Organising formal events

When it comes to organising events, those of a more formal or professional nature can be quite daunting.

But a successful formal event, as with any other event, all comes down to proper planning. As long as you plan and organise everything in a clear, defined manner beforehand, you’ll find that running a formal event is far easier.

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Have a clear goal / purpose

While casual and personal events may come with a basic goal of “catching up with friends”, formal events usually have a more specific purpose. It could be to launch a product, it could be for networking industry peers, it could be in the name of a charitable cause, etc. Whatever the goal, make sure you fully define it. Knowing your goal allows you to then build the event around it, giving it some much needed structure.

Have a budget / determine how much the event will cost to run

Events naturally cost money, and in the case of more formal events, the costs can tend to run a bit higher. You’ll need to account for the costs of the location you’re hiring (if applicable), how much money you will need to spend on food/drinks/catering/cold storage, costs of prizes or purchasable items (if applicable – e.g. charity events), and so on. Once you know these costs, be sure to add more to that for contingency costs.

Will you need sponsors?

Formal events can often benefit from having sponsors – companies that will help fund the event in the name of getting their brand name out there to a wider audience. It’s a good option if you’re looking for some additional funding; just make sure you don’t forget to thank them for the part they’ve played in making your event a reality. And remember that businesses tend to try and sponsor events where they know a sizeable number of people will attend and enjoy the proceedings.

Invitations / decorations

An event isn’t exactly worth it if no one attends, so make sure to send invites out early on. At least two months beforehand is a good amount of time. It gives people enough time to find out about the event, decide whether it’s something they’d be interested in, and make sure they’re available for it.

Don’t forget about the aesthetic of your event. Decorations are important, whether you’re looking at the table coverings or whether or not certain decorations will be festooned across the walls.

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