Planning is a secret to a successful event. There are many things to think about , and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Follow our six steps to make sure your event goes smoothly and stays on budget.
Define your goals and objectives.
Before you begin searching for your wedding or event venues, it’s essential to take a pause and ask yourself: What are your goals for this event? Are you looking to draw in donations? Or promote a particular product launch? Are you aiming for 40 guests or 400?
It’s also important to be specific about your audience. Knowing your key goals and having quantifiable metrics of success will assist you during the planning and budgeting stages.
Establish a Budget
When you want everything to be perfect, it’s easy to spend quite a bit more here and there. But before you realize it, this could add up to be hundreds, or maybe thousands, over budget. Creating a sensible budget with a contingency will assist you in managing your expenses.
Your budget should include these key elements:
- Event Venue or Wedding Venue: Including any additional costs like insurance.
- Catering: food and refreshments at breaks.
- Staffing costs: Including setup, coordinating, and cleanup.
- Entertainment: Whether it’s a DJ or booking guest speakers.
- A/V rental: You might need to rent additional equipment depending on the venue. For instance , a projector.
- Decoration: You may need to purchase or rent additional decorations if you are planning a themed event.
- Marketing: Promoting your event is crucial to its success, so if you’ve got the resources, it’s good to plan to take this into account.
- Contingency: Regardless of how well you’ve planned your event, additional costs are sure to happen . Add at least 10% to your budget so that you have a good safety net.
Event Planning and Timeline
Providing yourself with enough time is the most important part of planning. It’s incredible how time vanishes when you’re up against a deadline. For larger events, give yourself at least 4-6 months for planning and execution.
If the date is flexible, check for any potential clashes. You don’t want to book a venue, only to find out that your event clashes with a very important holiday or that a key guest speaker is unavailable that day.
To ensure everything goes smoothly, we recommend creating a plan and timeline that comes with all the key deadlines for the event. This may also assist you in designing tasks for your team. Your timeline could include: submission of permits, insurance policies, confirmation of any guest speakers, marketing and promotion key dates, invites sent out; RSVP deadline; and an in depth timeline for the actual event.
Depending on the kind and scale of your event, you can consider partnering with other organizations for sponsorship. This might help reduce your costs and also aid your marketing and promotion efforts.
When you’re trying to find businesses to sponsor your event, ensure that you highlight a transparent benefit for them. Creating a compelling argument for sponsorship will improve your chances of success.
Now that the planning is underway, it’s time to create awareness and buzz around your event. You might have incredible speakers lined up, but if people are not aware of the event, they won’t be attending.
Create a publicity and marketing plan and include key dates in your event timeline. Your marketing plan should include:
- An event announcement on your website.
- Email blasts and newsletters.
- Social media – scheduled posts.
- Press and media – including your press release.
Capture the event with photos and video.
After all your planning, it’s crucial to capture your event and its success. Hire an expert and professional photographer so that your images are top quality and high resolution.
These images are often used as a part of your post-event follow up, which may include a press release about the event, plus thank you’s and acknowledgments to any sponsors and attendees. These images can also help in promoting future events.
Create an area for your event where you can add team members or attendees. All of your images are saved in one place, easily accessible and effortlessly organized.