Planning an event can be overwhelming, especially if its your first time…“Where do I begin?”, becomes a constant thought let alone, “What do I do and HOW do I do it?!?”…
When I first started events I was lucky enough to have some great mentors guide the way, we had a true game plan and that takes time to really master, but all is not lost.
You can create a smooth event, no matter what kind, from start to finish with just the basics in mind. Here are my top 5 tips to putting on a successful event:
1. Create a Timeline
As in from start to finish…A successful event is one that had been properly planned out from beginning to end. Include deadlines, goals and other tasks that need to be completed before the event. This acts as 2 things, a timeline and check list.
Expect to have a run of show for the day of that outlines an agenda of all moving parts of the event. You may even start to realize how much staff (if any) is needed and this will give you a great idea of the experience from the guest point of view.
2. Be Budget Friendly
So now you know what you want and how much time to have to get it. Question now is, how much will this cost? Determining a budget prior will help you decide what you want from what you need. ( And I hate numbers FYI so even I get through it!)
I also recommend breaking down your budget in sections: Venue cost, Entertainment costs, Catering costs etc. This will help you see where you can move money and where you are spending too much!
3. Save the Date
And determine a location. Take into consideration holidays and another events that may give reason for people not to attend. Also think about how the weather might be that time of year and whether an out door event is a good call. (always have an indoor backup for rainy months.)
4. Shop Around
So you really want a certain kind of flower or photo booth, great, but shop around. Don’t take the first offer handed to you. There is always room for negotiations…just how much room depends differently on each supplier/vendor. A savings is a savings!….and be nice to whomever you hire! Yes this is your event and these are stressful times, but make this a good experience for the hired service suppliers as well. They are people too.
5. Expect the Unexpected
Lets face it, shit happens. No matter who perfect you can arrange things, there may be something you missed, not delivered, broken or missing..AND ITS OK. These things happen, but how you react to them is what matters most.