In this post, we zero in on 7 of the major things you need to keep in mind when planning any event this year.
Whether it’s small or big (from a work team building event to a trade show) managing an event is hard work. Some say that managing all the moving parts is like conducting an orchestra. Not only do all the parts, from the design elements to the party hire essentials, need to be in sync, but everybody involved needs to be kept up to speed and on their task at hand.
You don’t want to spend the entire event fixing problems, so you need to get it right during the planning stage to keep the event from becoming a disaster.
Here are 7 guidelines for effective event management and planning to make your event truly entertaining, safe and uniquely memorable in 2019:
1. Ask for help in the Planning Process
You might think it’s easier to come up with the plan for the event by yourself, rather than get everybody—your team, partners or client—involved. After all, you don’t want to spend heaps of time discussing, explaining or hashing things out. But if you don’t ask for help, you may very quickly get overwhelmed.
You could have a lot of problems if you plan the event all by yourself. For instance, you might get blinkered thinking, which doesn’t take into account other people’s ideas or feedback. A lot of the time, people may catch things that you’ve missed. Getting their input might be your saving grace.
2. Simplify the process with the Right Tools
Forget the notebook and pen, to work efficiently and effortlessly, use online tools and apps to help you stay on top of everything and boost productivity.
Some examples are Slack – an app lets you chat, make video calls, store and share files as well as manage projects all in one place, Asana – a great task management app that allows you to assign tasks to other people, AnyDo – a simple app that allows you to create lists and tick off tasks as you complete them.
The more you can simplify your work, the more you can get done and the better the results will be!
3. Set the Budget
Budgets can be hard, but their a necessity of any event. Make a list of all your expected expenses so you can get an idea of how much everything will cost. And then always keep track of the actual expenses as they come up, filing away receipts and invoices for reference. One of the best ways to keep track of a budget is by putting together a spreadsheet.
Examples of Usual Event Expenses
- Venue rental
- Audio/visual hire
- Refrigerated truck rental and mobile cold rooms for food and drinks
- Marketing costs
- Staffing costs
4. Come up with a Marketing Plan
An event is only successful if the right people attend. If your event isn’t ‘invite only’, you’ll need to get the message out about the event to the right people. To ensure that, you need a good marketing plan.
Here’s few simple steps for setting up a marketing plan for your event:
Step #1: Determine your goals and set the marketing budget
Step #2: Choose the most appropriate types of content and marketing tactics to use
Step #3: Choose the best channels to promote your event (Ex: social media, print?)
Step #4: Find out how to effectively communicate with your target audience
Step #5: Collaborate with your sponsors/exhibitors
Step #6: Determine your success metrics
5. Get to know the Location
You can’t properly manage an event if you don’t have a good understanding of the location it will be held.
Say your event is taking place in a large metropolitan area – traffic will most likely be congested, so you need to figure out how people will get to and from your event, and also the logistics of deliveries of event supplies.
When planning the design of your event, it goes without saying that you need a good understanding of the size and layout of the event space.
6. Make sure it’s Engaging
Thanks to social media, event’s can quickly go viral.
Encourage attendees to take selfies and groufies (group selfies) at your event and add an event-specific hashtag. In addition to having a brilliant design, you can put up selfie-stations and other engaging spaces that attendees will love to take photos in. The buzz generated may let you reach a wider audience and entice more people along.
7. Store Food and Drinks Properly
Protect the food and drinks you’re going to serve from contamination to keep them safe for attendees.
Tips to Reduce the Risk of Contamination:
- Keep the storage areas clean and dry
- Only use food-safe containers, covers and packaging
- Make sure the packaging is intact
- Keep food out of warm or humid areas and direct sunlight
- Keep food, containers and packaging off the ground
- Keep food and drinks away from cleaning products, insect sprays and other chemicals
- If you need to store frozen food, make sure it remains at a constant temperature
- If you need to store raw food and meats, store them separately or below ready-to-eat food
- Store potentially hazardous food at 5°C or colder
Examples of Potentially Hazardous Food:
- Raw and cooked meat
- Dairy products
- Processed or sliced fruits and vegetables
- Cooked rice and pasta
- Foods that contain eggs, beans or nuts