Organizing a business event can quickly become a complicated task, so it’s especially important to plan ahead to ensure that your event will go smoothly and undisturbed. A masterfully executed business event can set a precedent for the quality and reputation expected from your company.
Here are some tips that will make organizing an event so much easier and ensure your peace of mind as you plan a great business event. Some of these tips may seem obvious, but they are easily forgotten. Your function can be significantly improved by following a few simple rules and making sure all your bases are covered.
1. Define Your Goal
Before you consider anything else for your event, you should begin by defining your goals and asking: “What is the purpose of this specific business function?” A clear vision of what you hope to accomplish with the event will help keep you on track with every subsequent aspect of planning.
Be direct and clear with yourself and your team about what you want to achieve with the event. Whether it is a product launch, company party, promoting a brand in the media, team-building, or even a holiday party, you want to be fully knowledgeable about what you need to accomplish with the event before you begin the rest of its planning phases.
Once you have a target goal to set focus on and accomplish, you will be able to plan your entire event around reaching that point and fulfilling its purpose.
Know your target audience and cater the event specifically to them – this is important because it will impact later decisions regarding location, prices, content, and more.
2. Set the Budget Early On
Setting the budget for your event early on is a vital step towards being well prepared for the rest of the planning process.
By figuring out exactly how much you can afford to spend on your event, you will know what you can safely allocate without going over budget. It’s also a good idea to always leave 10% in reserves for any unforeseen expenses that may arise.
Create a meticulous budget for your event by gathering quotes for everything, from catering to the venue, hire establishments to do decorations and promotional giveaways, and always double-check that they match the budget that you’ve set.
You want to throw a great event, and it may be tempting to involve things that your company can’t afford – be realistic, and if you can’t afford it, try to find creative ways to provide something similar at a lower price.
3. Delegate Responsibilities
It’s a good idea to choose one person to be in charge of the whole event; it can be you or someone else who is capable of handling the responsibility. Once you have a head organizer, you can break down the rest of the work into smaller tasks for others to manage.
Involve your team. Brainstorm ideas with others involved in making the event happen and use their expertise. Everyone should have a clear understanding of what their responsibilities are to avoid doubling the necessary work or missing the essentials. When delegating tasks, ask for regular updates and check in on the progress throughout the planning process.
Distribute responsibilities for the event, and give everyone a list with assigned tasks and names, so they know who to contact for specific issues.
4. Make Sure the Timing and Location Is Right
Timing is key. Make sure your event doesn’t overlap with any other significant events in the industry and steer clear of national holidays and community festivals, as they may hurt attendance.
Make sure that the event location is easily accessible by private and public transportation and accessible for those with limited mobility. You want to make your event an excellent experience for all attendees, so do your best to make it an inclusive event.
Send out reminders and invite guests well in advance, especially if they’ll be coming from far away. For your business event to live up to everything it can be, you’ll want to give your guests and attendees ample time to prepare to be there so that they won’t have to miss out.
5. Remember Who Your Target Audience Is
You’ll have to decide who your target audience is, pin-point that demographic, and build your event around attracting them. If this is a public event where your goal is to bring in new customers, try to encourage people to come by offering something that they might be interested in.
People are more likely to have a great experience if the event matches their expectations (or surpasses them), so be careful not to advertise anything about your event falsely.
6. Decide on the Place and Venue
Select a location and venue that matches your event type, audience, and budget. Remember that not every great location will be a good match for your event’s needs.
Choose an exciting venue, and make sure that your event is different from other events in your industry. Consider some less common or unique venue styles or themes such as industrial, art deco, minimalist, modern, retro, and more. You can find all kinds of unique venues for hire on platforms such as Tagvenue. You’ll save money on decoration if the venue itself is already impressive and it can save you a lot of time if you don’t need to do any fit-out of the venue area.
Make sure to consider the size of a venue when you are picking the event location; it shouldn’t be too large, or people may feel awkward, and if it’s too small, it might get crammed inside. Knowing your event’s headcount before choosing a venue is a must.
7. Tell People About It
Getting the word out about your event is an essential part of making your business event a great success. You can spread the word about your event by emailing, posting on social media, advertising on the radio, TV, or the internet, and by posting fliers and handing out leaflets.
Figure out which form of advertising will work best for your target audience and key in on that. It’s better to have fewer but well-targeted ads than to have many random channels of advertising. Keep a consistent message across all channels of advertising to display a unified message and accurate portrayal of the event.
8. Don’t Leave It Be After Implementing a Marketing Strategy
It’s easy to plan an event for the future and forget about it for a while.
But to keep the buzz up about your event, you’ll want to stay focused on it and at least give it a little bit of care and attention between the planning phase and the actual event date. Regularly post on social media about the event preparations and progress.
Keeping people updated online about the progress of the event will make them feel connected to it and excited to attend. Update your social media page online during the event itself with photos and short videos from the site.
Creating a unique Twitter/Instagram hashtag is an excellent way to make your event stand out. Get creative and original with your branding. Make sure that the person responsible for social media knows the latest trends and communicates in the target audience’s language.
9. Keep the Energy Positive
Something unexpected is bound to happen, but you can minimize the risks by always having a plan B up your sleeve for things that have the highest chance to go askew.
Don’t get discouraged – the event as a whole is what people will remember, not the things that go wrong during planning. With a positive attitude and a “get-it-done” mentality, your event is sure to come together and be a great success.
As an organizer, people will notice your attitude, so set an example and do your best to have a good time – this type of behavior is infectious and will spread through your team. A positive team is more productive, and that will show through in your event.
10. Follow Up After the Event
Following your event, ask for feedback from the event’s attendees and be prepared for positive and negative input – this can give you an idea of what to improve on in the future.
Evaluate your performance, achieved goals, the number of attendees, items sold (if that was the purpose), sales rates in the months following the event, and any other metrics that help you gauge the success of your event.
Post social media updates with photos and videos from the event, and whatever you do, don’t wait. Post them immediately, when people’s experience and memory of the event is still fresh.
Send a “thank you” email to all the guests who showed up (if it was a closed event) or thank the attendees on your social media platform. The more you can engage your audience (even outside of the event), the more positively your event will be viewed.Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
Luke Fitzpatrick is an academic speaker at Sydney University. He enjoys writing about tech, productivity, lifestyle, and is a contributor to Forbes.