How to Organize an Event in 10 Easy Steps
It takes a lot of effort to host an event that is memorable. You want your guests to feel the impact of your event and share their takeaways with their friends, family, coworkers, and social networks.
Yet it can be easy to throw a successful large-scale gala or community event just by following a few key principles. Here are 10 best practices to follow for your next event to ensure it goes off without a hitch!
1. Define the purpose: Answer these questions:
- Why are you having this event?
- Who is it for?
- What do you want to provide/have attendees walk away with (physical and/or intellectual)?
2. Establish a budget: It is important to establish your budget early as it helps you determine the event scope and scale you can afford. If it can be lavish and upscale or moderate and simple. This will also help you from digging into your personal finances.
- How much money do you have to spend?
- Are you able to accomplish your purpose for the amount of people that you want to attend via that budget?
3. Establish partners and sponsors: If you don't have enough money to accomplish your purpose or you want to expand the audience, you can reach out to potential partners and/or sponsors. Partners/Sponsors are often willing to provide financial or material support if your event aligns with their mission.
4. Find a venue and set a date: Establishing a date and a place are the most important steps to take before you can continue to move forward. Where you have your event determines how many people you can invite, the activities you can provide, and much more.
5. Invite your audience/Market your event: Make sure your ideal audience knows about your event with enough time to make it a priority on their calendar. Send invitations to inform your guests and so they have a way to contact you if they have questions. Be strategic about the marketing channel that you use to spread the word, make sure it's the one that your audience uses too. If you don't have enough money to accomplish your purpose or you want to expand the audience, you can reach out to potential partners and sponsors that want to provide financial or material support because your event aligns with their mission as well.
6. Place orders with your vendors: Whether you’re in need of furniture, food and beverage, registration, decor, audio/visual, technology, parking, materials, photography, videography, you’ll need to work with a variety of vendors to get everything you need for your event. Track your budget the entire time and be sure to keep note of when each vendor plans to load-in and out of your event space.
7. Day-of Plan: Identify what needs to be done the day of and determine who can help you. Provide staff with comprehensive information beforehand including a run of show/production schedule, supplies list, script, contact list, security plan, etc.
8. Have the event! Enjoy: If you're thoroughly prepared, this should be a piece of cake. Follow your item-by-item sequence of events, communicate with your team, and help your staff succeed—calmly problem solve as needed.
9. Post-event reporting: Survey your attendees' happiness and take their feedback seriously. Pay your vendors and reconcile your budget. Thank your team. Prepare a recap event blog post for your website explaining the highlights of the events, thoughts the attendees had about it, and include high-quality images. This will gain you the exposure and media you need to create a lasting impression and continue to scale.
10. Scale: Was it a success? Do it again, but bigger and better. There’s always room for improvement and growth.