Planning a big event can seem like an overwhelming task, not to mention rather anxiety-ridden with the many horror stories you’ve probably heard about when other events have gone off the rails. But whether you’re a novice or a planning pro, these steps can help ensure it’s a success.
Know Your Budget and Stick to It
Nearly three-quarters of corporate event and conference creators report an annual budget of under $30,000 for events, and 38% spend less than $1000 for each one. Whether you’re planning a personal or business event, the most important first step is to know what your budget is so that you can stick to it. Otherwise, the event will define the costs for you, which is not something you want.
Create a spreadsheet, or get out a piece of paper and make a list of everything related to the event that’s going to cost money, along with any potential payment deadlines. You may want to leave some wiggle room to avoid going over budget. Breakdown the costs as detailed as possible, noting what you plan to spend and then leaving a column amount for the amount you do end up spending. Tracking those figures can help prevent your budget from getting out of control before it’s too late.
Choose a Venue
The venue is one of the most important aspects of any event – it should be safe, easy to deal with and come with all the features you need while fitting within your budget. Think about things like the size and amount of seating you need, lighting, Wi-Fi, catering, onsite tech/IT help and so on. Of course, the location is key – you’ll want to think about how easily your average attendee will be able to reach it. If most are coming from out of town, choose a venue near the airport, or if most will be “in-town” attendees, perhaps hold the event near your offices or their homes.
Entertainment is important for keeping your guests entertained and engaged as well as encouraging them to stick around longer. Everything from live bands to comedians and vocalists like James Hosey can even be hired just by downloading an app these days making it easy to do and more affordable than booking through a talent agent. After you’ve booked, you can then create a hashtag for the event that includes who will be up on stage, enticing more people to come as well as encouraging guests to share photos and create buzz afterward.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media can do your marketing for you when done right. It isn’t enough to simply have social media accounts, you’ll need to post strategically with consistent brand messaging. Employing custom hashtags for the event on every platform you use is a must too, including a hashtag for the entertainment you’ve hired.