Planning an event can often be stressful and can leave event organisers feeling overwhelmed. Try these practical tips to ease the stress and plan a memorable and effective event.
Start planning as soon as you can. If your event is going to be large, you should aim to start planning four to six months in advance. Smaller events will need at least a month to plan. Try to keep the final run-up to the event running as smoothly as possible by making sure all your vendor contracts are completed a few weeks before the event. Make sure you leave yourself enough time for things like arranging road closures if you need them with a traffic control company.
While you’re planning an event, things will always change. It might be the event times, the location, or even the kind of event that you have to host. Make sure you stay flexible so you can meet these changing demands without a panic.
Despite what a lot of vendors might try to tell you, everything is negotiable. Remember that with every event there will be costs you didn’t foresee, so try to negotiate as low a price as you can. Determine what your budget is before you meet a vendor, and offer to pay 5 to 10% lower than this. You vendor might come back with a higher price, but they want your business, so you’re in a good position.
Break up all the various parts of your event into sections, like registration, catering, or transport, and assign a section to each member of your team. As they are solely responsible for their own section, they will be a lot more aware of small details and changes.
Create A Shared Document
There are many benefits to the cloud, and they make collaborating with your team much easier. In order to keep everyone on the same page, you need to create a central manual or document that details everything about the event. Include vendor contracts, attendee information, and the floor plan. With a shared document, everyone can refer back to it if they aren’t sure of something. Your whole team will be able to spot if something is wrong.
Have A Backup Plan
It’s rare that an event is pulled off without any issues at all. Something might not turn up, or an important person might be late. Assess the most important parts of your event, and create a backup plan for each. If a few issues come up, triage them, and decide whether an alternative can be used, or if it should be cut from the event.
Do A Run Through
About two weeks before your event, do a run-through of the whole event process. Arrange a meeting with your team and walk through everything, from the set-up to the follow-up. Complications can come up at these meetings, giving you time to correct them. A few days before the event, have another run through at your venue.