Regardless of the size of the event, whether big or small, event planning is a critical stage mandatory for hosting a successful event. Planning incorporates taking account of all the event activities from the initial idea, budgeting, and setting up the goals to the very last detail. The purpose of event planning is to eliminate unforeseen errors, time wastage, and a bad reputation that interferes with the smooth running of things.
Benefits of Event Planning
Planning events, conferences, office meetings, birthdays, weddings, or any event is vital and the most rational way to get things done correctly and efficiently. In addition, there are numerous benefits associated with the planning of an event:
- Planning events saves time by providing a schedule for work and activities to ensure that all actions are handled before the actual event.
- Event planning is the most assured way of saving money by keeping the planning team focused and preventing unnecessary expenses that are not stipulated within the planned budget.
- Initially, planning events help remove errors that take up a lot of time and money to fix, which stretches the budget and causes most events to fail.
- Event planning ensures that all set goals are achieved. The theme is captured correctly following the proper implementation of the activity program and the practical design of the venue to suit the goals and objectives.
What should be included in the Event Planning?
Depending on the type of event, essential things must be considered when planning successful events. Listed below are the critical features that should be remembered when planning any event.
Goals and Objectives
Any event should hope to achieve something, which is the primary reason why events are planned. Therefore, before giving commission even to the planning team, you should figure out the goals and objectives of the event to direct the focus of planning. The goals and objectives should be tangible and achievable to help the planning team to initiate actions that drive results based on the goals. In addition, the goals and objectives should be quantifiable to enable the planning team to understand how to achieve each metric.
For example, an event for hosting a charity to raise funds for cancer patients; the goals and objectives for such an event could be to host 500 high profile guests and raise $1.5 million which will go to cancer patients at the end of the event to create cancer awareness.
Allocate the Budget
The budget in event planning is based on the costs and expenses expected to be incurred by the event. Highlighting the funds available for the event help the planner include relevant performances, food, drinks, and subcontractor that the budget can withstand. The amount of budget determines the size and quality of the event. Still, most importantly, proper management of the available budget in the allocation of activities is what underpins a successful event.
For example, the budget for the cancer awareness event can be set at $1 million to cater for the food, drinks, lighting, sound, venue, decorations, salaries for all contracted employees, and all other details for the cancer fundraising event.
Develop the Event Planning Team
You cannot plan an event alone, and significant events especially need a fully functional team. Working with a team facilitates the effective division of labor based on expertise to save as much time as possible. In addition, an event encompasses many functions requiring different expertise and experience that can only be found by the commission of a strategic team to help in the planning.
For example, in a cancer fundraising event, food is considered a department on its own. Drinks are another segment that requires someone on the team tending to such matters, entertainment, and all other segments should be to allocate someone to oversee its success.
Whether it is a corporate event, entertainment event, charity, or religious event, the audience for each category should be targeted through a proper invitation program. Planning also entails organizing an invitation list and determining how invites are handled, including who to invite. Having the right people attending the event is another significant way of attaining the goals and objectives of the event by increasing focus and specificity when inviting people.
For example, when hosting a charity event for cancer patients, the planners should target people and organizations with the ability to make donations. Such an event aims to raise funds; hence, the people invited should be wealthy people and people who care about cancer patients or matters of health.
Select the Venue and the Date
One of the essential details that are considered among the foremost things is the venue where the event is meant to occur and the date when the event will be held. The venue is selected based on the goals of the event.
For example, a cancer charity event may be better handled in a hall at a particular set date so that the hall is estimated to be free.
Brand the Event
Branding an event helps to enhance the mission and vision of the event by using relatable and competitive themes to influence its reception by the target audience. Branding entails deciding the color scheme that may be more appealing for the event. The name and logo of the event are also part of branding. The event planning team should brainstorm the appropriate name, logo, color, vision, and mission
For example, for a cancer charity event, the name chosen for the event should persuade people to act and help raise funds for cancer patients. The logo should relate to the idea of fighting against cancer, and the color scheme should suit the trending perception about cancer.
Plan the program/ Master Plan
The master plan directs the actions of the event and the strategies that will be adopted to achieve success. For example, the master plan for a cancer awareness event could encompass.
- Planning a cancer awareness event requires an appropriate venue that is considered befitting for the expected target audience and more accessible by the audience
- Deciding the companies or people to contract for services like catering, logistics, and music, among others is part of a master plan for a cancer awareness event.
- Planning the program of activities and entertainment that will take place during the cancer awareness event day
- Decide the communication channel for inviting the target audience to the cancer awareness event being.
Plan Sponsors and Partnership
Most events thrive better when involving partners and sponsors. Hence part of the planning process for an event is to commission the right sponsors and partners. For example, a cancer charity event would require prominent sponsors and partners to facilitate immense fund contributions. In addition, such a charity can act as a partner with hospitals, health organizations, and ministries.
- Select the Tech Tool
The planning team should figure out the technological needs for the event to determine the appropriate tools to have handy and the right expertise. For example, in a cancer charity event, the likely tech tools would be the sound system, screen display, and lighting that may also need an electrician expert.
- Marketing or Publicity Plan
There are various online and offline modes, including mass media promotion and marketing methods that can be used to promote an event. The marketing method used to reach out to the target audience should be appropriate based on the target audience’s age, preference, and skillset. For example, fundraising for cancer patients could be promoted using social media, TV adverts, radio, or print media like disseminating brochures.
- Determine the measurements for the Event
The success of an event can be evaluated by using various measurement metrics to determine if the objectives were met. For example, the success can be based on the turn-up number of attendees and comparing the turn out with the expected number. Also, success can be measured in terms of the total amount contributed and comparing it with the expected figure to see if the target was met for a fundraising charity for cancer patients.
Plan day of Processes
Finally, the event planning process should cover the flow of events and timeline on the day of the event. For example, a cancer awareness event may follow the following day processes.
- 09:00 am guests start arriving at the venue of the cancer awareness event
- 09:30 am official welcoming of the guests by the host of the cancer awareness event
- 10:00 am first performance from the dance art team
- 10:30 am guests take breakfast served to them at the venue by caterers
- 11: 00 am first speaker addresses the cancer awareness audience
- 11: 30 am the second speaker, a doctor educates the audience of the awareness event about cancer
- 12:00 pm official bidding and fundraising activities begin to collect donations for cancer patients
- 1:00 pm break for lunch while the accountants count the amount collected for cancer patients
- 2:00 pm announcement of the amount collected in the cancer awareness event and appreciation of guests by the host
- 2:30 pm end of the event and departure of guests
- 3:00 pm clearing the venue by the event planners and contracted team
Bonus: Free Event Planning Templates
You can use an event planning template to guide the planning process and activities. Budgeting for an event can be done using a budget template that demonstrates data and all expected expenses through a visual chart and on a spreadsheet. The visual chart helps point out which activities are consuming a lot of finances, which helps adjust the budget.
The post-event review is crucial for determining the event’s success and obtaining complaints of mistakes that should be corrected in the future. Along with mailing a thank-you note to all attendees, you can include a survey template with few questions to get feedback from attendees. Such feedback is crucial to improve performance when planning another event. For example, a post-event review could include sending the guests a survey with such questions.
- Did the event match the themes?
- Was the service quality satisfactory?
- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the food and drinks?
- Was the speech from speakers about cancer awareness educational?
To summarize, planning an event is vital to achieving ultimate success and a good review from the target audience. Some of the key takeaways regarding event planning include:
- Event planning depends on measurable goals and objectives to guarantee the increased effectiveness of the event schedule.
- Proper budget allocation to event activities is also essential during event planning to ensure the fulfilment of all event requirements.
- An influential event is organized by a team of skilled planners commissioned to oversee various departments of the event.
- The event should be targeted to the right audience, and appropriate marketing and promotion methods should be used to create awareness to the audience about the event.
- The venue where an event is supposed to take place should be suitable for the event’s goals, and the date should be convenient for the attendance of the target audience and the availability of venue space.
- A master plan for effective execution of work schedule and process on the day of the event should be stipulated.