Throwing an event is a great way to get people talking about your business, as well as showing your most important clients a good time. But great events don’t simply happen overnight – they take a huge amount of planning and preparation to ensure that everything goes smoothly. You don’t want to risk the event backfiring and people discussing your business for all the wrong reasons. With this in mind, we have compiled this guide of how you can plan your business event so everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
Determine Event Purpose and Target Audience
Rather than just throwing an event for the sake of it, you should have clear business reasons behind why you have decided to gather all these people together. Is it to generate leads? Is it to announce that launch of a new product? Are you aiming to encourage customer loyalty? Once you are clear about what you are trying to achieve, you can decide who you are planning to invite – whether this is an exclusive event for your most important clients or an occasion for the general public that anyone can turn up to.
Make a List of Details
Next up, you should be looking to make a detailed list of all the details about the event that you can think of including the venue, entertainment, food and drink, transportation, gifts and anything else you can think of. This is the part where you don’t want to leave anything to chance as there is a lot to consider. Even if you are going to hire an events agency, you should ensure that you are involved in the planning process so that everything runs as you would like it to. However, you may have to be flexible on certain details, but as long as you don’t lose sight of the overall aim of the event, you should be fine.
Create a Financial Plan
Events can get very expensive very quickly if you let the finances spiral out of control. You may be funding your event through sponsorship, ticket sales or out of your own pocket, but you need to be detailed in every aspect of financial planning. The venue, food and drinks tend to hit your budget pretty hard, so if you can come up with some sort of reciprocal sponsorship deal with these kinds of organizations, you will put yourself in a stronger position financially.
Market Your Event
Getting people to attend your event in the first place is a big part of the battle, so you will need to come up with a marketing plan. If you are sending exclusive invites, make sure that they look suitably fancy and you give people plenty of notice so they know whether or not they can attend. If you are planning to get as many people there as possible, use a range of different methods including social media, traditional advertising and PR stunts. Highlight exactly why it is that people will want to attend this event and what the benefits are to them.
Organize the Events Team
Now the planning stages of your event will be really ramping up, it is time to put together a team of people who will be running it. Delegate responsibilities carefully if you are running the event using your own members of staff, and try to let people take control of the areas that they most enjoy. Along the way, oversee everything to ensure that each aspect is being properly managed. If you are planning on having your team wear branded clothing, now is the time to organize it. Take a look here if you are searching for a lapel pin supplier. Remember that you will need some members of staff in the public eye, while others will be ensuring things run smoothly behind the scenes.
On the Day
On the day of the event, you will want to get everything set up as early as possible to give you attendees the experience that they were expecting. Ensure that you are front and centre, speaking to the different guests and getting them anything they need. The crowd reaction should be your barometer of how things are going. If you feel like your need to make last minute adjustments to the running of the event, this is an option. Make sure that you look your best and practice your speech as much as possible. You need to remember not to panic – one or two things are bound to go wrong but you don’t want to let them phase you.
Create a Contingency Plan
Following on from the last point, it is a good idea that you have a contingency plan to deal with any problems that you may come up against. Imagine how the event will run in a step by step way, and write out some possibilities of what could go wrong. And then try to come up with a solution to each one of these potential problems. Even if none of them end up happening, it still helps to give you peace of mind knowing that you are ready to deal with them.
After Event Steps
After the event has happened, there are still a few things that you could be doing to make the most of it. Send out some thank you letters to everyone who attended and let them know if there are any further events coming up in the near future. Any photos or videos that you have taken should be uploaded to social media, and you may even want to write a blog post giving more information about how things went.
Planning a business event is never an easy task, but the rewards that you experience often make it worthwhile. Essentially, you can never be too organized, and thinking through every detail can help you out massively in the long run. Be prepared that not everything will go exactly as you expected it and also have a contingency plan in place so you can deal with any problems that may occur.