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7 Things I Learned From Planning A Big Event

Hosting a big event can seem like a daunting task, but it's also an opportunity to make a lasting impact and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. As someone who has planned numerous...

Hosting a big event can seem like a daunting task, but it's also an opportunity to make a lasting impact and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. As someone who has planned numerous events, I've learned some valuable lessons along the way. In this article, I'll share seven important things to keep in mind when planning a big event. So, let's dive in!

Expect the unexpected

When you transition from organizing small gatherings to planning a large-scale event, be prepared for the unexpected. There are countless details to consider, such as contracts with the venue, stage setup, AV teams, and more. Don't be caught off guard by unforeseen fees or agreements. Read every line of your contract carefully and work with someone experienced in event planning to ensure a smooth process.

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Everything takes longer than you expect

One of the most important things to remember is that everything takes longer than you anticipate. From selling tickets and attracting sponsors to setting up the venue and coordinating the timing of the event, it's crucial to give yourself ample time to ensure a successful outcome. Learn from my experience - start working on your presentation and preparations months in advance. Taking the time to perfect every aspect will make a significant difference in the quality of your event.

You simply cannot do it alone

While you may possess a wide range of skills, don't make the mistake of trying to do everything on your own. Enlist a team of volunteers and consider hiring an event planner to assist you. Having a strong team supporting you will not only alleviate the workload but also enhance the overall flow of the event. Remember, the better the experience for you and your guests, the more successful the event will be. It's impossible to do it all alone.

Your ROI isn’t going to be immediate

Planning a big event requires a significant investment. You'll encounter expenses you hadn't anticipated, and it's essential to have a contingency fund to account for these unexpected costs. It's also important to have open conversations with others involved in the event to determine what is necessary and what can be considered a luxury. In the beginning, you may not immediately generate a positive return on your investment. However, remember that certain assets, like banners and trade show signage, will serve you for a long time, providing value beyond the event itself.

If you’ve got sponsors, you can’t let them down

When you secure sponsors for your event, it's crucial to deliver on your promises. If you commit to filling the room, ensure that you follow through, even if it means offering complimentary tickets at your expense. Take strategic steps to invite the right people who will contribute to the overall success of the event. A mix of familiar faces who know, like, and trust you with new attendees will create a dynamic and engaging atmosphere.

Give yourself time, and money to learn

If event planning isn't your area of expertise, it's important to allocate time to learn and improve. Take advantage of the opportunity to capture your experiences and insights after each event. Reflect on what worked well and what could be enhanced for the future. Debrief with your team while the experience is still fresh in your minds, and create plans to implement what you've learned. Embrace the learning process and allow room for growth and improvement.

Expect mistakes and always look for solutions

No event is perfect, and mistakes are bound to happen. While they may seem significant to you, your audience often won't even notice. Assign someone from your team to oversee the event day and handle any hiccups that arise. Setting clear expectations and communicating effectively with your team beforehand can prevent many mistakes from occurring in the first place. Remember, it's important to find solutions and keep the event running smoothly.

Planning a big event is a challenging and rewarding endeavor. By anticipating the unexpected, giving yourself time to prepare, and building a strong support team, you'll be well-equipped to create an unforgettable experience for your attendees. So, embrace the journey, learn from each event, and let your passion shine through.

Leave a comment below and let me know, what is one thing that stood out to you during an event and made it memorable? (The good OR the bad).