Planning an event soon and don’t know where to start? Having a detailed plan is the best first step, along with a defined budget and the right venue for the audience.
From finding caterers and event sponsors to handling small details like decorations and invitations, managing an event is challenging, but rewarding.
Keep reading to discover how to plan an event in 10 steps that everyone will talk about.
1. Make a Detailed Plan
Making a detailed plan for the event is the most important step for a successful launch. You should start planning months in advance, especially for big events that take up several stages and expect hundreds of people.
To save time and money, consider using event management software that’ll do all the heavy lifting for you. You can then enter everything from the event date, stakeholders, venue, number of attendees you expect, catering, stage guests, budget, marketing, event team, decorations, and cleaning up after the event.
2. Define Your Budget
One of the most important event planning tips is defining your budget. Knowing how much you can spend will help you not go overboard. It’ll also help you better manage the event expenses when looking for suppliers and venues.
Bear in mind that the longer the guest/attendee list, the higher the event costs will be. You’ll need to have more food, drinks, and snacks, a bigger venue, a bigger cleaning crew, and send out more invitations.
You can always try to negotiate with the stakeholders, but if they’re firm on the number, you need to know how to make the best of it.
3. Know Your Audience and Guests
To plan a successful event, you need to know your audience and the types of guests you can expect. Knowing what they expect will help you select the best venue, catering, and setting for the event.
For instance, if you expect high-level executives who are used to 5-star event venues, your event needs to match their expectations.
4. Establish and Hire the Event Team
No event can be successful without a dedicated event team of employees and volunteers. These people will help you set up the stages, tables, decorations, food, and make sure everything goes according to plan.
Then, you’ll need servers for the day of the event, a cleaning crew for after the event, musicians, or a DJ, as well as people who will run errands for you. You should also make a plan for their tasks so you know who does what and communicate with them regularly for updates and changes.
5. Find Sponsors for the Event
If you’re organizing a high-profile event, you should start looking for sponsors that’ll finance it. A bigger budget means you can choose better suppliers and make sure everything is up to standards.
To find the right sponsors, you need to convince them they’ll gain visibility at the event and attract a whole new audience of potential customers. Look for sponsors directly related to your industry, but also in ancillary industries to expand your reach.
6. Find the Right Suppliers
When planning an event, one of the most important tasks is finding the right suppliers. This goes for catering, music, decorations, cleaning, stage setup, sound technicians, security, and furniture suppliers.
Each supplier will have different availability, so you need to book them way ahead of time to make sure there won’t be cancellations last-minute.
7. Communicate With Everyone Involved
In successful event management, communication is key to make sure everything is going well and everyone knows their duties. You should maintain clear and regular communication with every single party involved in the event, starting from your stakeholders and event guests to the suppliers and attendees.
This will help you be in the loop should any changes happen and give you enough time to resolve any problems or urgent matters.
8. Set the Date and Book the Venue
As soon as you have the event details and guest list, it’s time to set the date and book the venue. Most venues charge a deposit in order to reserve your spot, so make sure there will be no changes to the event date. Also, make a plan to drop off any props and decorations at the venue a few days before the event.
Finding the right venue for your event needs can be challenging, so do start looking for the perfect place weeks or even months ahead of time. This is especially important for popular venues that tend to be booked out months in advance.
You should also think about trash removal and cleaning services after the event. Some venues will include these services in their fees, but if they don’t offer cleaning up, you should hire an external cleaning crew.
9. Promote the Event
Now that you have the event date and venue confirmed, it’s time to send out the invitations and promote the event. Aside from sending paper invites, you should also send emails, TV commercials, billboards, promotional posters, social media ads, and even radio commercials.
The best way to market the event is to hire a professional marketing team that’ll help develop a strategy. This will save you time and money and you’ll get the coverage you need to attract more people to the event.
10. Have a ‘Day-Of’ Plan
Aside from having a general plan of the event, you also need a plan to make sure things go smoothly on the day of the event. No matter how prepared you are, unexpected things might still happen, so you need to have a plan to know what to do.
This daily agenda should be a detailed, hour-by-hour process where you know exactly when everything happens. Write down who does what and check in with everyone to make sure they’re on the right track. The chances of something going wrong are much lower when you have a game plan compared to leaving everything to chance.
Learn How to Plan an Event Successfully With These Tips
Now that you know how to plan an event from start to finish, it’s time to start sending the invitations and get ready for the day of the party.
The most important thing for a successful event is for the guests to feel comfortable and have a good time and for the hosts and stakeholders to accomplish their goals.
Want more party planning tips? Check out the other articles we’ve written on this topic and stay tuned for more news and trends.