Events

How to Plan an Event

Here are very essential steps to consider in the planning stage of your event;

  1. DATE

Setting a date is one of the most important items when planning an event because everything revolves around the date of your event. Ideally you want to have three potential dates in mind so that you can compare availability and prices across the board.

 

  1. TIME FRAME

If you are planning a strictly formal event, you need to work with the set time frame.

In today’s world, you need to be cautious of time as timing is of great importance, even an hour difference can make an impact on your planning, so you really need to get specific about your anticipated time frames. For example, starting at 10am instead of 8am means you may not need to allocate a breakfast budget. Keep to time, you earn respect and people get to talk positively about you.

 

  1. ATTENDANCE NUMBERS

Attendance numbers are often broadly estimated for productive negations and to ensure that the event is well funded, but you need to ensure to be realistic with your attendance projections. Discuss in advance who you will invite and put your projections together on a spreadsheet. Attendance and budget are directly correlated, so don’t haphazardly guess about the number of people you think will attend as it could be a loss. Attendance numbers also determine the amount of space needed for the event.

 

  1. VENUE

When organizing an event, you are confronted by many decisions. However, choosing a venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event. Critical planning information, such as the date for the event, is dependent on the venue you select. Understandably, making this choice can be a bit intimidating as it can be hard to know what to look for when selecting a venue.

Before you begin your search, there are a few things you’ll want to have a strong understanding of:

  • Budget
  • Number of attendees
  • Season
  • Type of event (formal, high-tech, etc.)

Once you have an idea of these things, you can begin your search for a venue. Having the venue booked at least six months in advance will ensure that you have the date of your event set in stone. You won’t be able to measure costs until you define how much space you need, which is determined by the attendance numbers.

The season of the set date for the event is also important in selecting the venue for the event as there are two major types of event venues: Outdoor venue and indoor venue. If the set date falls during the raining season, it is advisable to choose an indoor venue for the event.

 

  1. BUDGET VS COSTS
    A budget guides you through your spending journey. A budget is better drawn before knowing the venue, catering costs and other costs. It might sound impractical, but working this way provides a benchmark for you to measure all of vendor proposals. Begin with your revenue sources. How much should you charge for attendance? Will you call on sponsors to help offset costs? What will exhibitors pay to participate? Revenues will ultimately dictate your budget, so it only makes sense to project them first.

 

  1. VENDORS

Tell me about a successful event and I will tell you about a team of reliable vendors. It can’t be overstated: Your events will be marred by even one bad vendor. Just as a bad apple ruins the lot, one bad vendor may leave a bad image in your client’s mind of the event as a whole. It’s hard to erase these images from the minds of your client and the attendees. To find top-rate vendors, you must do your due diligence.

When it comes to finding the best vendors, the best idea, successful event planners say, is to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. Ask other event planners and clients about their experiences with vendors. The names of the best—and worst—vendors will be mentioned again and again. Keep a list of both those that are recommended and those with tarnished reputations. With these lists in hand, start researching the vendors on your A-list, recording the following information:

  • Vendor name, address and contact information
  • Area of service
  • Prices
  • Lead times required
  • Payment policy
  • Refund policy
  • Discounts offered
  • Specialty items/services
  • Insurance coverage
  • Types of licenses and permits held

This vendor file is extremely important because it can save you hours of research time down the road. By having all this information right at your fingertips, you’ll be able to conduct your vendor searches more effectively. Keep building this file as each new event comes along.

Before you hire a vendor for the first time, find out all you can about the company’s history. Ask for letters of reference, too. Or ask if you can attend an event at which the vendor is providing a service. Once you’re satisfied, make sure you have a document indicating what the company will do for your event.

 

  1. TRANSPORTATION 

Mobility is very essential in planning any event, ensure to have reliable and effective transportation as it plays a vital role in timeliness. You have to make this plan a very solid one to avoid lateness.  As an event planner, if you do not have a personal car, you must have make arrangements for a standby and reliable hired car for easier and faster movements.

 

Now all of this probably sounds like a lot of information to gather up front, and it is. But keep in mind that these are the details that affect everything else in the planning process. You might be initially attracted to the more “glamorous” tasks, like site visits and menu planning. Just remember that their time will come. For now though, focus on the facts so that you can make the best decisions later.

 

Got questions? Use the comments section.


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