Running a successful event involves a lot of planning, dedication, and hard work. This type of event can also take a large slice out of your budget. So, it's important to ensure that running an event is really the best use of your resources and finances. If this is the case, then you need to do everything you can to make sure that the event is a success and that you get a good return on your investment.
Great events start with the end in mind and a strategy that lays out a path for success. When you first start to organize the event, it helps to sit down and take stock of what you need to achieve. Here are five tips that can help you to focus your thoughts and to achieve the results that you are looking for.
Know what you want to achieve
You will have reasons for wanting to hold an event. These reasons need to be the focus of your event planning. For instance, if your aim is to attract new investment for your business, you need to focus on informing about your brand and your USP. You also need to choose a venue which purveys a professional approach.
On the other hand, if the event is aimed at team building for your employees, a more relaxed atmosphere may be appropriate, which promotes the building of relationships and encourages participation. When you are considering what you want to achieve it helps to create SMART objectives. Doing so means that you have a method of gauging how successful the event is, in terms of achieving your aims.
Plan early and delegate
Never try and plan an event at the last minute; usually, several weeks are needed in order to bring everything together. There are several reasons why early planning is a must.
- Acquiring the best venue for the event is easier.
- People are more likely to be able to attend if they are given plenty of notice.
- Key speakers are more readily available.
- Time is available to put together presentations and break out sessions.
- There is more time to promote the event.
Early planning is also important from an attendee point of view. It's easier to allocate tasks in an effective manner, rather than appearing to just toss them to people, if you have the time to properly manage the delegation process. You are also more likely to assign tasks to the best person if you are not affected by time pressures.
Communicate often and effectively
If your event is to be successful, effective communication is essential. For instance, there is little point in everyone knowing that a guest speaker has canceled if the person responsible for booking replacements is not aware. You may not think that this could ever happen, but you would be surprised at how easy it is for everyone to just assume that a person has information without anyone taking the responsibility of telling them. There are several ways that you can ensure communication works.
- Arrange regular update meetings.
- Use shared folders in which to keep event documents.
- Use a reliable project management tool.
- Email updates to the team on a daily basis.
Plan your communications before you start so that everyone involved with the organization of the event knows what to expect.
Do not forget the details
It's easy to get carried away with the big picture and to forget about the details that can cause major problems on the day of the event. There are many different details that make a difference; here are a few possibilities.
- Managing attendees. This can be really difficult as numbers can change right up to the day of the event. You want to try and be as accommodating as you can, especially if you are trying to build new business relationships or increase your client base. There are ways that you can accommodate extra attendees, such as including some flexibility in your catering numbers and using a solution such as Stacking Chairs to acquire seating that is on hand to be used but can be stored away in order to optimize the amount of available floor space.
- Managing your event technology. From your mobile event app to your audio-visual, it's important to partner with vendors who will support you during the before, during, and after your event.
- Catering for all. Not everyone is able to eat the same food. For instance, certain attendees may have a food allergy or they could follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Make sure that you ask about dietary requirements in advance.
- Planning for issues with presenters or speakers. You cannot afford to have huge spaces in your event programme if speakers are not available on the day. It's important to have a contingency plan in case you face this type of problem.
Feedback is essential
There are several ways in which you can measure the success of an event, including the number of new leads you create or the results of the next staff survey. However, feedback should always form part of your evaluation.
Ask attendees to answer some questions about their opinion of the event and provide them with the opportunity to make additional comments. You can never really tell what worked well and what was not as successful until you ask the people who attended. Include end of session surveys that participants can take immediately post-breakout on their mobile event app.
Following these steps helps to make organizing a successful event a lot easier. You take the time to plan effectively and you are rewarded with the end result you were hoping for.