Top Tips for your event

Event planning can be stressful, especially if you still have your own job to do! In many cases it’s actually much more cost effective to secure the services of professional event managers. When the time, people and production costs are added to the “hassle factor”, the best option can be to get the experts in.

If, however, you want to try your hand at a DIY event, we’ve compiled these event friendly tips to help you on your way!

  • Have a clear purpose for the event.  Before you can begin planning an event, be clear why you are doing it, because every decision after that should support your main goal.

  • Decide upon your audience.  The first step is to clearly define your target audience. From this everything else will fall into place in terms of format, content, prices, location etc.

  • Create strategic and measurable goals. Great events start with a strong, well thought out and measurable strategy.

  • Make a list of details — everything from lighting through to refreshments.  When planning events, everything matters – Venues, facilities, program content, transportation, parking, accommodation...the list is long — Make a check list!

  • Watch out for other events when scheduling.  Check the calendar. Make sure your event isn’t too close to bank holidays, busy work periods, holiday times or other events.

  • Be flexible and realistic. You may find that your event changes in ways than originally envisioned.  Be aware of what can or cannot realistically be done.

  • Create a budget - estimate attendance. Make a list of all the expenses...even those you don’t expect to incur.  Estimate your attendance working off most possible attendees.

  • How is this relevant???  Make sure you are offering content that is relevant to your audience, that they will get value from.  Make it a worthwhile experience.

  • Decide how you communicate your event. Create a plan to advertise your event.  Find your USP and never assume the benefits of attending are obvious!  Use social media...a lot!  It’s free, in most cases and widespread.

  • Find an advertising hook – find something quirky and interesting about your event and make that the focus of your communications to stand out.

  • Encourage registration. Use online facilities or make it as easy as possible for invitees to confirm their attendance.  Early bird tickets/incentives are a great way to get numbers

  • Follow up, check...and follow up again.  Check your event list often with everyone involved

  • Contingency Plan!: Imagine the event, step by step, and make a 2-column list.  Add what could go wrong in one column and your back up plan in the second.  

  • Manage expectations – then deliver. Ensure that the audience has a GREAT experience; and that you exceed expectations –seek event feedback to measure this

  • Look your best but be comfortable:  Turn out well and appropriately for the type of event  but remember you may have to do a lot of running around or lifting

  • Be a jack of all trades. As the event manager you may find yourself serving the coffee...sorting out a Speakers travel disaster...becoming a last minute MC – Be prepared

  • Measure!  On the job experience and post evaluation are often the best learning tools to develop your next event. Use a suitable method to identify ways to continuously improve.

  • Enjoy it! You’ve worked hard and you might be tired by event day but enjoy it, you’ve earned it!