A party for any reason can be a daunting task if it’s up to you to plan it. Be it a child’s birthday or a company meeting, there are certain things that must be done. Each event is different, but there are some similarities in the way you can approach the planning process.
Get a clear understanding of the purpose of your event.
Set the goals for your event. How many people do you expect? If this is a repeat event are you trying to get a larger turnout than last year? Determine what you wish your attendees to gain from the event.
Set your event budget. This should be a top priority and often difficult if this is your first time. How much can you or how much are you willing to spend? How are you paying for the event?
Select your date and location. This could be as simple as planning to mow the back yard or may involve a visit to another city to view hotel and convention space. Plan accordingly and give yourself plenty of time. Don’t expect a location to available for an event next month. Book now for next year.
When you are considering location you will want to keep in mind the following:
a) Room capacity. Is it too large or too small? Remember that if you’re having a luncheon for 200 people you need to consider serving space, space for guests and space of any AV equipment, entertainment of DJ. b) Lighting. Subtle lighting is nice for meal and social functions. But if you are planning an all day workshop on accounting methods, you will want to make sure there is adequate lighting in the room.
c) Parking. Is there adequate parking for your guest needs? Will they have to pay for parking? How far will they have to walk from the parking area to the event?
d) Electrical supply. A home gathering is not a problem, but you can’t plug a crock pot, DJ, lights and a fan into one outlet. If you are planning a large convention, you need to consider what equipment will be in use that needs electricity. e) Phone hook-ups. Will you need phone access during the event? Will your exhibitors need access? Are their any restrictions or limitations on wireless phone service in your event location?
f) Computer/Internet access. This could be important for exhibitors.
Working backward from your selected date(s), set up a project timeline with specific tasks that must be accomplished by specific dates. Some of the things you may want to make sure that are on your timeline are:
a) When to make your first announcement of the event.
b) Prepare and print promotional materials (brochures, invitations, etc.)
c) Select caterer/menu
d) Select entertainment
e) Select decorations/florist
f) Determine audio-visual needs
g) Select overnight accommodations, if needed
h) Secure transportation if necessary
i) Review and sign necessary contracts
j) Select and confirm speakers
k) Finalize your agenda/program
l) Confirm attendees
m) Prepare materials for event
n) Prepare name badges
o) Prepare any necessary signage
p) Prepare materials to be shipped to event location
q) Set up on site
r) Re-confirm details
s) Enjoy the event
6. Determine what vendors you will need to work with. These could include, but are certainly not limited to:
f) Registration Assistants
g) Audio-Visual suppliers
Determine if you need any special licenses or permits to host your event. This could be anything from arranging fees and permission for using recorded music to arranging to have sections of a major street blocked off for traffic control.
Public Relations. How do you plan to publicize your event? Are you going to the local card shop to get pre-printed invitations? Or do you need to develop a promotional brochure to be mailed to thousands of potential attendees.
Ask yourself if you are planning to notify the media. Is your event something that would be of interest to the general public? Or do you prefer for the event to remain private?
If you feel overwhlemed ask for help. Often professional event planners can lighten the load and save you money and mistakes. Not all of these suggestions will apply to your event, but by using these tips you can develop a check list of your own. Realize from the start that not everything will go as planned. But in many cases, you will be the only one to know that.
At almost every event, there comes a time when you can no longer control what happens. You’ve done all the planning, made all the preparations. The event will happen, one way or another. If we can help you plan your next event contact us at Pierce Events. 724-986-6939
Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at http://www.pierceevents.net