How to Plan an Event: Your 13-Step Essential Guide to Event Organisation

Whether you're a seasoned event planner or just starting out in the industry, it's always a good idea to refresh your knowledge and ensure you don't overlook any important details that could impact the success...

Whether you're a seasoned event planner or just starting out in the industry, it's always a good idea to refresh your knowledge and ensure you don't overlook any important details that could impact the success of your event. Planning a big event can be overwhelming, and even experienced professionals can fall into common pitfalls. So, to help you organize a flawless event, we've put together a comprehensive guide with 13 essential steps.

Planning

At the initial stage of event planning, it's crucial to brainstorm and outline your ideas before diving into concrete preparations. This is the time to determine your goals and objectives, set a budget, decide on the type of event, select a date, find a suitable location, and create a guest list.

1. Set Goals/Objectives

Every event has goals, even if it's just a casual get-together. Consider the purpose of your event and what you want to achieve. Are you raising funds, creating awareness, or promoting a product? Define your objectives specifically to measure the event's success accurately.

2. Budget

Establishing a budget is a critical step that influences all your decisions. Calculate the total cost by listing all necessary expenses and gathering quotes. If you've organized similar events in the past, use those figures as a baseline. Keep in mind that unexpected costs might arise, so allocate around 10% of your budget for contingencies.

3. What Type of Event?

Depending on your goals and content, choose the type of event that suits your needs. Consider conferences, workshops, trade shows, private dinners, networking events, or product launches. Make a schedule that includes all the activities you want to host and weigh the pros and cons of each event type.

4. Set the Date

Selecting the right date is crucial, as it affects attendance and costs. Ensure that the date aligns with your objectives and consider the availability of potential attendees and venues.

5. Location

Choose a venue that suits your event's size, type, and geographic requirements. Consider accessibility for attendees coming from various locations, technical needs for hybrid events, and facilities such as in-house catering.

6. Guest List

Create a guest list and determine the target audience. Analyze their preferences and come up with selling points to entice them to attend. If you're selling tickets, set a price that covers your expenses.

Organising

Now that you have a clear vision of your event, it's time to solidify your plans. Build a reliable events team, secure suppliers and entertainment, promote your event, ensure health and safety measures, finalize schedules and venue details, and send reminders.

7. Build an Events Team

For larger events, assemble a dedicated events team to handle various tasks. Delegate responsibilities and designate roles for marketing, design, scheduling, and coordination. Having an event manager and on-site coordinators also helps ensure smooth execution.

8. Suppliers, Speakers, and Entertainment

Compile a list of ideal speakers and entertainment options based on the event's size and format. Approach them with a value proposition that aligns with their interests. Connect with suppliers to finalize dates and ensure they are a good fit for your event.

9. Promoting and Selling Tickets

Start promoting your event early, even if the schedule isn't finalized. Create teaser campaigns, offer early-bird discounts, and utilize social media to generate interest. Engage guest speakers to help spread the word and consider using a unique hashtag to track engagement.

10. Health and Safety

Develop a comprehensive health and safety plan, including risk assessments and contingency plans. Identify potential hazards, such as fire, first aid, weather, and crowd management, and establish protocols to handle emergencies. Seek advice from professionals and collaborate with your team, suppliers, and contractors.

11. Finalize Your Schedule + Contingency Plans

Refine your event schedule by allocating time for each activity, considering fixed time constraints and potential unforeseen circumstances. Prepare contingency plans to address any last-minute changes or emergencies that may arise.

12. Finalize Venue Details

Review all event-related details with your contractors and suppliers to ensure everything is in order. Triple check technical aspects, signage, security, and health and safety requirements. Conduct walkthroughs of the venue to identify any overlooked elements.

13. Send Reminders

Send timely reminders to guests, suppliers, speakers, and anyone involved in the event. Include final details such as weather reports, travel plans, and schedules. Keep the event buzz alive on social media to maintain engagement.

Remember, the event cycle doesn't end with the event itself. Engage with attendees afterward, gather feedback, analyze attendance, and review your objectives to improve future events. With careful planning and execution, your event is bound to be a success!

Looking for the perfect venue for your next event? Check out our curated list of cool party venues.

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