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Our Top 9 tips for planning your event

So you’ve decided to organise an event.

Great!

Quite a task, but with our quick reference guide below you will be well on your way to achieving a awesome event! if you require a coffee cart in Melbourne, please reach out to us via the contact form here

Tip 1:

Define the purpose of your event

What are you hoping to achieve with your event?

Is it to attract sales leads?  Reward team members?  Show case your product or offer?

What is your why?

Once you have defined the purpose, take a moment to think how you will qualify what a measures of success will be? 

Is it an increased customer base or sales funnel?  Employee health and well being?  Strategic showcasing of your business in the market?

Tip 2:

Decide on a theme

Every great event needs a theme. What’s the unifying message that you want your event to deliver and what’s the key takeaway for attendees?

The best themes are catchy, relatable, and trigger an emotional response. You want the event to inspire and stimulate open conversation – it’s an important building block to build your tribe.

Your theme has to enable that.

Tip 3:

Put together a budget

 Every event is unique which requires a tailored budget. To ensure you can budget accurately for your event, you must first define your why.

Setting your budget at the outset of the planning process allows you to be clear on your needs and assists suppliers in determining the best solution for your event.

It’s also important to understand your audience.  By understanding your audience, it helps separate what is a “must have” versus a “like to have”. 

Things to consider when setting your budget include:

  • What day or time is your event?  Weekends or afterhours events are traditionally more expensive due to the increased staff costs for your suppliers.
  • Are you having guest speakers?  Have you factored in travel and accommodation for them?
  • Where are you holding your event?  Is it in an exhibition space?  Your office? Outdoors?

Is this a pure cost exercise that can be charged to your marketing budget or are you planning to receive revenue via ticket sales or exhibition stands from your event that can offset your costs?

If you are planning to sell tickets or exhibition stand space, identify how many registrations you will need to sell to recover your costs or if you would like to make margin from the event. It is also important to ensure that you provide a realistic expectation of expected guest numbers to your exhibitors to help them make an informed decision on viability of attending.

When calculating event costs, allocate a percentage of your budget to each line item. The most common event costs includes:

  • Venue hire including food and beverage
  • Technology
  • Guest Speakers including accommodation and travel costs.  (Some speakers may also request a per diem)
  • Entertainment
  • Branding including event styling
  • Marketing and promotion

It’s always wise when planning an event to include a contingency fund for any unexpected costs.

Tip 4

Identify potential suppliers

Any good supplier should offer you advice and be confident to have conversations with you about what will work, what won’t and why.

Sharing your past experience with any supplier is invaluable as it ensures that issues are identified and accounted for.

When discussing with a potential supplier, share as much information as possible to help them develop the best solution for your event.

It is important to ask questions such as:

  • What is your experience in this field?  If it is a large event, do you have example events that you can share with us of when you have handled large volumes of people?
  • Have you reference clients that we can speak to?
  • What quality of product do you use?  Premium quality product will always be slightly more expensive than something basic. Consider the guest experience and what will make your event stand out.
  • We all have a part to play in the war on waste.  What is your sustainability model and do you have a sustainability policy you can send us?

Some important factors to also consider include:

  • Does the supplier’s core value align with that of your business?
  • Eliminate printed media.  Instead, have your marketing material loaded onto your website and generate a QR code that your guests can scan with their smartphone.
  • Keep your attendees caffeinated with a coffee cart from 92 Degree Espresso.
  • Use digital signage – 92 Degree Espresso have a range of LCD coffee carts that can showcase your brand message with a short movie, static image or power point presentation.

Tip 5

Before the event

Promote, Promote, Promote….

Attendees are sometimes time poor so it’s important to be clear on the benefits of attending your event.

Put together an agenda.  Now that the key elements are in place, it’s time to shape them into a detailed agenda.

In your marketing communications (website, EDM, flyers etc) outline who will be speaking if you have guest speakers, along with your event program and speaker bios.

Include any value offers or takeaways that guests will receive as a gift for attending your event

Tip 6:

Confirm your final attendee numbers at least 2 weeks ahead of your event

It is important for finalising budgeting purposes and to assist your suppliers that you confirm final numbers 2 weeks out from your event.  This ensures that suppliers can staff accordingly, they can order any additional supplies if needed etc.  Depending on the volume of guests, some suppliers may need to supply additional or higher volume equipment to keep up with demand.

Tip 7:

Assemble your team. 

Key team members include:

  • Planning team: Venue, accommodation, activities, catering.
  • Administration team: Budgeting, attendee registration, ticket sales. This team will also be the main point of contact for questions related to the event.
  • Marketing team: Creating promotional material, managing your marketing (web, EDM etc) and social media activities.
  • Event day team: Helping with all on-site activities on the day of the event.  Things to consider include door management, ticket scanning, keeping track of the guest list, manning the cloak check-in , guiding guests etc.

Tip 8:

During your event

Have your event team meet at the venue well ahead of time.  In the event of any fight delays, traffic delays etc your team will have ample time to meet onsite ahead of guest arrival.

As your guests arrive, have your team greet your guests at the entry and guide them to your event space.  It is always a good idea to have an opening key note covering the basics, such as bathroom location, where to get refreshments etc.

 Hot tip: Print wallet size cards for your team members with all important contact details for your event team.  Ensure that there are charging stations for your team to ensure that they can keep their mobile devices fully charged.

Tip 9:

After the event

Follow up after the conference

After it’s all over, you still have a bit of work to do.

You should follow up with all the people involved in your event: your team, speakers, volunteers, suppliers and, of course, your guests.

You want to follow up for two main reasons:

  • Say “Thank you“.  You should thank everyone for their participation and efforts.  Not only is this a common courtesy but you will leave a positive impression.  There’s a good chance this isn’t your last conference, so you want to nurture any connections you’ve made.
  • Collect feedback.  This is the perfect opportunity to hear what people thought of the conference and what worked well, what didn’t and what could be done better in the future.

The easiest way to gather input is to email everyone a link to an online survey. Keep it relatively short and focus on a few main themes:

  • What did they like the most about the event?
  • How would they rate the different elements?
  • What would they change or improve?

There are dozens of survey tools that facilitate anonymous or named surveys.  A free tool that can survey your attendees is SurveyMonkey. The platform includes free templates and sample questions.   It is important that you measure how you performed against your original goals and objectives. In closing, if you have any questions, please reach out to us any time on 0468 365 201 and we would be only too pleased to help.

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