time! Ideally, you should have 4-6 months to plan (depending on the nature of your event). Complex events, such as incentives, may require lead time up to 12 months or even more.
• Be aware of statutory and religious holidays
• Avoid school holiday time periods (e.g., winter, spring and summer holidays)
• Check dates with key participants – e.g., board of directors, speakers, presenters, VIP guests, etc.
4. Brand Your Event
If you want your event to stand out, you need to choose a timely and compelling theme that sets you apart from your competition. This means that you need to come up with an appealing overall theme and you need to take great care with the actual name – since it can be a key attention-getter, especially in online media.
• Brainstorm names: When you are brainstorming the event name, think about:
o how is your event different from other events in your sector or compared to previous events of the same charakter?
o what are you hoping to convey through this event?
• Create a Tagline: Once you’ve come up with a name, also try to craft a tagline – a short, memorable slogan which describes the event correctly.
• Design a Logo: The final step will be having a logo created to represent your event. A logo can be an effective branding tool – offering immediate recognition of your event in all of your publicity items (e.g., Tshirts, water bottles, bags, etc.)
5. Create a Master Plan:
This plan should encompass all aspects of the event, including:
• Venue, logistics & catering management, accomodation (contracts, permits, insurance, etc.)
• Speakers/presenters (identifying, confirming, logistics & management)
• Management of the different suppliers, such as AV-companies
• Activities such as teambuilding/entertainment
• Publicity/promotion (online & off-line, e.g.,: web page & online promotion; events calendars; printed programs; media relations; signage; social media, etc.)
• Registration of participants (online sign-up, payment and tracking; on-site sign-in, etc.)
• Sponsor/partner management
6. Determine Administrative Processes
In other words, how are you going to keep track of your planning, registration, budget, guest and speakers lists, etc.?
If available you can make use of an event management software. You`ve to determine how to best organize and track all of your event information.
7. Identify and Establish Partnerships & Sponsors
Are there organizations that you could partner with or call on for sponsorships to cover the expenses 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 companies 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 the event
8. Create a Publicity Plan
Even with the most amazing speaker or entertainment line-up, you need publicity to get people take part. Event promotion starts with the initial notice or page on your website or/and intranet, note in your newsletter or email to save the date, and then builds to include online and off-line publicity, media relations and on-going outreach to encourage registration and participation. And no plan is complete without the "post-event thank-you’s", sponsor acknowledgements and articles about the event’s key messages or fundraising success.
9. Establish a Budget
Your budget should incorporate estimates for all of the key items identified on your Event Master Plan. Don’t forget to include any travel or accommodation costs for speakers, presenters, artists etc.
10. Determine Evaluation Process
How will you determine if your event is a success? Do you measure success by the number of registrants or attendees?
When you set your initial event goals and objectives, you should also consider how you will evaluate the event to determine your success.
If the objective of your event is to raise awareness, you’ll have to benchmark and gather data on online social media activity/mentions etc. and offline publicity – again based on your initial goals.
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