Running a successful in-person event requires dedication, planning, and hard work. The event may take a significant slice of the budget, so it is essential to ensure that the event uses finances and resources effectively. Successful events always start with the end in mind approach to help take stock of what is required to create SMART objectives. Below is a list of tips for organizing a successful in-person event.
Event preparations should be done as early as possible. Early planning is essential as key speakers will be readily available, acquiring the ideal venue is more manageable, and there will be time to promote the event. If you are planning a relatively large event, you should start preparations four to six months in advance, and if you are planning a small event, you are advised to begin your preparations at least one month in advance. An event involves different moving parts, and early practices enable you to secure options, including sponsorship, marketing, speakers, and venue. More options when planning an event allow you to establish a successful event.
Establish Your Budget
Planning an event earlier on is crucial as it allows you to have a rough estimate of the required budget. The set budget dictates various elements of your event, and it is vital to have an assessment before planning anything else. Some essential elements to include in your budget include the venue, catering, entertainment, marketing, software, contingencies, decoration, and labor costs. Upon securing some of the vendors, you must then update your budget with the actual spending to assist you in evaluating the performance of your event.
Choose an Ideal Venue
The venue you choose for an in-person event may make or break the success of an event. If the event is recurring, your venue options may be limited as the date of the event may already be set. For a brand new event, you have the required wiggle room to decide the date by ensuring you have enough time to plan, especially if you plan to host a big event. Always pay attention to religious and national holidays, avoid periods coinciding with school holidays as venues tend to be more expensive, and check dates with VIP guests and other participants. Once you decide on a rough timeline for the event, you may start researching prospective venues.
Create a Written Event Plan
Once you estimate the required budget and the rough timeline for the event, you are advised to devise a written plan to act as a roadmap for the event’s success. A comprehensive event plan helps you coordinate volunteers, manage your team, and secure sponsorships and talents. The program you establish should cover logistics, presenters, venue, timeline, promotion plan, catering management, and registration management, among others. Depending on your event, you may also consider additional elements such as a detailed schedule to accompany the event plan. You are advised to keep in mind details including permits, insurance policies, logistics, and required contracts for different elements. You may also visit the past documentation and data when creating an event plan, primarily if you have hosted a similar event. A written plan helps you assign accountability and juggle various event elements.
Establish the Event Team
If you consider planning the event alone, you may skip this process. However, sharing the load with others is highly recommended, regardless of whether you plan to have a small event. The event team should not be overly extensive, although you should consider designating an event manager to supervise and lead the whole team. The manager assigns responsibilities and roles to different team members depending on the number of individuals, and if the group is relatively small, one person may be given multiple roles.
Some typical roles for team members include speakers, venue management, volunteer management, and catering. Assigning roles to team members promotes accountability, improves productivity, and increases the chances of a successful event. You can also employ a reliable event management app to delegate tasks, manage the whole team, and track each team member’s progress depending on their assigned responsibilities.
Create a Marketing Plan
Regardless of how you plan your event, if you fail to secure enough attendees, your event is likely to be a failure. You may consider dividing your marketing efforts into a pre-launch, early bird, headliner announcement, additional announcement, last call, registration closing, and post-event. You can employ multiple channels, including social media marketing, advertisement, and email marketing, to design your marketing effort—conduct market research to gather information about your target attendees, including their frequent channels.
Planning and organizing an in-person event may be challenging at times, but the listed tips can assist you in having a successful event. Ensure you understand your target attendees and how you can deliver value to them to increase the chance for success.