The Steps to Follow to Organize an Event
Different people organize events in different ways, and there’s really no right way or wrong way to go about it. Rather, you need to figure out what works best for you.
The process generally looks pretty similar from one event organizer to another, and the tips that we’re going to share are what have worked well for us. We hope you’ll find them useful!
The good news is that organizing an excellent event is relatively easy, though it can be time consuming, and it’s only natural to stress a little when you’re working on your first one. As with most things, practice makes perfect.
Let’s get started.
Decide on the subject matter
Perhaps the most important foundational step for you to take is to decide upon the subject matter that you’re going to cover. You don’t need to identify a specific topic at this stage, but you do need to understand the overall category so that you can move on to the next steps in the process. This will also help you with your marketing and promotion because you’ll start to get a feel for who you need to reach out to and what messages you need to use.
Once you know the subject matter that you plan to cover, you’re ready to start finding speakers. The best option is to give them a rough idea of the topics that you want them to talk about and then to leave the specifics to them. If you’re organizing a marketing conference, for example, you might want to ask speakers to cover email marketing and leave the specific title up to them. Also, be prepared to negotiate with people as to how much they’ll charge if applicable.
Choose a venue
You can tackle this step at the same time that you’re looking for speakers. At the very least you’ll need to know what city the event is taking place in at the time you approach them. The venue will in part be determined by how many people you’re expecting to attend. You’ll also need to spend some time thinking about your budget.
Prepare marketing material
As soon as you’ve confirmed your speakers, your venue and your subject matter, it’s time for you to start preparing your marketing material. You’re going to need this to start selling tickets and filling up your seats. It’s best to work on this as early as possible so that you have plenty of time for designs to be created, amendments to be made, and flyers to be printed.
Send out invitations
Now you’re ready to start inviting people. The key to success here is to push out the marketing material that you’ve created through as many relevant channels as possible, whether that’s display advertising, email marketing or old school direct mail. Again, the key here is to get started as early as possible so that people have plenty of notice and you’re not worrying about attendance at the last minute.
Prepare event collateral
Your marketing will likely continue until the day of the event, and so the next three tips can be carried out at the same time. When we talk about event collateral, we’re talking about things like branded merchandise, goodie bags, and printed programs, as well as any technology that you’re going to need like projectors and microphones. Create a checklist of everything that you’re going to need so that nothing gets left behind.
Carry out a dry run
The idea behind carrying out a dry run is to practice the key aspects of your event to make sure that everything goes according to plan. You’ll want to ensure that your technology setup is working as planned and that every member of staff knows what their role is and what they’ll be expected to do when the event finally rolls around.
A week or two, and also a day or two, before the event is due to start, you’ll want to send out reminders to both speakers and attendees so that they don’t forget to actually show up. This is also an opportunity to provide them with any further information that they might need, such as the running order, or the best routes to take from the major transportation hubs to the venue.
This step comes after the event has taken place, and it’s an opportunity for you to establish a dialog with attendees and to thank them for coming. It’s a good idea to encourage them to follow your brand on social media, and if you have another event coming up then you can direct them to that. This is also the perfect time for you to send over any assets that you’ve promised, like transcripts or video recordings of the presentations.
Start work on the next one
That’s it – you’ve got a successful event under your belt! Don’t stop now, though. It’s time for you to start thinking about what’s coming up next and to begin the process all over again planning your next event. Strike while the iron is hot and try to keep the momentum going so that people who attended your last event want tickets to come to the next one.
Different people approach event organization in different ways and there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. The hope is that by sharing these tips today, we’ve helped to provide you with an outline that you can adapt and make your own.
Now that you’ve heard from us, we want to hear from you. What steps do you always follow when you’re organizing an event, and do you think that there’s anything that we missed? As always, be sure to let us know in the comments so that we can keep the conversation going and feel free to follow us on your favorite social networking sites for more.