How to plan an event
Not sure how to plan an event, or even where to start? Maybe you were recently assigned an event to plan by your manager or you’re just starting out in the field, either way, there are a few basics for how to plan an event. The most important thing to remember is that no two events are the same – just like snowflakes. They’re all unique and have their own purpose. From event type to event size, there is an endless number of factors that change one event from the next. The event planning below is a rough guide to give you somewhere to start.
Event management planning process
What type of type of event are you planning?
Let’s start simple. Are you planning an internal or external event? An internal event is one within your organisation put on for employees. This event could be an appreciation event, a holiday party, training, team building exercise, and more. An external event is one outside of the organisation that looks to register attendees. From there, identify if it’s a social event, a networking event, a conference, etc. Start with a great event management plan. What event type is it? In-person, virtual, or hybrid? This will impact the event goals and the planning process.
Define event purpose
All events have a purpose. If you haven’t identified yours before you begin planning, then you’re starting off on the wrong foot. Why are you throwing this event? Is it to generate revenue? To launch a product? To educate? Your purpose drives how you plan, market, and execute your event.
Determine event size and duration
How many attendees will attend your event? What will be the event duration? As you decide, think about cost and the purpose of your event. More people mean a larger venue or a higher-cost virtual tech tool, but it could also mean a greater return on investment. Generally, the length of the event is determined by the type of event you are throwing. A conference typically lasts a few days, but if this is the first year of the event, you might want to do a two-day event vs. a three-day event to make sure the interest is there.
Create a budget
No one likes to talk about money. But setting an event budget is crucial–and all stakeholders need to be on the same page. Determine or nail down the event budget as soon as possible as you begin planning. The venue, food, technology, and entertainment are high-price items. There’s a lot to budget for (probably more than you might think) and starting with a clear event budget will make it easier as you plan.
Spend some time looking for the right corporate vent venue for your event. You can find all kinds of corporate vent venues on Venue Finder NZ. Know your meeting objectives and requirements. You need to start strong and by determining these at the outset, you’ll decrease the search process. Take into account feedback from attendees. Is this an annual event? If attendees ranked the venue from the previous year poorly, look at the feedback to pick a venue that will resonate better. Don’t feel alone! Reach out to your team, or others that have a stake in the event to brainstorm what factors are most important.
From a full-scale social media takeover to paid ads, event promotion takes many forms. It all depends on your budget, but the purpose of event marketing is to drive attendees to your event. Without attendees, the event wouldn’t exist. The most important thing to remember about event promotion is to start early. Create a plan when you begin planning an event and automate it as much as possible. Treat your invites like targeted e-marketing campaigns by segmenting audiences by contact type and job role with a clear call-to-action that will resonate with them, getting more people to RSVP.
Building an event agenda
Your entertainment and speakers are the main sources of inspiration at your event. Take the time to source speakers that align with your event theme and overall purpose. The agenda is a great selling point and should be included in your event marketing strategy. Event management software can help you organise a request for speakers and more. Create a robust agenda that will appeal to your attendees.