Planning an Event?


How many events do you plan each year? One, five, more than five? While event planning can be exciting and stressful at the same time, it is also extremely time consuming.  There is so much to do with many people depending on you to do a first class job.

It’s always a good idea to review your event’s plan with your colleagues. A fresh set of eyes can do a lot of good because they may notice something you overlooked. Sit down with your team and run through the day’s activities. Problems that could arise can be addressed and solved ahead of time.

There may be an occasion when a contracted speaker fails to show up for your event.  I remember a few years ago I received a call from one of the speakers I had booked who said that he was ill and couldn’t travel; I had two days to work things out…. Luckily the afternoon speaker had enough topics in her portfolio and was able to step in to take over the morning session as well.  What I have learned from that experience is that if you book a speaker through an agency, the agency will take charge and have a replacement speaker to cover the same or similar topic.  Agencies may charge a little more – but it’s worth paying extra money for peace of mind.

For every attendee who doesn’t show up, there may be two more people who do show up (even if they said they wouldn’t ). Plan accordingly. Keep in mind that a lot of people decide last minute to attend an event they may have heard buzz about for months. When ordering food, giveaways, chairs, and other accommodations, order more than you think is necessary. You might spend a few extra dollars, but it’s better to have more than enough to ensure all of your attendees are happy and your event runs smoothly.

If it is an annual event, take surveys and use the feedback when planning the next year’s event. You may have many creative and innovative things planned as part of your event, but attendees will always prefer some features over others. For example, they may have liked more time to network with their peers, or perhaps they would have preferred extra time to connect with the speakers. Surveying attendees and using their feedback to plan future events will not only encourage people to come back in the future, but it will lead to positive talk about the event.

What tips and tricks are essential to help keep you and your team organized?.  I hate to admit this…but to be honest I still use a binder to store all my event information.  If my computer crashes, or something happens that I cannot be in the office, the old faithful binder has all the information stored in written format and can easily be accessed by my colleagues.

Check out some more tips on event planning.

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