Dawn and I filmed a 1 hour webinar on Neworld Web about this topic… To view that show please clicker here
Event Planning the Neworld Way!
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up!” ~A.A. Milne
First things first: Determine all parties needed (involved). The size and scope of your event will help determine how large of a team you will need for your event and who you are joint venturing with (if anyone). Whether your event is large or small, it is absolutely imperative that you have a leader…this is the person who makes all final decisions or delegates certain responsibilities (most often you).
Ask yourself the following questions before you begin making any plans…
- What do you want to achieve by having this event?
- Is there a current need for this event?
- Have similar events been done successfully in the past?
- Is everyone in your crew enthusiastic about this event?
- Do you have enough time to properly organize, promote & follow up for this event?
- Will your event be open to the public or by invitation only?
- Is your event meant to inform (lecture, workshop etc) or entertain (party etc)?
- Will your event be casual, business casual, semi-formal or formal?
- How many people do you expect and want to attend?
- What will your price point be for attendance?
- Will there be any bonuses or incentives for participation?
- Will this be an annual or repeated event?
Use the answers from the above questions (along with any suggestions from your team) to create succinct event goals. This will make decision making easier and planning priorities clearer.
Timelines: 2-3 months before your event…
Determine your event date:
- Choose a date that does not conflict with other events
- Consider the time of year (weather, holidays & vacations etc)
- Google events in that area
- Check Chamber of Commerce events etc
5 Things to Consider When Developing your Budget:
- Inventory required for sale
- Follow up
- ADD 20% for the “Unexpected”
Donations (received and perhaps given)
Keep clear record right from the start (receipts)
- Set feasible targets (minimum, target, extraordinary)
Book Keynotes and other players:
- Before you finalize a venue, be sure to arrange for speakers etc and determine their availability and costs.
- Always provide a contract for your speakers!
- Arrange for photography or video of event
Choose a Venue:
- Based on budget
- Have an alternate date in mind
- Consider different times of day for alternate costs
- Sponsorship in lieu of payment?
- Consider parking and ease of finding location
Determine your Marketing Campaign & Promotions:
- Does your event have a theme? If so…how will this be incorporated in your marketing?
- Create your visual image (logos, colours, email templates, images etc…& dedicate tostick to this branding)
- Create your consistent message (title for event USP etc)
- Read over “Shameless” for no cost promotional ideas
- Arrange for printed materials to be designed and created (posters, flyers etc) GET QUOTES before choosing a printer or designer
- Update online resources to reflect event
Check in with ALL team members:
- Does everyone understand their responsibilities?
- Give everyone a list with contact information for everyone on the team along with clearly defined duties and expectations
- Do you have “back ups” in place?
Once all of the above is determined…schedule everything in your calendar with reminders!
6 weeks before your event…
Finalize the schedule: (this should be in your calendar)
- Break your event down into 15 min intervals to insure that all the bases are covered
- Finalize who should be where…when
- Organize any volunteers if any
- If you will be having edibles at your event…now is the time to work all of this out
- Plan menu (according to budget & suspected # of attendees)
- Get quotes from caterers if necessary
- Plan for more food than is necessary (you can return some unopened items and most others freeze well)
- Use the internet to find interesting party recipes and finger foods (consider refrigeration)
- Investigate whether liquor license is needed (apply on time and have a licensed server ready)
- Revisit your goals for the event and make last minute adjustments before beginning to market
Marketing & Promotion:
- Make sure that all web forms for registration are complete and working
- Develop a plan for distribution (posters, email campaigns)
- Start your marketing campaign & schedule as much as you can
- Change signature blocks to reflect event in your P.S.
- Create spreadsheet for attendees
- Make sure that you are talking with your team regularly now (put meetings for this in calendar)
- Ensure that EVERYONE knows their responsibilities (including set up and clean up)
1 month before your event…
- Step up the marketing & promotions (biggest concentration right now…get the word out!)
- Prepare media release send
- Make absolutely sure that everything is on track (food, volunteers etc)
- Reconfirm with venue (meet with rep if necessary)
- Reconfirm with speakers
- Create a checklist for all items that must be packed & brought to venue
2 weeks before your event…
- Final push for marketing & promotions
- Make any changes if necessary
- Schedule follow up procedures and start prep (thank you cards etc)
Week of your event…
- Purchase supplies needed
- Review event schedule and adjust if necessary
- Refer to your checklist constantly
- Pick up float ($)
Day before your event…
- Pack all necessary materials for tomorrow
- Call the team to make sure everyone is on track (including speakers & photographers etc)
- Tie up all loose ends
- Get a good night’s sleep
Day OF your event…
- Finalize spreadsheet
- ARRIVE EARLY (at least 1 hour before registration)
- Set up
- Try to enjoy YOUR event (remain professional at ALL times)
- Remember what MAY be required for your follow up. (comment cards etc)
- Ensure photo/video is on track
- Stay Present and Aware at all times (keep your wits about you)
After your event…
- Carry through with follow up procedures (thank you cards etc)
- Return any rentals
- Settle up any unpaid obligations (giving to charity, unpaid bills etc)
- Rebook venue for next year (if applicable)
- Ensure that follow marketing materials are in place (automatic emails & other mailouts etc)
- Repurpose all possibilities (articles, newsletter, website. Blog. Social networks etc…work once)
- Evaluate the event for yourself and include in records.
Plan your next event…
- REPEAT ABOVE
As always… I am intrigued by passionate people who want advice about being successful with their goals. If you would like to speak with me about your business, simply contact the office to make arrangements.
P.S. Check out the video link at the top of this article… great show!