A successful event won’t just happen. Whether you’re planning a grand opening for your small business or you’re an event planner who’s managing a huge conference, your event’s success will be based on whether you’re able to pay attention to the details and plan.
Here’s 10 tips for planning successful events and sending attendees away with fond memories so they’re talking about it with everyone they know.
1. Plan in Advance and Make a Timeline from Beginning to End
Successful events are ones that are planned properly with goals and deadlines that are achievable. Along with your timeline with tasks that you have to done before the big day, you shouldn’t underestimate how important it is for planning for your actual event.
When an event planner has multiple moving parts, along with people and vendors, its smart to have a complete list of everything (with times) that will happen throughout the day.
This is called the run list and it includes all the information needed like when cocktail hour ends and
- When the guests have to be seated for the big event to
- When the VIP is going to be on the site.
- Contact information of everyone involved
This allows you to quickly act if something goes wrong on your big day.
2. Create Budgets for Staying on Budget
Keep your eye out for additional fees. Read through your contracts thoroughly so that you understand all the costs that are associated with each vendor.
If you’re not sure about a certain vendor’s cost, you should overestimate. It’s a lot better to come in below the estimated budget than over.
3. Consider Your Target Audience
You want to build up strategic partnerships and relationships for helping to promote the event. If you don’t have a lot of money for promotion, work with other businesses in a barter arrangement. Offer your help in promoting an event of theirs or other incentives if they will help you promote this event.
You might think that the local newspaper won’t be interested in speaking with you unless you’re spending money. But you aren’t going to know unless you ask. Getting the word about a business without spending a lot of money is the goal.
Be creative with the barter arrangements. For instance, if you have an awesome email list of your customers, maybe the newspaper will be interested in collaborating together on an email blast in exchange for print promotion in their calendar.
4. Scope Out Your Competition
Take a look at the market and see what the competition is doing. What are they doing? When are they doing it? Make sure that you’re not planning your event during the same time as their event. You’re going to compete for your sponsorship revenue, audience, and speakers.
To figure out if your competitors are planning an event, visit them on social media. Chances are that they’re using their social media to talk about their events and doing their best to get people to sign up for it.
5. Find the Best Location
Consider where your attendees are from and who they are. Your space for your event needs to be convenient for most of the people who are attending. Event planners know getting the people to an event’s half the battle. If you are making it simple for people to come, you’ll see an attrition rate that’s a lot lower on your event day.
6. Send out Reminders
It’s important to plan communication with the people who are attending 1 or 2 days before your event, whether you call them or email them. Include the information about the event and how to get to the event’s location. It’s also a good idea to include your contact information, if they become lost and need some help with locating your venue.
If you have digital documents that the attendees will need, like a ticket or confirmation number, include that in your email so they’re ready when they come.
7. Estimate the Total Amount of Attendees
You should always plan that some of the people who have registered not to show up and also plan for people to walk in. An attrition rate for a paid event is 5 to 7%. If the event is free, it’s going to have a higher no-show percentage. This helps in renting the right number of chairs, tents, tables and food.
To ensure that attendees who can’t make it to the event are still keep informed, try reaching out after the event and let them know what they missed. This will help you reconnect with your customers and invite them to your next event.
8. Request Feedback from Attendees
It’s always a good idea to email attendees after the event and include a survey to get feedback. Ask them what they enjoyed about your event and what they’d like for the next one.
If this event is one that you’ll have again or one that’s in a series, tell them when you’ll be having the next one. There are a lot of tools online that you can use for creating surveys like Qualtrics and Survey Monkey that are simple and that will give you feedback that is valuable that will help with making the next one even better.
9. Use Your Social Media
This is a great way to promote your event and create buzz during your event. Make sure you create a hashtag for the event and use it throughout your promotion before and during your event.
10. Branding at the Event
Consider any kind of messaging you’ll want the attendees to take with them. This is the opportunity to get the information and materials of your business into your customers’ hands.
These are just 10 things that you can do to help your event to be a success. Use them and you might find that people will be scrambling to get to your next event.
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