These days I frequently get asked to give a complete event planning guide. So I managed sometimes to hit my keyboard and hope this article will help you in many ways.
However, assuming that you are working in the event management industry or you are brand new in this world of event planning service, this guideline will help you to understand the pros and cons of event planning and how it works out accordingly.
Firstly, I can tell you that event planning is not something to experiment. Yes, you can do it but after when you know the ins and outs of event planning. So a solid understanding of this industry is important.
Similarly, If you are not sure about what the immediate steps to take for planning an event then you must learn before your further move.
So here is an ultimate event management guide for you to learn step by step. Let’s scroll down and see what I bring out for you.
Essential Event Planning Guide
In this part, I will demonstrate the basics of event planning so that you can build a solid foundation and apply your learnings to your workplace. Let’s find out:
Determine Your Goals and Objects
First thing first you need to define the purpose and reason for planning this event. You should be clear about the ultimate goal for this event.
What are you looking for out of this event? Are you planning to drive new sales or support a product launch? You may aspire to build brand awareness. Whatever it is, define what you are off to and how this event will help you do that.
Next, you should find out the objectives. In planning any event, you should identify a set of objectives that will support you to meet the ultimate goal, for example
- Increase registration 15% from your last event
- Increase profit by 20% from the previous event
- Get 100 pre-orders for your upcoming products etc.
So by defining your event goals and objectives, you can create an initial scope of the event. Now, what’s next?
You should lay out primary event details including:
- Dates. Time framing for your event, i.e in 10 months.
- Attendees. Find out how many people will be there 100 or 10000.
- Location. Select your location by shortlisting cities and venues that make sense for your event.
- Type of event. Clarify your event type and take action according to it.
Prepare Your Event Budget
Before you jump into the real actions, creating your budget should be one of the earliest things to do. Because it will help you to clarify other aspects of your plan.
Moreover, preparing the budget help you to avoid unwanted surprises. I mean running out of money in the middle of the event! You don’t want that, right? If yes then create a precise event budget including everything, it may be safety-pin or a sound system whatever.
Most importantly, it will help you to map your entire program masterfully and you will be able to get more benefits out of this event.
Whenever you prepare your budget, you will have to revisit your budget to ensure reliability so that you can entirely sure about your expenditure.
Prepare Your Team
Remember that event planning is not something to manage by single hand, you need more helping hands. So you need to build a vibrant team for executing everything accordingly.
Generally, event management firms include 10 to 15 people in a team. Also, they sort them out by giving different designation and it is so important for executing event perfectly.
So here is how the roles are distributed often:
- Project Manager
- Venue/show floor Manager
- Creative design
- Marketing and Communications
- Registration and Check-In
When you get a team you need to keep your team organised and instruct them your demand and oversee your team members. Event planning is not something like a to-do-list rather it is more than that. For getting more outputs from your fellows you can use some event management tools.
Pick Your Venue and Date
Selecting your venue and date are two vital consideration for your event that will form the rest of your plan. So you should start researching for perfect venues as early as possible.
However, you need to keep in mind that the event marketplace is crowded, so finding a suitable date is important. So you have to consider dates for your location based on seasonal factors such as travel and costs.
Simply, in January, finding large spaces is somewhat difficult because this is the time of rush. Therefore you need to take this factor in consideration while choosing venue and dates.
As you research and start dealing with various venues, you should ensure some facts like- does the venue fit for your event, it’s thematic fit, location, safety, facilities etc.
Develop Your Event Branding
Indeed, from your event name and theme to the website design look and feel sets the tone of your event. Why people care about your event? They care and think of your event when you offer them something worth and something stunning by branding your brand effectively.
In addition, a solid event brand gives a vision and assist you to drive the direction of your event.
However, when you are choosing event branding, remember that an event brand should represent your organisation’s brand but it should have a brand of its own.
From the event name and theme to the event website design and on-site look and feel – your event’s branding sets the tone for your event. When people think of your event, you want a strong personality to shine. Additionally, a strong event brand provides a vision and helps to steer the direction of your event.
So when you are thinking of your event branding, it generally includes:
- Event name. Your event name is the first thing the attendees will notice.
- Theme. This is the thing that ties up your entire event.
- Logo, colour, typography. There should be consistency across all marketing stuff.
- On-site decor, email, signage and more.
With these branding factors set, you should use them overall platforms including, your website, social media, emails etc.
Prepare Your Program Plan
This is time to fix your agenda as early as possible. Ask your self some question like is there a key speaker? What about your deal with your sponsors? What are you going to arrange, is it a workshop and talk?
You may get various types of programs to be arranged. So by determining these facts, you can move on to build a high level of your event program.
Don’t think about schedule finalisation much because it is not very tough to prepare before you start promoting the event. You can make any change even after you have started everything and your registration begins to grow. Because of technology, it makes everything easy.
So if you make any change in the program, you can share it via website, social media, email and many more.
Confirm Every of Your Dealings
At this point, if you are arranging a big program then you need some partners. The sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and many more. Having them in your program would be great for branding and marketing and attendees shell love it.
You need to confirm the deals with your sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and others. For finding speakers you can follow these:
- If you have an engaged community, you can call for session submissions, it is a great way utilise your partners and customers as speakers.
- You can personally invite prospective speakers. If you have someone in mind then go for it.
For sponsors, create a list of sponsors you want to join. But before you approach them, do some research on sponsors’ interests and set what you are going to offer them, their benefits. You should have a nice program proposal for your sponsors.
Now you need exhibitors, for that you can make a deal with your sponsors to bring exhibitor package. Each exhibitor sponsor deal with a specific amount of allotted space for your exhibitors to occupy.
Identify & Utilise Tech Tools for better management
This is an era of technology; you can make thing easy by using tech resources. Le’s take a look, I have some tips where you can utilise tech tools:
- For registration and ticketing, you can join such service provider who made these process very easy these days.
- You can use some productive software that can make your job easy. Software like Trello app where you will get many event management templates.
- Using mobile app would great idea. It is said that 80% of event planners use mobile app.
- Live streaming and recording your program. If you have a large community then you can make it live and record the program.
Marketing and promotional plan
Do you want to make your program successful? Why not? If you want that then you should make a great marketing and promotional plan. Your marketing may include
- Increase online registration 20% than last year
- Bring 30% more traffic to the event website
- X amount of event app downloads
- Increase social media engagements 30% than the previous event.
In conclusion, I can certainly assure you that, this event planning guide I created out of 8 years of experience in the event management industry. So If you consider my expertise follow the guidelines for your better performance. Also, you can consider taking an accredited Event management qualification.