How to Organize Your Next EventMarch 4, 2020 11:42 am
Event planning can be stressful. There may seem like a million little tasks that need to fall into place at just the right moment in order to pull off your special event. Even seasoned professionals can feel the anxiety rise as they inch closer to the date of the event.
If you are new to the event planning world or you drew the short straw at work, you will want to seek advice on how to pull off a spectacular event without too much stress. Here are a few suggestions from expert event planners on how to plan your next business event in an organized and effective fashion.
Enlist Others to Help
If you have been tasked with holding the annual business meeting for your company or any other event, you will want some help. Find out how many man hours you can approximate it will take from the initial planning phase through to the day or night of the affair.
Choose other team members who are good with deadlines and juggling many things at once. As they say, “Many hands make light work.” The more reliable team members you can enlist, the more you can divide up the work. Remember, it is a balancing act and too many people helping can make it hard to make final decisions.
Organize and Divide
Now that you have a guesstimate on how many hours the planning process will take and some help in getting it all done, you will want to set up a meeting to strategize.
During this meeting you will want to create a master list of all that will need to be done and what the deadline for each will be. For example, some of the common tasks you will need to plot out will be: finding a keynote speaker, booking a lighting and sound expert, booking a venue that will accomodate the size you will need, examining menus, and creating a guest list. The more you can brainstorm all that will need to be done, the more on top of things you will feel.
Once the main parts of the event have been listed, divide up the tasks associated with each and assign each to your team. Ask everyone to keep detailed notes including contacts, estimates on costs, and any communications they may have had.
Now that you have a handle on what the main tasks will be, you will want to give each part a budget. How much will you spend on the venue, food, drinks, presentations, and/or speakers?
You may want to require that each vendor you deal with give a detailed contract that can not be changed after a certain date. For example, if your sound/light technician suddenly ups his price at the last second, you will have a contract that details your amount.
Minimize Last Minute Changes
According to Eventbright, the U.S. based event management and ticketing website, “Nearly half of organizers (44%) say the biggest barrier to productivity is last-minute requests.” They suggest leaving a buffer for last minute requests such as guests who suddenly want to bring a co-worker to the event, or a vegan has requested a menu change.
All these little changes at the end can make anyone unravel. Plan in advance for these things but adding a meal or two or three to your potential number of guests, building time into the event schedule for small glitches, or even having a backup plan in case there are technical problems.
Ask for Feedback
Even as you plan your event, things will inevitably go wrong. How you handle it is usually the best measure of the experience guests will ultimately have. Ask for feedback from your guests on how they found the event. This will help you fine tune your event planning skills and let you know what worked and what didn’t work.
If you are looking for event planning ideas, check out our workshop, “Event Planning from Start to Finish” on March 4, 2020.