Whether you’re a seasoned pro or event planning novice, any event planning is an involved and challenging process. However, it’s not all despair in the event planning business – after all, part of your job is making these events a blast! With the right planning and organization, you can turn this chaotic process into a well-oiled production. Let’s reduce your anxiety and help you produce a seamless event.

Early Preparation

The best thing you can do for any event is start your planning early. Sometimes, it can take anywhere from six months to a year to properly set up even the smallest business event. Giving yourself enough time will make sure you can organize your thoughts, plan your budget, and get the details into motion. Countless things need to be done first, but to make your life easier, start with a checklist and highlight not only the essential information, but even the minute details that need to be accomplished.

Related: Planning Corporate Conferences

PURPOSE:

Before you decide on the details, you need to figure out what the purpose and objective of your event will be. It will then be much easier to figure out the type of event you want to throw, the number of people you want to invite, how much you expect to profit from the event, and several other factors.

Date, Time, Location, Venue:

As soon as you have your event objective, it’s a good idea to think of the optimal date for the event. This will make it easier to decide on the location and venue. When considering potential venue options, remember factors such as the number of people you expect to attend (to ensure your venue will be large enough), and be sure that necessary accommodations (Wi-Fi, nearby lodging for traveling attendees, etc.) are accounted for.

Budgeting:

Once you have the necessary details squared away, it’s important to draw up a rough budget for yourself. This planning will put you on the right path of figuring out total costs, as well as how much money you need to raise (e.g., from ticket sales).

Choose a Theme:

The right event theme can make a world of difference when trying to figure out decorations, speakers, entertainment, and even event food. Think about the message you want your event to convey. Think about the audience you’re targeting. This will help you choose the right theme, which will make the other elements mentioned above much easier to make selections for.

Halfway Through- 3 Months Out

With the larger factors of the event organization taken care of, it’s time to buckle down and finalize the specifics.

Vendors:

With three months to go, you should finalize the specific vendors you want for your event. These can include florists, caterers, security, and any other vendors you need. Waiting too long to book may leave you settling for your backup plans.

Materials:

Before the event gets too close, place orders for any swag you may want to distribute. Consider print materials, promo items, and anything else you may need when meeting attendees. Placing the orders in advance will allow you to ensure you have everything properly printed and shipped to the right location.

Speakers and Entertainment:

Whether you are looking for someone related to your event topics, or want some music to liven up the big day, it’s a good time to look into the speakers and entertainment. Consider the type of event you are organizing, as well as the theme, and book the entertainers and speakers that you want. Planning this ahead of time will also enable you to promote your guests, and arrange for their travel and accommodations during the event.

Promotion:

There’s no point in planning an event if nobody comes out. With the countdown on, now is the time to promote that event in every way you can. Publish announcements on your social media, update your website, write blog posts, distribute print marketing materials, create a promo video, and get the word out about your event. Whatever promotional avenue fits your event best, get on it, and start communicating about the event in creative ways to get the public to learn about it. Don’t forget to send reminders as the event day nears; this will help to keep the event fresh in everyone’s mind, including your staff, vendors, and attendees.

Organize Financials and a Rough Schedule:

With the event plan in place, the next step is to organize financials by setting ticket prices and choosing your ticketing technology. It’s also an excellent time to set up a rough schedule of the event, so you can have an idea of how you want things to run.

Final Countdown

The last few weeks before your event are left for last-minute planning and tying up loose ends. It’s a great time to go through practice rounds so that you can finalize any last-minute details and implement any changes.

Confirm Roles and Finalize Details:

Go through everyone’s role for the big event. Make sure your team understands their goals, as well as the individual tasks they need to handle. Check in with your employees, your volunteers, and your security team to make sure they don’t have any questions or misunderstandings, and be sure to have an explicit schedule in place. Also finalize last-minute issues with your vendors. Finalize decorations, timing schedules, and any additional specifics and instructions you want them to know.

Create The Event Timeline:

With the chaos that will ensue on the big day, it’s ideal to have a specific plan in place. Having a schedule for yourself and the team will leave everyone feeling prepared, help the event run as smoothly as possible, and can prevent any mishaps or surprises that may come up.

Whether it’s a social gathering or an important corporate event, there are always many moving parts. The planning process can be exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. However, creating a checklist for yourself will not only keep you sane throughout the process, but ensure that even the smallest factor is accounted for. It will leave you with a seamless event that you will be proud to have produced. If you’re looking for a professional and experienced event management team to help with your next event, look no further. Let Ironmark help your event stand out and take it to the next level, as you sit back, relax, and let us do all the heavy lifting. For further information, contact us today.

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