Event planning refers to the coordination of every detail of a meeting, exhibition, party, etc.
The more attention you pay to the details, the greater the chance of success for the event.
This article summarizes the experience of hundreds of events and presents the results in six steps.
- What is the event theme and content?
- Why should the event be held?
- When will the event be held?
- Where will the event be held, online or offline?
- Who will participate in the event?
- How will the event be conducted, and in what form and process?
- What is the event budget?
When organizing an event, many people tend to overlook setting event goals.
This is the most important aspect of hosting an event.
Before setting goals, it is recommended to:
- Do market research first: Market research helps brands understand the needs of consumers and keeps track of recent market trends.
- Keep goals consistent with brand philosophy: Event goals need to line up with the brand philosophy in order to convey a consistent message to consumers.
Further reading: How to define goals and objectives for a successful event?
2. Create a plan
Confirm the goal or goals
The most important thing for an event is to determine the final goal or goals.
Once this is done, all other details will follow.
For example, if a skincare company attends an organic exhibition, the “goal” can be to increase awareness of the new product and generate sales.
The goals can include:
- The number of followers on the new product's fan page increases by 1,000.
- The number of interactions on social media for the new product exceeds 10,000.
- More than 500 bottles of the new product are sold.
Confirm the budget
It is helpful to confirm the budget as early as possible, as many things can be hindered without the budget.
The more detailed the budget is, the better.
It should include fees for venue, equipment, personnel, marketing, transportation, miscellaneous expenses, etc.
Finally, remember to reserve 20% of the budget for contingencies.
Further reading: How to Create a Budget for Your Virtual Event?
Confirm time, venue, or online event platform
There are two kinds of events: offline events and online events.
For offline events, it is important to select a suitable time and location, especially for large venues.
For example, most venues charge more on holidays than on non-holidays, so the date of the event will affect the cost.
For online events, it is important to select a proper online event platform.
When choosing a platform, the most important considerations are its stability, image quality, single-event time limit, capacity limit, customer support, etc.
After all, we don't want the event to be interrupted halfway, which would ruin everyone's enthusiasm.
Managing the event team
The event team is key to event success.
Clear job scope and effective management are VERY important.
Event team members can be divided into five roles.
- Administration and planning: This is the role of a project manager, responsible for the entire project, budget preparation, and procurement.
- Equipment and logistics: This role is responsible for overall logistical support, from the venue layout and equipment arrangement to catering for all personnel.
- Technical support: The technical team is responsible for arranging stable networks, testing all equipment, and quickly fixing temporary failures.
- Marketing and publicity: The marketing team ensures that potential participants can get the correct event information, including timetables, maps, manuals, speakers, etc.
- Public relations and sponsorship: The PR team requires good social skills to find sponsors for the event and maintain good relationships with relevant parties.
During event management, there are many details to be followed up on and confirmed.
At the present, there are good event management tools for teams to better understand the goals and complete the job.
Create a detailed event plan
Drafting an event plan helps the team understand the whole event, assists in task assignments, and allows the PR team to use it to gain sponsorships.
A detailed event plan should include the following elements.
- Speaker and Guest Introduction
- Promotion Plan
- Sponsorship Plan
- Registration Management (Registration Software, Payment Methods, Tracking, On-site Sign-in, etc.)
- Catering Arrangements
- Team Work Assignment, etc.
Confirm Speakers and Sponsors
For large events, it is common to invite speakers and sponsors.
- Speakers: Experts in the event topic can increase event visibility and attract more potential audiences.
- Sponsors: Sponsorship can help balance the cost of the event, making it easier to reach the target ROI (return on investment).
However, pulling in sponsors is not as simple as just networking. Data needs to be used to convince sponsors.
For example, a milk powder company plans to hold a large maternity lecture with more than a thousand pregnant mothers attending and hopes to get some sponsorship.
At this time, it can look for manufacturers of baby products and ask them to sponsor gifts or fund the event.
Resources that the company can use to persuade sponsors:
- Get the personal data of the attendees.
- Have a booth to get in touch with the attendees.
- Distribute trial packages to reach more potential customers.
- Display brand advertisements at the event to increase brand exposure.
Organizing an event is NO easy task.
It requires a lot of time and energy to take care of every detail and unexpected situation that can arise.
A good event management tool can simplify this process and make it much more efficient.
Statistics show that event management software can increase productivity by 27%, profits by 20-30%, and attendance by 20%.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that every event planner include event management software in their toolbox.
3. Branding and Marketing
One of the main challenges of organizing an event is to stand out among many competitors.
Therefore, how to build an impressive brand for the event is key to the event's success.
When building a brand, the following are some suggestions:
- Event name: The event name is the first thing that potential attendees will see, reflecting the theme and vision of the event.
It is best to make the event name easy to pronounce and easy to remember.
If possible, think of a short slogan.
- Event logo: Designing a unique logo for the event will make it more impressive.
- Consistent branding elements: At all contact points with consumers, such as tickets, event websites, on-site arrangements, emails, and social media, use the same event name, logo, brand colors, etc., to enhance the customer’s memory.
Branding and marketing are closely related.
Marketing for large events usually starts 3 to 6 months before the event.
When drafting a marketing strategy, there are three steps.
- Conduct market research and set goals: Market research helps to better understand the audience and your competition, which helps to set event goals.
- Develop marketing strategies: Marketing strategies can be developed based on the results of market research.
- Implement marketing strategies: Methods used for event marketing include: early bird activities, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, online ads, press releases, traditional media, and leaflets.
In the past, most of the event promotions were done through newspapers, magazines, or outdoor billboards.
This is not only COSTLY but unpredictable.
Nowadays, social media and email marketing are two of the best channels.
Moreover, you can use data such as reach rate and conversion rate to predict the result.
Further reading: 5 Ways to Find More Attendees for Your Event
Rehearsals must be conducted before EVERY event.
Rehearsals need to be detailed, including things such as handing a microphone to the speaker and walking on and off the stage.
When rehearsing an event, it includes the entire event team, host, and speakers, and it is best to have someone pretend to be the audience to simulate the actual event.
The benefits of rehearsals include:
- Avoid technical problems: Networks, audio, microphones, video playback, etc.
- Reduce speakers’ anxiety: More rehearsals can make speakers more confident and relaxed on stage
- Control time: After rehearsal, it may be found that the event time is different from expectations.
For online events, rehearsals are even more important, because any interruption may cause the audience to leave.
Rehearsals are VERY important for online and offline events.
For large events, more than one rehearsal is needed.
Besides going through the process, the most important part of rehearsal is to come up with backup plans (Plan B) to avoid any interruption.
- For outdoor events, prepare Plan B for rainy days.
- For meetings, prepare Plan B for speaker “no shows.”
- For online events, prepare Plan B for technical problems.
It is important for team members to know their roles and how to handle unexpected situations so that the event can proceed smoothly.
5. Executing and Recording
On the event day, it is important to make sure all members have a detailed schedule.
In addition, it is best to check some key items 48 hours before the event.
- Send an email reminder to attendees.
- Contact the media
- Check the venue and rehearse.
- Prepare a room as a command center.
- Check the weather forecast and make appropriate preparations.
- Ensure every team member is clear about the entire event content.
- Check logistics.
- Contact speakers and guests.
- Check the event list carefully.
- Charge and check all technical equipment.
- Prepare a set of daily items (spare pens, highlighter pens, papers, chargers, extension cords, etc.).
- Prepare relevant document packages (PR documents, event itinerary, etc.).
- Bring a spare set of clothes (in case there is a problem with what you are wearing).
- Leave time to rest.
Finally, it is best to assign someone to record, video, and take photos on the day of the event.
On the day of the event, whether it is virtual or physical, it is recommended to record, video, and take photos.
The benefits of keeping these recordings include:
- Event clips can be used for the next event promotion.
- The recorded videos or audio can be sent to those who cannot attend.
- The event results can be published in the media to increase brand exposure.
The last step of planning an event is evaluation.
The event’s result can be evaluated in the following ways.
- Goal achievement: Reviewing if the goals are achieved
- Data analysis: For offline events, the data include how many tickets were sold, the event revenue, the number of potential customers, the number of transactions, the return on investment of the event, etc.
For online events, the data will be more abundant, including how many people participated, the event revenue, which page the attendees clicked on the most, the engagement rate, the bounce rate, etc.
- Questionnaire survey: Conducting questionnaire surveys on the attendees can give an insight into their satisfaction.
The surveys can be used as a reference for future event improvement.
- Comments from attendees: On social media or event websites, you can see the comments from the attendees after the event, which is often more authentic.
- Sponsor’s feedback: From the sponsor’s feedback, you can also get an idea of whether the event has met their expectations and record this as data for future sponsorship.
Managing and evaluating events manually can be time-consuming.
However, there are many event management tools in the market.
They can help event planners create event websites, simplify the registration process and generate data analysis.
The data includes attendance, click rates of various activities, speaker’s popularity, etc.
With this data, event organizers can analyze the results of the event more objectively and use it as a basis for future events.
Further reading: 7 Ways Event Management Software Is Essential For Organizers
Event planning covers a wide range of items, including venue selection, budget control, guest invitations, venue decoration, equipment arrangement, and event process planning.
There are thousands of details to be taken care of, and success in event planning is largely based on managing these details well.
In response to the challenges of event management, there are now some excellent event management platforms to assist event planners.
Interested in our solution?
You may want to have a chat with our event consultant.