Successful Event Planning 101
Event planning can be nerve-wracking for anyone, even the most organized person. 'Tis the season for holiday parties, and we are here to ease your anxieties. Follow these simple tips to ensure low-stress planning.
First things first – determine how you want your event to look and feel, overall. Be sure to consider the type of event, number of attendees (and who they will be), the event’s purpose and any goals you’d like your function to accomplish. Now that we’ve outlined the underlying parameters, it’s time to walk through the planning checklist.
Speaking of making checklists – you’ll need to make one for your event. Creating a step-by-step guide to your event and all that it entails, will ensure that it flows smoothly.
Develop a specific budget. This will be your financial blueprint and should include revenue opportunities and potential expenses.
Schedule a venue. We recommend looking at all venue options before setting a date, if possible. When looking at different venues, it’s important to consider the location’s capacity and what additional amenities you may need - think: special needs for ramps, stage and sound equipment, tables and chairs and so on.
Set the menu. Think about the time of day your event will be held and develop a menu from there (breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks). Drinks are also a critical element of the menu. If you plan to have alcohol available at your event, be sure to remind guests to drink responsibly, and consider any permits you may need in order to serve alcoholic beverages.
Spread the word. Strategize your marketing and publicity plan so that you reach all of your target markets.
Don’t forget the entertainment. Are you planning on having a speaker or entertainer of some type? Reach out to them immediately and help provide accommodations for them, such as lodging and any special requests they may have.
Evaluate the parking parameters. Is there enough parking for all of your expected guests? What about designated parking for special guests or vendors? Be sure to thoroughly communicate any specific parking instructions beforehand.
Ask your guests for feedback. This will ensure increased success for events to come. Create an anonymous evaluation form so that guests aren’t hesitant to speak their minds.
Relax and reflect. Your event is complete! Reflect on what went well and what you weren’t happy with. Make notes and fix it next time. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you’ve done!
This blog post was adapted from NonProfit People.