Planning an event can be hectic and often leave the best event managers feeling overwhelmed. There’s always last-minute changes, cancellations, or requests. Here are some tips to make the event planning journey a bit easier.
Know what your client wants
Before event planning starts, a client should fill out a form with their ideas, budget, the estimated number of attendees and potential dates. This will give an initial picture of what the event goals are. If the team ever goes off track, the form is a tool to refer back to. Another item on the form should be venue ideas, this can give you an idea of locations and the event type. If none of the suggested locations are available, then the suggested lists give an idea of choosing a similar venue.
Cloud-based software allows your team and clients to collaborate seamlessly. A popular option is Google, which has multiple cloud-based programs to help organize events.
“I live and die by Google Drive. It’s a saving grace for me as far as keeping track in the folder with a client and they can see exactly what you can see,” said Matthew Surina, director of event coordination at Hub of the Hammer Event Planning and Management.
Cloud-based software allows clients to upload any needed information or files for their event directly into their file, and any of the team members can make changes without files being lost. Items such as vendor contracts, photographs and attendee information can be stored in the cloud and can be accessed at any time.
The unexpected should be expected in the event planning industry. If the event has multiple vendors, the likely chance of something happening increases.
Having a list of backup venues in mind will be helpful in case something comes up unexpectedly.
“It’s a lot harder to pull off a backup but when you’re pitching something to the client, it’s having backup options for when one or two doesn’t work for them,” said Surina.
This is also why having a list of client approved venues is important. If something comes up, the end result should lead to a happy client.
A way to avoid cancellations or inconsistencies is by having a list of preferred vendors. This will allow you to know what to expect and can provide recommendations for clients. Discounts do occur with repeat and preferred vendors, which benefits the business and the client.
Staying organized the day of
The day of the event has arrived! Now everything that has been planned should fall into place.
Depending on the size of the event, do a run-through two weeks’ prior with the client and team to go over the day’s event. This gives the client an idea of the day’s events and ensures your team knows what to do the day of. Check with the venue to see how far in advance set up can happen, which will help to give an idea for the preparation needed.
Before the event, create a list of things to do for the event day in with time each task should take. If the list is extensive, overestimate the time for each task to ensure each item will be completed on time.
Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and promote yourself on social media! Social media is a great platform to show off your skills and to reach a wider audience
The event is a success
The day is done, and the event ran smoothly. But how do you know the event was a success?
If the clients and vendors are happy and the day ran smoothly, that is a successful event according to Surina.
Follow up with the vendors and clients after the event. Discuss the successes of the event and be open to any feedback. This will allow any improvements for the process in the future, and keep the event company in mind for future events.