Ten Tips For A Successful Event
- 22 May 2019
1. Define the format and purpose
While this might seem pretty obvious, it is still advisable that you approach this issue with urgency. Formulate goals and make sure they are as specific as possible: do you want to express gratitude to partners; convey knowledge to participants; offer guests aesthetic pleasure, or raise funds for a project? The event format will be determined by your answer: the concept, role distribution amongst your team, timing and duration, catering and sound, and the layout of the hall.
Try to avoid getting stuck in traditional formats. Check out “unconference,” TED format, PechaKucha, online events, thematic brunches, and even outdoor events. The most important thing is that the format you settle for helps achieve your event goals.
2. Pay Close Attention To Planning
Your plan should include content, the promotion of the event, and the logistics. Create a document and make it available to your team; make sure everybody can see the tasks others are handling and the big picture. Start by preparing a list of the most important tasks then break them down into as much detail as possible – consider making it the form of steps that need to be completed. It’s vital that you designate a timeframe for your plan; that is the time in which you expect the task to be completed. This is one aspect a lot of people underestimate, and implementation is usually much slower than you’d expect.
You can use Google programs and templates like Podio, Asana, Teamweek, Ganttpro, and Trello for planning. Even plain old Excel will not let you down.
3. Remember to Account for Unforeseeable Situations in Your Budget
Look at your task list and make sure most of the things in it reflect in your budget. It’s also worth setting aside a reserve for any unforeseeable situations. For instance, there was this incident at work one day when it rained on a day we’d planned to have an outdoor event. Due to this unexpected circumstance, we had no option but to change the location, which meant transporting all the furniture and equipment. It’s better to think and financially plan for such events in advance.
4. The Proof Is In The Pudding
If you want to surprise your guests, make sure that you think about everything from the biggest detail to the most minute one. How will guests register; what music will be playing; who’ll greet guest and how; what people will be doing during breaks; what music should play; will you have a photo corner; how is your team dressed; how do your presentations look?
For instance, during registration, guests could be offered the opportunity to play games, watch an info video or attend a short master class.
Try surprising your guests to create that wow factor – do your best to exceed their expectations even in the most ordinary stuff, some people add a sense of occasion with speakers at events. That is how you create the atmosphere of your event.
5. Have A Location but Also Have a Plan “B”
Once you’ve settled for a location, make sure that you go check it in person from the very first day. You might find out when you least expect it that the AC in the hall does not work correctly, the equipment will not get through the door, or there aren’t any toilets for the disabled. It is, therefore, essential that you check and address such issues beforehand.
There’s this time I held a 50-people conference, and one hour into the event, the space owner told us to vacate the space without any explanation. We ended up spending one hour-long training session with participants in an adjacent park before we found a new hall. You might think that such situations will not happen to you, but it is always advisable that you have a plan “B.”
6. Assign Responsibilities
It’s vital that you distribute tasks amongst your staff not only during preparation but also as the event is going on – allocate responsibilities to people by zone. For instance, make sure one person is responsible for greeting and welcoming guests, another for the registration zone, another for greeting speakers, another for the equipment, another for communicating with the press, another for catering, etc. It is vital that each member of your staff has his or her zone, which they are responsible for throughout the event.
Provide members of your team a document that defines how responsibilities are assigned so that everyone knows who to get in touch with for any specific issue.
7. Let Your Audience Know You Have an Event
Never underestimate the time needed to promote an event successfully. The type of event, the targeted audience, the budget, and the internal resources are some of the main things that will determine your marketing approach. When searching for a media partner, look for someone who knows how to target audiences. It is better to have several targeted partners than to promote your event and talk to everyone.
It’s vital that you create a one-key message that’ll broadcast on different channels. Remember to keep it brief and make sure it conveys the idea of your event to your targeted audience.
8. Pay Attention to Service
Teach and make sure your staff follows the “Duck Face Rule.” Be friendly to partners, participants, and speakers. Always do your best to address their questions or problems and to meet their expectations, even when you feel exhausted, and not everything is running according to plan. All in all, what people will remember is how you treated them and the atmosphere around them, not what speakers were saying.
9. Perform a Final Check 24-Hours to The Event
Remember to inform participants about how to get to the event location and make sure that you have invited all crucial guests and have prepared the printed materials plus your video and audio content. Check to see if your staff members understand their responsibilities and tasks and if the event hall is ready. For this task, consider creating a simple checklist like this one.
A related checklist can be drawn up for checking preparation on the D-day to ensure everything is where it is supposed to be and is working and is being done on time.
Remember to print out your event’s program and make sure each team member and all volunteers have a copy. Also, make sure everyone has the main contact number for easier communication in the event of an emergency.
10. Ask for Feedback
You are probably going to be exhausted but happy once the event is over; however, it’ll be hard for you to provide a fair assessment of how it went. For this reason, consider asking participants and guests to complete an online evaluation form once they get home or a printed one at the end of your event. Ask them to give an honest assessment of various aspects of your event: location, speakers, the work of the organizers, and logistics. The information participants provide can help you avoid mistakes in the future, helping you improve the quality of all your events. Where possible, record video reviews once the event comes to an end or get feedback via social networks. This’ll prove handy in the future when holding a similar function.