Are you in charge of planning an event? If so, you have to juggle responsibilities that may seem overwhelming at times. With so many moving parts that have to fit together for an event, it’s important to establish a plan so you stay on track toward success.
Keeping reading to learn 7 tips you should follow when planning your next event!
1. When Planning an Event, Know Your Budget
As with anything, staying within a budget is key. Make sure that you know the budget from the get-go so you can plan accordingly. That way you’ll know where you can cut corners to shave off some dollars, and where you’ll want to invest more.
What expenses do you need to consider? For starters, know the cost of the venue — and look into whether you can save money by holding your event on a different day of the week.
Additionally, plan your budget with food costs, marketing, decorations, and entertainment in mind. Give yourself a little bit of cushion, too, in case you want to upgrade your headlining act or need to shell out more than you anticipate for food.
2. Map Out a Timeline
It’s always smart to have the date of the event in mind when you’re planning. You can work backward and know when you need to have deliveries made and personnel in place. Don’t find yourself in a situation where everything is mapped out clearly, but the band you want is booked!
And be sure to keep your attendees in the loop about things as soon as possible. Send out invitations right away with a clear description of the event, time, venue, and dress code. Also include an RSVP deadline since that will impact your seating arrangements.
In your timeline, plan for the unknown, too. What does that mean? Know that sometimes things will come up at the last minute, and you’ll need to call an audible.
Have a trusted sidekick who can help you troubleshoot when problems come up. Hopefully, your plans will run smoothly, but you’ll earn even higher marks as an event planner if you can handle setbacks with a calm, cool, and creative response.
3. Use Social Media To Promote It
Social media is an inexpensive and effective way to promote your event and capture it as it happens. Assign your savviest team member to be a roving photographer and ask them to post updates while your event unfolds.
Give your event a hashtag, and ask guests to use it whenever they post pictures online. You’ll build momentum and branding without even doing a lot of work!
Set up a photo station at your event as an engaging and easy way to capture the moment. Just pick a corner of the space, add a fun backdrop, and ask guests to stop by for a candid photo.
4. Make Event Planning Software Your Best Friend
Sometimes a little technology can make your life easier — and that definitely holds true when you’re planning an event! You’ll be happier when you invest in some software to simplify your job.
Event floor plan software will make plotting seating arrangements and placing furniture around your venue a piece of cake. There’s no need to mess with hand-drawn maps and images that don’t capture the space accurately. With this software, you can see a 3D rendering of how your event will look, and tweak everything to perfection before the big day!
5. Delegate Responsibilities
Even though you might be the one in charge, it’s critical that you delegate responsibilities. Know who’s helping you and what their expertise is.
Do you need to assemble a team of volunteers? Or do you have paid staff who will be helping? Write down all tasks and the names of people overseeing them.
This also means knowing who your AV person is — and staying on good terms with them! An AV person is responsible for connecting the technological dots of your event, so be sure to remain in constant contact with them. Also, make sure to regroup every so often and ask your team members to offer progress reports so you know you’re staying on track.
6. Know Your Event’s Purpose
Make sure that your event’s purpose is clear before you get too invested in planning. If you’re planning something like a wedding, be clear on the couple’s thematic preferences and don’t make too many assumptions.
Build a brand for your event that’s cohesive. Stick with the same style of logo or heading and use it on all invitations and signage related to your event.
And don’t overlook the importance of color as a way to reinforce your event’s focus and style. If your event is very formal, stay away from colors, text styles, and visuals that are too bold or garish.
7. Choose the Right Venue
The venue anchors the event, so put in the time upfront to securing the right space. And do this right away! Since you’ll build all of these other decisions around the space you’re working with, it’s vital to make finding a space one of your earliest event planning steps.
Shop around! Don’t just zero in on one space and go with it. You may be able to score a better deal if you know that you have a few options vying for your business.
The Bottom Line
Planning an event can be a rewarding experience if you stay organized — and on budget. Stick to a plan and let technology be a helpful tool. With hard work and creativity, you’ll be able to coordinate a successful event that everyone enjoys.
When you’re ready to learn new tips about anything from photography to tech, check back for more great articles!