They say that the best and most engaging events go by in a flash, leaving behind a pleasant aftertaste of significance, relevance and overall user experience. While the nature of the event, the audience involved and the like can, to an extent, determine its overall success, there is a wide range of indispensable factors an event manager/organizer should keep in mind to guide the event from its planning stage all the way to execution and review. We explore a few must-haves in this checklist for any successful event.
Identifying the objectives
To get the ball rolling, event organizers need to be fully clear about the goals and objectives of the event to be planned and executed. This can include what the invited guests, sponsors as well as your business itself aims at getting out of such an event- be it returns which are monetary or perhaps exposure and brand awareness. Identifying objectives will help in measuring the success of the event.
Setting event objectives also play an instrumental role in identifying and targeting the right audience for your event. Of course, the same applies when deciding on the nature of the event, whether it’s a seminar, product launch, networking event or even a family function. Identifying and targeting the right audience will prove to be a cost-effective yet impactful step towards ensuring the event’s overall success.
B for Budget
Needless to mention, the budget serves as the framework/foundation which supports the rest of the functional elements of the event. Maintaining a spreadsheet with estimated potential spend and requirements against a preset spending cap or a limit, can aid in a smart and effective method of resource consumption and management. Common considerations in a typical event budget proposal include venue, food and beverages, transport, marketing, entertainment and similar avenues in logistics. Remember, you can always refer to past events for adapting basic budget guidelines/templates to help to make educated assumptions about the expenses involved.
Consider budget when looking at hiring venues. They come with a wide range of essential amenities such as Wi-Fi, chairs and the like, food and beverages which can also largely govern the scope of the budget. Essentially, your event and the budget should have a mutually complementary relationship, so as to accommodate both the planned scope of the event as well as unforeseen incidents.
Laying out the logistics
Easily the most important and comprehensive section of the checklist, event logistics is more exhaustive than one would imagine. Conversely, the more specialized the scope of the event is, the more meticulous the logistics/resource planning can turn out to be.
A handy tip to keep in mind while approaching vendors for various logistics, is to quote a price at least 20-25% less than your preset budget. Depending on what the vendor comes back to you with, you can always have enough wiggle room to negotiate and come to an agreement. Be it transport vehicles for guests as well as for shifting raw material to the venue, or even tech equipment for guests and hosts, the significance of logistics management ranges from pre-event to post-event.
Sourcing logistics can be from local vendors as well as venue-based packages, according to the convenience and budgetary effectiveness of the event. Venue capacity, name badges, permits for audio/music within the venue premises, event run sheets, emergency kits and the like are other noteworthy logistical elements to take into consideration.
We have taken the liberty to include hospitality along with logistical requirements, simply because of its relevance and significance in the larger picture of event-planning. Finding out about allergies and dietary requirements of invitees as well as ensuring alcohol licensing for the event are indispensable pre-event measures to be taken. Additionally, food arrangements for those from the event taskforce as well as volunteers are essential focus areas too.
The magic of marketing
A good marketing campaign can potentially take care of a lion’s share of your event’s success. Creating a buzz about your event much before its date is vital to reach out to both the proposed as well as potential target audience. Common platforms for the same are social media, website, email blasts as well as video teasers. The traditional methods of providing early bird discounts are also effective hooks.
As a result, your event will effectively brand itself with a top-of-mind recall among all stakeholders involved, leaving behind an impactful and long-term legacy.
Care for communication
Right from the word go (or perhaps much before), communication is key across all stages in event planning. Internal communication among staff and other members of the workforce will ensure a seamless coordination and conduct of the planning, execution and wrapping up of the event.
A clear stream of communication is vital in all the marketing and publicity campaigns, information creation strategies as well as other online and offline mediums of information dissemination for both internal and external purposes. Registration details about invitees and attendees, a sustained communication established with them as well as with other stakeholders are a must-do to avoid potential discrepancies.
Digitalizing communication has its own share of benefits as well, making it convenient and recordable for both parties involved. Even in the wrap-up stages of an event, feedback is an extremely critical tool to be included in an event organizer’s checklist. This comes with a plethora of benefits- it is an indirect measure of the success and impact of the event, while it also reassures all stakeholders of the event with the fact that their opinion and level of comfort matters to the event as well as the parent organization involved.