Planning an event, no matter how small it may be, is a stressful job.
In order to plan and organize a great event, it’s best to create an all-encompassing checklist and even then it will need to go through a lot of changes. To help you ensure that you’ve got everything covered, here are five key issues to take into account in your planning.
1. Take COVID-19 restrictions into account
Every country and region has different coronavirus restrictions when it comes to who can enter the country, what types of gatherings are allowed, and other policies. You need to know everything there is to know about the COVID-19 rules of the country or state where you’re planning your event.
Inform yourself of all the regulations you must follow, like how many people can attend, do they need to have a negative PCR test, how many staff are you allowed to employ, whether you can serve food, and more.
These restrictions tend to change from season to season, so stay up to date on all the rules and make sure to share all the rules and regulations with your speakers and attendees. If you don’t want to have your in-person event replaced by a virtual event, prepare yourself well in advance.
2. Ensure your budget is realistic and approved
When it comes to event planning, it is difficult to set a budget and stick to it, because there are hidden expenses everywhere. That’s why you should always have a transparent talk with the person responsible for the budget to let them know how vendors need to be paid as well as what types of situations may require you to pay more in the end.
Any type of destruction of property, overtime, security policies and more may result in a higher cost, so be sure to discuss these issues and get a realistic budget approved.
You need to ensure that all new expenses are approved and justified. If you get any ideas on, for instance, the decor after the fact, don’t realize any changes without making sure you’re allowed to spend more money.
Budget is a tricky subject since many people don’t like discussing the amount of money they can allocate to a specific project, and tend to underestimate costs, so if you run into any problems in the early stages of event planning, try suggesting an amount rather than asking for an assessment that you fear may be unrealistic.
3. Check and recheck speaker availability
This may seem like an obvious step, but trust us, speaker availability should be checked more than once. Speakers may have a lot of offers for events on dates that conflict with your event.
If there is a lot of travelling involved, they may run late or have to cancel. To help you avoid situations like these, use SpeakerHub. It helps you find speakers on a variety of topics to fit your budget.
By using SpeakerHub, you can find reliable speakers and check their availability in a few steps. With useful testimonials available for speakers, you can check who will be the best fit for your audience.
If you have booked your speakers long in advance, you’ll need to remind them the event is coming up at least a couple of weeks ahead of time. This is an important step as you don’t want to hold an event without key speakers.
4. Offer alternative food options
With so many people having food allergies and/or having to stick to special diets, nowadays, it’s a must to include alternative food options for your guests. Ask your attendees to advise of any dietary preferences or needs at the time of registration so you know what is required.
That way, you’ll easily create a menu with your caterers that is inclusive and doesn’t leave anyone out. Once the food is out and on the table, make sure everything is properly labeled so that there is no confusion.
Another thing to think about is will you be serving alcohol and what kind. Depending on the type of the event, you could opt-out of alcoholic drinks and have people buy their own if they want them.
5. Is your ticket selling/registration software reliable?
Choosing the right ticketing software is extremely important. It has to be easy to use, has to integrate with your registration process, be mobile-friendly, and accept a variety of payment options.
It’s important that you keep a close eye on the sale of the tickets as the event approaches. If they’re not selling, you will need to ramp up your marketing efforts.
A good tactic to use is scarcity: Once you get people in your sales funnel you can entice them with a good offer. We suggest creating newsletters and social media ads focusing on how many tickets are available and how quickly they’re selling out. Event proposal will help you present your offer in a way that is engaging and relatable to clients. It ensures you communicate the details of what's included, when it'll take place, etc.
Seeing a ticking clock creates a sense of urgency with people and they’ll be more likely to buy tickets if they fear missing out. Use pictures and videos from your past events to show how great they were, and include a few reviews and social proofs.
It’s always great to bring the human factor into your marketing efforts, so it’s a great idea to ask your speakers to film short videos inviting people to the event. Ask them to share invites on their social media and create buzz around the event with their followers.
Organizing everything upfront is the best way to tackle event planning. However, there are always unexpected situations that pop up and force you to come up with a solution on the spot.
That’s why it’s important to stay on top of things and work with reliable people and software. The more effort you put into the early stages of your event planning, the better your chances of success.
Be sure to capture fun moments from your event to use for promotional purposes in the future. After all, if it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen?
About the author:
Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, a simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She's a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.