Organizing and running an event takes a lot of planning and hard work to ensure that everyone has a good time and the event delivers what was expected. No matter the size of the event, there are a number of fundamental elements that have to be in place for the occasion to be recognized as a success; from having a clear agenda for the day to making sure the speaker system is spot on so everyone can hear!
One of the first and the most important aspects has to be asking yourself why? Why does this event need to happen? What is the purpose? If you are not the person responsible for making these decisions, do you feel you have clear direction from the person that does? Getting this stage of the process absolutely defined is crucial in order to make your event a success. Now that you have your ‘Why’, let’s discuss the ‘How’.
Ideally, you need to have in mind the size of your target audience. This will determine what type of location/venue you will need. Note down your vision for the agenda of the day – will you have speakers? Are you looking to have a mix of formal and informal activities? You need to think about the type of food you want to offer – sit down meal for the main refreshment break or buffet style/ Consider what is more important –cost or the experience? Here on in you need to find the balance to make your event a success.
If your organization has run similar events before, is there any feedback available to help you plan this one? If not, it is a good idea to run a short poll/survey.
Once a budget has been agreed with your organization/superiors work hard to stay within its boundaries. Depending on the reason for the event, there is the option to offset the cost to you and the organization by charging attendees/participants.
Don’t settle for the first estimate, shop around but don’t wait too long to lock down a purchase – especially the location/venue. Once a price has been agreed, get it confirmed in writing.
It is always a good idea to agree on a budget with at least a 10% flexibility built-in. Event organization can take many turns, having a financial contingency will make the whole process a whole lot less stressful. If you are lucky enough to have a team supporting you with the event, make sure the approval process for purchases and invoices is clear and understood by all.
Once a venue has been decided on, the next step is setting up contracts with your suppliers who you will be working with on the day. During the planning stage, you will have made a list of the various elements of the day. Now is the time to work through it. Review agreements with each supplier and note their cancellation policy. Check with the venue what is available within your contract – be clear on items such as sound equipment. It is a good idea to review the sound system available at the venue and decide if it is fit for purpose. If not, just add it to your hire list. In some instances, the sound system may be adequate but additional speakers are required, start looking for speaker hire in London early to find the right sound system for your needs.
People will remember what they heard or did during your event. Getting the rights speakers is vital for the event atmosphere and ultimate success. Once you’ve got the right people confirmed, make sure they have all they need to deliver an engaging performance – sound equipment, IT equipment etc. Confirm requirements well in advance of the day.
Tell people about the event! Have a multi-channel marketing strategy – online, radio and local published media are all useful avenues. Investing in a unique logo and colour scheme will instantly help your event to be memorable and recognizable.