Event Planning Basics: How To Organize A Great Event With Less Stress
Planning an event can be a tough, stressful, and thought-provoking experience. As an event manager, you will find that your patience will be constantly challenged as you need to deal with people from different fields and expertise, which means that they all speak a different language than what you are probably used to.
On the upside, you could potentially gain new skills while improving your professional network, which is beneficial for your career over the long term. Suppose you are able to organize and excute successful events consistently and efficiently. In that case, you will also build a reputation for being a reliable event manager, in which case clients will come looking for you instead of the other way around.
To be able to do this, you need to be equipped with the right tools, plus have a proper team to help and support you in your projects. To get you started, here are some basic preparations that can help you organize a great event while causing less stress on your part:
- Start With The Event Objectives And Expectations
Before doing anything else, you must know what the event is being organized for and what it is expected to be like. Set the parameters at the onset so that you can avoid last-minute changes, or worse, end up having dissatisfied bosses or clients.
If this is a company activity, meet with the executives and ask them questions about what kind of event they want it to be, what the objectives are, and who are the target attendees. For an external event, talk to the client openly in order to get their honest thoughts and expectations. It is important to get a clear vision of the event in your head before you start the actual preparations.
- Set A Realistic Budget
When talking to company executives or clients, be transparent about the expenses. Do not make false promises of having a grand event for a small budget, but do not overcharge for a simple execution, either. No amount of short-term gain will be able to make up for the consequences if you lose the trust of people who chose you to bring their vision to life.
If there’s a need to, it is best to negotiate the budget during this time. Do not wait until contracts have been signed and suppliers have started working on their deliverables before you raise expense issues with the company or the client. At the same time, set a buffer amount that will give you enough room to make adjustments in case prices suddenly go up while preparations are underway.
- Allocate Enough Time For Preparations
While it is possible to rush your suppliers and execute an event in a very short amount of time, this leaves you susceptible to mistakes. Your suppliers may also make errors that will be costly to fix. The worst that can happen is for no one to notice the mistake until the day of the event; by then, it will be too late to make adjustments.
When you are in a hurry, you might overlook some important matters and end up with a half-baked event. You may also not have the time to go over every detail with your suppliers and have to leave some decisions for them to make, which may not always align with the original objectives and theme of the activity.
- Always Have A Plan B
No matter how much you plan everything to the very last detail, something can still go wrong on the event day itself. This is why it is important to always have a backup plan that you are ready to execute whenever the need arises.
For example, a big event like a conference or a free concert where there is no limit on the number of attendees can easily turn into a disaster without proper crowd control. Aside from getting ushers and bouncers to help manage the guests, it is a good idea to prepare clear-span buildings which can be used as a waiting area before the event starts, then as a secondary venue if there is an overflow.
- Work With Credible Suppliers
The people you choose to work with can spell the difference between the success or failure of your event. For this reason, you should never compromise on the quality and credibility of your suppliers in exchange for little savings in your overall expense.
Screen your suppliers thoroughly before engaging them for the project. Once you have found the good ones, hold on to them and use the same team for your future events. This also makes your life easier as the workflow tends to improve once you are more familiar with each other’s work habits. Aside from this, communication also becomes smoother, and you are more relaxed since you are already confident in the quality of their work.
David is a dynamic, analytical, solutions-focused bilingual Financial Professional, highly regarded for devising and implementing actionable plans resulting in measurable improvements to customer acquisition and retention, revenue generation, forecasting, and new business development.