When planning an event for ourselves or a client, the most important thing to consider is ‘WHY’ – why are we running the event?
It is important to define key SMART objectives when in initial planning stages and focus the event strategy around these. These objectives will assist choices when looking at venues, entertainment, guest lists and timings.
In this blog we will explore five things that are crucial to consider when organising an event.
Budget is a hugely important factor to consider and something that must be agreed ahead of any event planning. The initial event brief should include a calculation of likely expenditure which must be signed off in advance with the client. Venue, entertainment, catering, event management all come with costs, not forgetting agency time at the event.
When working with our clients we always advise a 10% contingency budget for any unexpected costs that may crop up. This gives an extra cushion just in case there are any surprises!
Event master plan
Once budget is agreed, work can begin on an event plan that helps ensure every aspect of the event remains on track and deadlines are met. This plan should include venue, logistics and catering management, as well as any contracts and invoices that need pre-payment.
It should also include a detailed timeline, so everything moves forward smoothly.
Venue & entertainment
Venues are probably one of the most important parts of an event – a poor venue choice will always have a negative impact on the attendee figures.
If you’re organising all entertainment and catering it is crucial to run through logistics with the venue prior to organising this to ensure there is sufficient space and logistically each aspect can run smoothly.
For example, if you’re planning on serving hot canapes, is there an area to heat them up? Is there electricity for this or do external generators need to be hired in? Is there a closed off space where the caterers can plate up?
Likewise, if you have booked entertainment it’s important they know the venue and look round for anything additional that may be needed.
Defining your objectives should make clear who you’d like to attend your event and who you need to ‘get in the room’.
Guest lists need to be relevant and targeted and client requirements need to be considered. It’s important to think about who your clients would benefit from meeting and use this as a strategic networking opportunity.
You need a good turnout therefore giving people enough time is crucial. Sending over a ‘Save the Date’ email in advance of the invitation is usually a good idea. This puts your event on people’s radar and builds anticipation and excitement.
An up-to-date RSVP list is important and should be created as soon as invites have been sent out, this way you can see how many people are attending and who hasn’t responded so you can follow up with a ‘last chance’ email. Clients also like regular updates on guest lists so staying organised with this is one of the most important parts of the event strategy.
An event brief pre-event is also a really important factor. This document should include all staff roles and responsibilities and key contact numbers on the day. A detailed plan of event timings should also be included, and all logistics outlined throughout the day.
This is key and should be distributed to all those staff at the event and suppliers.
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