Relax. Take a breath!
Planning an event doesn’t always have to be the stressful, eye-gouging, hair-pulling experience it is sometimes made to sound like. In fact, planning an event can be broken down into three simple steps:
Before planning an event you need to have an idea of what you want the result to be. Take some time to brainstorm. Consider your target audience. Who are they? What do they like?
Once you’ve decided on who the event will target, think about what will attract or appeal to them.
When you’ve done that you can start thinking about themes, colour schemes, venues, menus etc. Conceptualising also means making a list of everything you think you might need. Creating a Checklist makes it easier when it comes to trying to remember all the things you will need.
Now that you’ve conceptualised your event and you have an idea of what you want, the first thing I would suggest is setting objectives and timelines.
Objectives act as a guide to measure how well you followed with your plan and will help BIG TIME in evaluating the event’s success
TIP: Make your objectives S.M.A.R.T - Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive.
Eg. To determine and finalize the logistics, set-up and decor of the event by October 12, 2016
Now that you have created your SMART Objectives you will need to develop an action plan detailing how you intend to achieve those objectives.
Questions you would need to ask yourself are:
- Will I need a team?
- How many persons would I need to work with?
- Who are the best suppliers of the particular service at the best costs?
- How will I go about securing the venue?
- Is there adequate parking?
- Is a shuttle service necessary?
- What kind of security will be needed?
- Do I need to secure any permits?
- Do I require advertising?
This is also where you need to create a budget. A budget will provide you with knowledge of the event size and type you can afford. A budget additionally decreases the chances of overspending due to hidden or unexpected expenses. Make sure your budget includes line item, ‘contingency’, using a ballpark of 10% of subtotal.
When preparing your budget ensure that you ‘shop-around’ for the best prices.
Request at least 3 quotes for each area needed and Pro Forma invoices for potential workers, rentals, catering, lighting, music, decor, clean-up crew, security, entertainment, other.
There needs to be at least 2 site visits prior the event, one of which must include all suppliers/the full team.
Now it’s time to put all your planning into action!
Give all suppliers an earlier time to be on site, this guarantees that everyone is in place well before the event begins..
The first thing you need to do is ensure that you get there before everyone, overseeing in case anything goes wrong or needs fixing or adjusting. Your presence also helps to ensure that things run smoothly and hopefully, seamlessly.
Give everyone a specific time when EVERYTHING MUST be ready and in place.
Your MC must have a complete script at least 3 days prior the event.
All team members should have copies of the running order, so that everyone is in sync with his/her role.
Finally, enjoy. Watch your event unfold before your eyes. There is nothing as satisfying or exciting as watching something bloom from an idea into a reality.