Event planning is a creative career with good job prospects but it is ranked one of the most stressful occupations out there. Whether it is a company event, an all-day conference, or a multi-day annual meeting, the pressure to hold an enjoyable and successful event can bring the stress level up to the top. Put the stress aside, the atmosphere of being surrounded by people who share the same passion as you, and the advice you take in, is not compared by anything else. A good conference will educate you with new source of ideas from like-minded people, and leave you re-energized.
However, there is an effective template of 5 steps you might want to follow to ensure you could basically plan a worthwhile event, as there are of course other factors that could affect how an event goes.
1. Find Out Why
Sit down with people who are also in charge of an event like you (if you have any) and talk through the purpose of the conference. Is your end goal to generate revenue? Educate attendees? Maintain relationships? Get more attention? It is the first thing to do to figure out the reasons why you plan this event.
2. Draft a Budget
Once you determine the goal of an event, the second thing is to set a budget. Experts recommend to make a budget spreadsheet listing all the major cost items—venue, staff, meals, audio equipment hire and much more. Don’t forget to include to the costs for the marketing part. Would you use a website, brochure or leaflet to get publicity for your event? There is also another thing you need to take into consideration—how will you pay for your event? Will you charge participants, or you will take out part of the funds from your company?
3. Work with Vendors
Before you take this step, you should communicate with the venue what is provided and included, what is not. Find out if you need to hire audio equipment or get a catering service. If you do need to use any vendors, start working with them as early as possible. The connections and network that vendors have is an advantage. Your A/V equipment service team might know the best catering service with great prices. Make use of that.
4. Set the Agenda
A detailed draft timeline for your event is necessary. Depending on what type of event you are planning, the timeline of activities varies. If you are holding a conference, an agenda that starts early and ends early is recommended. Mix free networking time in between and plan to feed your participants every a few hours.
5. Market Your Event
By now you have put so much effort into all the planning beforehand, it is time to get your voice out there, and get it heard. Most events are doing marketing online these days through emails, social media, and websites. Before you spend money on marketing your event on campaign or guest posts, create a logo and colour scheme. If you are targeting the locals as most of your participants, local event listing websites are a good option to use. Offering discounts to organizations that send more than one participant is also a great way to attract people.