Memorable events don’t just happen by themselves. Whether it is a conference, a seminar, trade show, product launch or award ceremony, organizing and holding an event requires detailed planning.
Here are some event planning tips you might find useful:
First Things First
It is important to identify your target audience first as it will decide the format, content, prices and location of your event.
Have a clear business purpose for holding the event: Is it organized to lead generation, or is it held to develop customer loyalty? A clear business purpose ensures that your event does not fall victim to scope creep.
It is also crucial to check the calendar to make sure that you don’t organize your event too close to holidays and other industry events: You don’t want to schedule Singapore’s web design conference during the week of Chinese New Year, when your target audience are too busy visiting their friends and relatives to attend your event.
Also, make a to-do list to make sure everything – program content, lighting, parking, refreshments, transportation – is taken care of. However, be flexible with slight changes as changes are inevitable.
You don’t want to spend more than you can afford to.
Most events are funded by sponsorship, ticket sales and internal marketing budgets. Estimate how much money you can raise from each area. Make a comprehensive list of all expenses and highlight areas where you think sponsors can play a role.
You might also want to consider using crowd funding platforms: once you have published your event on a crowd funding platform, attendees need to pledge for tickets for the event to take place, thus easing the risks of running a loss-making event.
No event can succeed without assiduous marketing.
Define factors that will bring in your target audience – it can be entertainment, freebies or a well-known expert speaker. Lay out these factors in writing for promotion. Promote on social media by using a unique hashtag and generate anticipation by holding Google Hangout or Twitter chat few weeks before your event. Buy advertising on social networks to reach out to target audience in your geographical location and upload videos of preview events on Youtube to convince prospective attendees. Offer online registration and early bird incentives to secure attendees.
An efficient team will help you make certain that everything will run smoothly. Delegate responsibilities as people take pride in their expertise and often do not like to be micromanaged. Nonetheless, follow up from time to time to make sure everyone is on track with his or her duties.
Have a skilled social media team to exploit your audience’s viral power.
Make a 2-column list: what could go wrong in the first column, and plan B in the second column. Always remember Murphy’s Law: everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. The sound system can fail and the main speaker might fall sick. Prepare for the worst scenario.
Or, you can just engage in the services of a professional event planner.