Even if you are only planning a small event like organizing a small meeting, there are already various variables and moving parts to consider. Even worse, the bigger the event, the more complex the event planning process will be, from estimating an accurate budget to securing sponsorships to developing a marketing plan, without the right event planning strategy, you simply won’t succeed.
While all events are unique with varying purposes, audiences, and budgets, you can use the step-by-step guide of planning an event below to make sure you are on the right track to ensure your event’s success.
Step 1: Define the Event’s Purpose
Before anything else, you should identify the purpose of planning the event, as it will dictate so many different elements of the event planning itself.
For some events, the purpose might be pretty obvious, but for some others, less so. Determine what you are looking to accomplish with the event: support a product launch, increase brand awareness, educate your customers, and so on.
From this purpose, you should define clear objectives that will support this purpose.
Use the S.M.A.R.T goal principle and define objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Step 2: Outlining Your Event Plan
Based on the objectives you’ve set above, you should be able to plan the high-level details of your event, including:
- Target audience: based on the purpose of the event, who are the potential attendees you should target. Also, how many attendees are you planning to invite?
- Type of event: a keynote speaker, a conference, a concert/festival, etc. according to the event’s purpose and your target audience
- Date/time: this doesn’t need to be set in stone, you can start with a rough time frame for the event.
- Venue/location: a shortlist of potential venues. If it’s going to be a multi-city event, create a shortlist of cities and venues
Step 3: Estimate The Event Budget
Based on the previous step, you can start estimating a budget for your event.
Again, this doesn’t have to be a finalized, very detailed budget, but this step should focus on mapping out potential expenses to understand how your budget will be used across the event planning process.
Along the way, you’ll need to revisit and update the budget again to keep it accurate.
Step 4: Building an Event Team
If you are planning to do everything by yourself, then you can skip this step.
However, if the event is relatively large, we’d recommend building an organized event team to help with the execution.
Here are some important roles in an event team:
- Event manager: could be you, supervises the whole event team and is responsible for the execution of the event. Also manages the event budget.
- Event technologists: responsible for the entire event and marketing technology stack, ensuring integrity and security of data collection
- Venue manager: handling all the details about the venue, and also the go-to person for anything that happens on the d-day at the venue.
- Scheduling: make sure the event’s schedule is up to date and everyone is on track
- Marketing: responsible for promoting the event before, during, and after the event.
- Registration: making sure the whole registration process is running smoothly.
- Sponsorship: sell sponsorship opportunities and maintain relationships with secured sponsors.
Event management platforms like Eventtia make it easier for you to coordinate your team and facilitate effective collaboration.
Step 5: Securing Your Venue
It’s very important to secure your venue (and event date) as early as possible.
At the very least, you should research your venue options 4 to 6 months before the day of the event if it’s a relatively large event (more than 500 attendees). If it’s a smaller event, try securing a venue at least 1 month in advance.
The earlier you try to secure your events, the more options you’ll get.
Step 6: Event Branding
To make sure your event gets noticed amidst all the competition, it’s crucial to establish a unique and strong brand identity for your event, including:
- Event name: unique, easy to pronounce, and easy to remember event name
- Logo and brand identity: logo, brand colors, typography, and so on. Should be implemented consistently across different marketing efforts
- Theme: the overall theme of the event, should be communicated well throughout the event name and branding elements
Step 7: Planning Your Event’s Detail
Set the event schedule as early as possible while considering all the different elements of the event: keynote speakers, talents, entertainment, food/beverage details, and so on.
Step 8: Securing Speakers/Talents and Suppliers
Research potential suppliers/vendors and speakers/talents. If your event is session-based, you’ll need to identify speakers for the different sessions of the event.
Step 9: Securing Sponsors
If you plan to fund your event via sponsorships, then you should develop a shortlist of your potential sponsors.
Identify what you want from each sponsor (how much money you’ll need), and also how you can provide value for them. Personalize your proposal for each sponsor to ensure success.
Step 10: Marketing Your Event
Your event is unique, and you’ll also need unique approaches to market your event.
Explore all the marketing channels available and choose the right channels and strategies based on your target attendees’ behaviors.
You should also consider how you are going to price your tickets, including multi-tiered ticket prices and time-based discounts (early bird)
Step 11: Event Contingencies
No event will go exactly as planned, period. So, prepare plan Bs and plan Cs for every element of the event. For example, what is your plan B if a speaker makes last-minute cancellation? What is your backup venue in case the first venue isn’t available suddenly?
Congratulations! You are now ready to plan and organize your next event.
By following the steps we’ve discussed above, you are ready to start planning and organizing a successful event.
When planning an event, earlier is always better: research your options, estimate your budget, and secure the different aspects of your event as early as possible so you can keep moving forward.
Follow Techiemag for more!