How to plan an event
Putting on an event sounds great. But before you send out invitations and start drinking champagne, you need to take those important steps that make it all happen. Here are EM's top ten tips for getting your event off the ground and into reality.
1. Define the who, what, where, when and why of your event
This step, also called "preparing your event brief", gives people the lowdown on your event and helps you to clarify exactly what you want your event to be and why.
2. Talk to your key people
To give your event every chance of success you need to start talking to key people as early as possible. So who are key people? Key people include anyone who is vital to the success of your event e.g. venue manager, keynote speaker/performers, accountant, sponsors, safety expert, local authorities, suppliers, etc.
3. Ask for feedback on your event brief (and listen to what people say!)
Even if you have the most amazing vision for your event, you might learn something really valuable by asking for feedback on your event brief. Is there anything you have forgotten to consider? Is there funding available for an event like yours? Are there opportunities you have missed? Are they able to assist you? What information do people need from you now?
4. Make changes
Once you have your feedback, it is time to review your event brief. Do you need to change or modify any section? If so, does the change/modification impact anything else? Keep rearranging the pieces of your event plan puzzle until everything is achievable.
5. Delegate, delegate, delegate
Meet with your planning team and delegate key tasks to them. You can use your event brief as a starting point, then add columns for due date and who is responsible for each area/tasks.
If your planning team is coming up short on experience in any area of event planning you might want to see if EM has covered the topic in EM’s quick guides. If you don’t find what you are looking for you can always suggest a topic so we can write a quick guide on it.
6. Create your event plan
With the help of your planning team write down all the details of your event in one place (called an event plan). Similar to a business plan, this works out the nitty gritty of how you will put your ideas into action.
You can download event plan written by experienced professional event planners that can easily be adapted to your event Download EM’s sample event plan.
7. Tell the right people about your event
Now is the time to ask for feedback on your event plan from the people who need to know about your event. This may mean talking with and sending relevant sections of your event plan to local council, police, suppliers, staff, neighbours etc.
8. Keep your event plan up-to-date
Your event plan is a dynamic, changing thing. So as you receive feedback and your event planning progresses make sure your event plan changes to reflect this.
9. Put your plan into action
Your event plan should make it easy to see how you are going to make things happen on event day. Now it is just a matter of making sure everybody does what they have said they are going to do, when they have said they are going to do it. Too easy : )
10. Enjoy your day
The big day is here. It is time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Even if you have a million things to do on the big day, make sure you take some well earned breaks so you can absorb the atmosphere you have created. While you are walking around, try to also imagine your event from the general public’s perspective so you can review it during and after the event. And don’t forget to congratulate yourself and your team on a job well done!