Planning and managing an event can be an overwhelming task, especially with all the time and money that you have to commit. In this handy little guide, South Wales based Quadrant PR highlight a number of tips to help make event management an easier and more efficient process.
Defining your events purpose
The first thing to do when planning an event is to define its purpose. Ask yourself why you are planning the event, and what you hope to achieve from doing so. By understanding what you want to achieve from the event, you will put yourself in a better position to make decisions.
Setting a budget
To ensure that you're event is as cost effective as possible, having a budget is paramount. If you haven't got a budget in place, you are running the risk of overspending on the event. Make a list of everything you are likely to need (in order of importance) and then allocate a certain amount to each item on the list. It's also worth setting aside a contingency budget. No matter how hard you try to budget, there is always the possibility that something will happen to incur extra costs that you wouldn't have originally accounted for. As a general rule of thumb, allow an extra 10% of your total budget for contingency funding.
Choosing a venue
When deciding where the event will take place, take into consider how convenient its location will be for guests. If your guests will be travelling from a variety of regions, it's a good idea to choose somewhere that is central to everyone. Once you have a shortlist of potential venues, get a quote for at least three of these as the cost of venues can differ quite significantly.
Now that you have chosen your venue, it's time to start making arrangements. Make a list of everything that you will need to arrange, this should include things such as catering, entertainment and equipment. If you're planning a large event, you will probably be asked to sign a contract that carries a penalty for cancellation. Be sure to read through the contract thoroughly before you sign it and negotiate changes to the clauses where necessary. Once you have made arrangements with providers, make sure that you establish a clear point of contact with them. Be sure to get their relevant contact names, their email addresses and their telephone numbers.
Determining a start and finish time for your event
The length of the event will depend on its format. For example, if you plan on having a reception at the beginning of the event, you will need to add an hour. If meals are provided, then another hour will have to be set aside for this too. Make a timeline for the event that gives a breakdown of how it will unfold. For example: 6pm: Reception with welcome drinks, 7pm: Meal, 8pm: Presentation 9pm: Entertainment. By making a timeline it will be easier to set an estimated start and finish time.
Naming your event
The name that you give your event is of paramount importance. This is the first piece of information that potential attendees will read about the event and could determine whether or not they choose to attend. Give it a catchy title, one that intrigues people and encourages them to take an interest in it. As a general rule of thumb, the tile should give people a clear indication of what it's about.
Choosing a date
It's unlikely that everyone will be available on the date that you choose, but there are a number of things to consider that will increase the chances of their availability. Check that there aren't any similar events taking place on the same day, it's important that you avoid direct competition. Also consider school holidays and public holidays. If you know a lot of the people that will be attending, send an email around that asks people to confirm their availability for a selection of dates. Most importantly, try and let people know about the event as far in advance as possible.
Sending out invitations
Once you have chosen a suitable date for your event, it's time to start sending out invitations. If you don't know the guests you are inviting, sending them an invitation by letter is much more appropriate than sending one by e-mail. If you have developed a good relationship with the people who are attending, it's a lot easier and more cost effective to send their invites via email. If there are any recipients who do not respond to your invitation, it's worth calling them to find out whether or not they will be attending.
Staying calm on the day of the event
Now that all the hard work is done, it's time to ensure that the event runs smoothly. On the morning of the event, make a check list that you must complete in order for everything to be ready. By making a check list, you will feel relaxed in the knowledge that you have everything under control. Once you know that everything is ready, you can relax and enjoy the rewards of your hard work.