Planning an event can be a daunting task. Whether you’re planning a small social gathering or a large-scale conference, it’s important to plan ahead and create a strong, organized plan. With the right strategy, you can ensure that all aspects of your event go smoothly and that every team member is held accountable for their tasks.
Event planning is an iterative process that involves a lot of moving parts. It requires a strong event master plan that covers all the major aspects of your event, including:
Your Event Goals
Before you start planning, it’s critical to understand why you’re running your event in the first place. Identify your core purpose and essential outcome for the event, such as profit, fundraising, brand awareness, lead generation, community engagement or product launch. This will help you focus on the best strategies and tactics to achieve your goals and avoid spending time on things that aren’t necessary or relevant.
You can also determine a goal for each stage of the event. For example, you might want to attract 50 guests for the opening dinner, or 500 attendees for the final keynote. Knowing your goals will make it easier to create a strategy that maximizes attendance and improves the event experience.
Organizing Your Event Budget
The budget for your event is the foundation on which all other planning decisions are made. It should include everything from venue and food to marketing and A/V costs. It should also take into account the cost of staff, so make sure you budget accordingly.
Creating a solid budget will allow you to generate ideas within a realistic scope, which means you’ll be less likely to spend on things that aren’t worth it. You’ll also have an idea of how much money you have available to spend, which will help you prioritize your priorities.
The next step in planning your event is to find a location that will work for your audience. This can be a big decision, so it’s crucial to research a venue and choose one that’s the best fit for your goals. Consider factors like capacity, wifi, parking, restrooms and accessibility.
Your Event Master Plan
Once you’ve got your budget and a venue in place, it’s time to start working on your event master plan. This includes defining your event’s purpose and goal, selecting the right people to run your events, setting a timeline and planning the logistics for your attendees.
Assigning roles to different members of your team will keep them in line and will improve productivity. The same goes for delegating tasks, tracking progress and making sure everyone’s deadlines are met.
Using free productivity tools can help you get your team on the same page and keep your events in sync. These can include free event management software, which will allow you to manage all of your events on one platform and track the progress of each member of your team.
Partnering and Sponsors
For many events, partnerships and sponsors can help defray costs and increase participation. This can include national organizations, local businesses or even individuals who may be interested in donating a prize or other items to your event.