Organizing an event can certainly be challenging, but at the same time it can be an exciting journey that’s totally worth it.
Whether you are planning to organize your very first event or looking for ways to organize your events better, you’ve come to the right place.
Here, we will share eight actionable tips that you can use to plan and organize a successful event right away, and without further ado, let us begin with the first one.
- Plan a Structure, But Remain Flexible
Organizing an event will involve a lot of moving parts and variables, and over the course of organizing the event, things are bound to change.
Rather than fighting this reality, it’s best to embrace it and make the most of it.
While you should plan to provide a structure into the event planning and organizing process, for example by writing an event master plan (more on this below), it’s important to always be prepared for changes and plan for contingencies.
Have plan Bs and plan Cs for all the different elements of the event: venue, date/time, speakers, talents, and even the type of event you’re hosting.
Finding the balance between structure and versatility is the key of successful event organizing.
- Start As Early as Possible
A good rule of thumb for event planning is to begin planning as early as possible.
The earlier you start, the more options you’ll have, and the more options, the better you can plan your event.
For a relatively large event (more than 500 attendees), ideally you should begin planning at least four to six months in advance. For smaller events, try to have at least one month in advance.
Also, to make sure the final preparations for the event are running smoothly, make sure all contracts are completed at least a couple of weeks before the D-Day.
- Estimate Your Budget Early
While as discussed above, you should begin everything early, it’s especially true when it comes to estimating your budget.
Try to have at least the high-level budget for your event in detail before beginning to organize the event, while including these critical expenses:
- Venue: venue rental and insurance costs (if it’s a virtual event, can pass)
- Entertainment: costs related to speakers/talents, and additional entertainment. Don’t forget to also consider travel and accommodation costs.
- Catering: all costs related to food and beverages
- Decoration: again, you can skip this if it’s a virtual event
- Staff: labor costs, volunteer costs, transportation and accommodation for staff, etc.
- Marketing: your marketing and promotional budget
- Audio/Video: speakers, projectors, and all your audio/video needs
- Software infrastructure: very important for virtual events, but you’ll also need an event management platform to manage both in-person and virtual events.
- Contingencies: try to plan at least 20% of your budget for contingencies to avoid future surprises
- Build a Strong Team and Assign Responsibilities
Assign an event manager (if it’s not yourself), then break down the various elements of the event into committees or departments, including:
- Speaker/talent management
- Venue management
- Sponsorship management
- Volunteer management
Assign a committee to each member of your team to ensure accountability. If it’s a fairly small team, you can let each person handle multiple roles, but delegate responsibilities carefully.
Use reliable software for event management like Eventtia to manage your team and ensure productive collaborations.
- Develop a Written Plan
Create a shared written Event master Plan to keep everyone on the same page. If you have an event management platform like Eventtia, you can also use the platform for this purpose.
This master plan should cover the details of the following elements of the event:
- Logistics and catering
- Speakers, presenters, talent
- Promotion and marketing details
- Registration (ticket purchase and on-site check in)
- Sponsors and partners management
- Volunteer management
If possible, you should also include a detailed timeline or schedule fot the whole event.
- Choosing The Ideal Venue
For an in-person event, the location and condition of the venue are very important factors determining the success of your event.
Here are some important factors to consider when deciding between different venues:
- Location: must be close enough to your target attendees’ homes or workplaces. If you are planning to invite attendees from different cities or locations, the venue must be close enough to the airport/station and recommended hotel.
- Accessibility: make sure all participants can feel comfortable in the venue.
- Size: pretty self-explanatory, should be able to fit the number of attendees you’re inviting
- Insurance: whether you’ll need to purchase separate insurance
- Parking: parking lot availability, and whether it’s easy enough to access the venue via public transit.
- Brand Your Event
How to make your event stand out from other competing events?
One of the most important thing to consider is to choose a unique and attractive event name and build a strong brand.
- What sets the event apart from other events in your niche?
- What are the main activities of your event?
- Make sure the event name is unique, but also easy to pronounce and easy to remember
- Create a strong and unique logo to strengthen your brand
- Plan How You’re Going To Market Your Event
You’ll need to properly market your event to get people to come or register to your event.
In promoting your event, it’s best to divide your strategy in phases:
- Pre-launch: you can launch “save the date” campaigns on social media, email marketing, and other channels to start generating buzz for your event
- Early bird: selling early bird tickets to build awareness and also to secure some cashflow
- Headliner announcement: announcing keynote speaker or headliner
- Additional announcement: announcing other speakers, attractive session topics, and so on
- Last call: last chance for early bird pricing
- Registration closing: end of the registration, last call for ticket purchase
- Post-event: “thank you” campaigns, sending post-event surveys, etc.
While organizing an event can certainly be a daunting task, by following the tips we’ve shared above you’ll have a strong foundation on how to plan and organize a successful event.
In organizing your event, it’s crucial to establish a system in place to help monitor all the moving parts. This is where having an event management solution like Eventtia can help in tracking and managing your event team, your schedule, your budget, and other important details related to the event.