1. Work with a Team
Planning and managing an event can be a large task, and it inevitably requires a lot of commitment, both in terms of effort and time. This is especially true for larger events. Rather than leaving the planning all to one person, try to organize a group of people who can work together, dividing up the responsibilities amongst themselves. Just make sure that everyone in the event planning group communicates well throughout to ensure as smooth a process as possible.
2. Set a Date
The first thing you should do is set a date for your event. You should choose a date far enough away that you’ll have time to plan. Generally, the larger the event, the more time you’ll want to leave yourself. Be aware of holidays or other events that you may want to plan around as to avoid conflicts and your target attendees already being busy.
3. Make a Budget
Once you have a date, start working on your budget. The most important thing to keep in mind is this: plan your event around your budget, don’t plan your budget around your event. In other words, work with what you have. If you just start spending without thinking about how much you have in pocket, it’ll be easy to go over budget. Account for your most important costs first (like the venue), then move on to the smaller, less-important things to similarly avoid spending too much. It’s always a good idea to leave just a little bit extra in your budget for any unforeseen costs that may pop up.
4. Figure Out Logistics
The biggest logistical thing to figure out is the venue. Make sure the venue you choose suits your needs (for example, it can handle the size of your crowd and any equipment you may need for the event). Ideally, you should look at a few places and compare their costs and included amenities before making a choice. After you know your venue what will be included, start working out the other logistics like food and drink, transportation, parking, sound systems, accessibility accommodations.
5. Advertise Your Event
Now that you have your event planned out, you have to make sure you have people coming to it. Advertise your event and keep track of the responses you get to invitations if you send them out. Activity booking platforms like GoBuddy provide yet another place to list and manage your event as well as software that makes it easy to keep an eye on information like how many people have signed up for your event and to reach out to them with any necessary information.
6. Pay Attention to the Details
While planning out your event, pay attention to the details. Even the smallest of things can be meaningful to your attendees and make the difference between an ok event and a truly memorable one. These small details can be anything from organizational aspects that helped the event run efficiently or entertaining elements that made it really fun.
7. Have a Day-Of Plan
Before your event, make a day-of plan that includes everything from the set up to how you will wrap everything up after the event ends. This day-of plan will help ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible. It should be as detailed as possible and include buffer time to account for any delays as well as breaks for yourself. Have backup plans too in case of unexpected interruptions like bad weather, equipment failure, or cancelations. Everyone working with you on event planning should be able to get in touch with both each other and the suppliers/venue staff for the event. If you can do it, a final walk through a day or so before the event might might also be a good idea
8. Ask for Feedback
After the event, make sure to reach out to the attendees and ask them how they felt about the event. Ask them what worked well, what could have used improvement, and if they have any other suggestions or comments. Giving your attendees a chance to provide feedback will make them feel more appreciated and listened-to, and it is also the most direct way to learn how to improve your events! If you used a platform like GoBuddy, this is an easy way to get in touch with your attendees.