How to Plan an Event That’s Memorable

Are you trying to plan an event that will take your guests’ breath away? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve come up with the nine essential steps that you need to consider to nail at your next big event – helping you pull off a memorable event that delivers real results.

Develop an event goal

Every event happens for a reason. Before making any arrangements, make sure you’ve established tangible objectives. Why is this event taking place, and what do you hope to achieve?

If you’re familiar with your business’ key goals beforehand, it will be so much easier to optimise everything for success. Set a goal and allow it to guide the rest of your actions.

Establish your budget

This is arguably the most crucial part of the whole planning process. If the budget isn’t there, no matter how great or innovative an idea is, it’s doomed to fail. Establish your budget early in the planning process to avoid any unnecessary delays or surprises. 

Here are some common expenses you will have to consider:

  • Food and drink: Depending on the number of invites you sent out, what you can afford here may vary quite a bit. Even if you’re on a tight budget, low quality food can ruin the whole experience for your guests. 
  • Entertainment: Keep in mind you will need to budget for entertaining your crowd. It will cost money to hire DJs, florists, and other entertainers.
  • Decor: Most venues come with their own theme and decor. If that doesn’t suit your event, you’ll have to consider the cost of changing things up.
  • Staff: Don’t forget the transportation costs of your team. You want everyone to attend, so make sure they can’t come up with any excuses.
  • Marketing: You’ll have to promote your event somehow. Whether it’s through flyers or Facebook ads (or a combination of both) is entirely up to you.
  • A/V equipment: Most venues will provide hosts with some essential audiovisual equipment. If you have more specialised or specific AV requirements, speak with your host venue. In many cases the venue will have a third party AV provider they partner with. 
  • Unexpected costs: No one likes surprises when their event is considered, but life can happen. Account for any additional costs that may come up by putting aside some extra cash. 

Consider the date

If we’re talking about a recurring event, the event date may already be set. If things are a little bit more flexible, make sure to:

  • Give your team plenty of time to prepare. Depending on the event, you may need a couple of months to get everything sorted out.
  • Avoid dates that coincide with school and national holidays—for obvious reasons.
  • Check the date with important guests and participants (e.g. speakers, entertainers, VIP guests).

Once you’ve set a date, you should start booking any external staff (e.g. caterers).

Organise your team

While you may have an idea in mind, most of the work and tiny details fall on your team. You’ll probably have to assign someone the role of event manager and ensure that all aspects of the event are managed as well. Consider entertainment, sponsoring, publicity and PR, speaker management etc.

Create your master plan

Now that the basics are out of the way, it’s time to get started with your master plan. This is a necessary step to ensure everything has been carefully thought out for the big day. You’ll have to think about:

  • The venue, logistics and catering management.
  • The speakers, the activities, and the entertainment that will keep your guests occupied.
  • The promotion strategy.
  • The guest registration process.
  • The management of sponsors and partners.

It’s always a great idea to come up with a detailed timeline that will outline the steps and concerns. Everything might be in your head now, but you can’t afford to make any mistakes during the planning process.

Book a venue

You know the dates, and you’ve come up with a detailed master plan; this would be a great time to book your venue. You want to pick a space that’s:

  • Accessible. Can guests get in and out of the venue with ease? Where is it located? Does it come with accessible entrances and elevators?
  • Big enough. There’s nothing worse than attending an overcrowded event. Make sure there’s plenty of room for everyone to feel comfortable once there.
  • Got parking. Is there parking? If not, is there easy access to public transport?
  • Technologically equipped. Bringing your own equipment and setting it up will take time and money. Choose venues that come technologically equipped with everything needed to host a fantastic event.

What about the deposit and other additional costs? These are questions that you should ask yourself before making a decision.

Reach out to sponsors

Organising an event costs quite a bit of money. Why pay it all upfront when you can seek sponsorships that will reduce costs and bring in more guests? 

Corporate sponsors may be willing to fund a portion of your event, provided you can craft a compelling case for support when you reach out to them. Have you had any sponsors in the past? Are there any local community organisations that would be willing to help?

Brand the event

The theme and name of your event can help you stand out from the competition. When brainstorming names, think of catchy lines that people are likely to remember and talk about with friends and family. It never hurts to also create a memorable slogan that describes your event. 

If you have the time and resources, you may even want to create your own logo. This is especially useful if your plan is to establish a recurring event that will bring people of the industry together once or twice a year.

Prepare for the big day

To make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible, you may want to prepare a schedule that will walk you step-by-step through the event. This way, you’ll stay on top of everything and feel like you have everything under control. This schedule can be as detailed as you want it to be, but make sure you don’t overstress yourself. 

Planning an event can be quite a challenge. Begin early and give yourself plenty of time to properly prepare for the big day. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need to start planning everything at least three months before the set date. 

While you may do everything in your power to ensure everything’s perfect, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that some things can — and probably — will go wrong. And that’s okay. Allow yourself to enjoy the activities, knowing you’ve done a fantastic job! 

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