Planning and managing an event can be incredibly stressful, often leaving you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Here are some of our top Event Management tips that can help you prepare for, and produce a successful and effective event.
It’s important that you start planning for your event as soon as possible. Depending on the size of the event, you should begin preparations one to six months beforehand. Also look at past examples of the event, if there are any. This can help you see what worked and what didn’t and might give you ideas ahead of this year’s function.
Determine your budget and how much you’re going to spend. It is sometimes possible to negotiate costs with vendors so strike up the conversation early.
While planning for the event, expect things are going to change. Remember that this is okay and that not everything will go according to your initial plan. To take control of these changes, make sure you’re flexible. Whether it’s a change of location, the time of the event or even who’s hosting, it’s important to not hide away from these changes, but to take them head on.
Managing an event, especially a large event, is difficult for just one person. Instead, break up the organising and delegate different sections to members in your team. This way, each person is responsible for a specific aspect of the event and will be able to see any small changes or problems, if they occur.
Nowadays, technology can be a great help with planning events. For instance, programs like Google Docs, Wrike and Slack are great for sharing ideas, setting out tasks and keeping track of what has already been done and what still needs doing.
Our Corporate Services Manager Sarah Kitchen says that when planning an event, you must always be ready to think on your feet.
“Always have a back-up plan (or two or three),” she says.
Backup plans are essential, as it’s rare that an event comes off without an issue or problem. For instance, an important person may not show, or an item may not be delivered in time. To avoid an event crisis, evaluate the most important assets your event should have and create a backup plan if these don’t work out. Having an alternative option can greatly help the success of the event.
Sarah also says it’s important to remember to take photos and videos of the event.
“Hire a professional or delegate someone to be in charge while you’re busy,” she says.
Photos and videos are important to show off the success of the event. Make sure you have thought of the type of photos or videos you want beforehand. For example, photos of the full room, attendees enjoying themselves, the emcee, the cake, etc. Videos can play a powerful role as well. Capturing everyone’s faces in a photo is one thing, but capturing their voices and seeing them move can have a very different effect. Video content is king for things like social media and/or your company’s website as well. Just ensure they are of a high quality.
Videos are also great to show throughout the event. They are an effective way to keep attendees entertained, get informed or even just learn more about the company or organisation.
“I organised a 50th wedding anniversary dinner with guests arriving from all over Australia. We put together a video that looked like a Skype call from the couple’s grandson and his family who were living overseas who told the couple they couldn’t attend. This video was played during the speeches on the big screen and at the end of the speech, the grandson and his family came into the room to surprise the couple – there was not a dry eye in the room.”
Social media now also plays an important role in the success of events. Create a custom hashtag and encourage your attendees to use it when they post on their social media accounts. Upload the best photos and videos once the event is over and ask the attendees to tag themselves in it.
Sarah says a successful event may produce many Instagrammable moments.
“Create atmosphere with well-placed branding,” she says.
Once the event is over, it doesn’t mean it’s immediately time to take that well-deserved break. This is the common trap for many event organisers. To avoid that pitfall, follow up with your attendees and clients via social media or email as soon as possible post event.
“Follow up after the event – see what your guests and clients loved and what they would like to do differently at their next event,” Sarah says.