Whether it be a grand opening, conference, open house, or the company holiday party, event planning is an integral part of any business. However, executing the perfect event can be a daunting task and balancing client requirements with city codes, budget, and more can prove to be a minefield. The following tips are there to help you keep track and create an memorable event.
Know your audience
A basic tenet of PR is to always know your audience and this rings especially true when event planning. Everything from the lighting to the entertainment needs to fit the brand of the client or business that is hosting the event. Additionally, knowing your audience doesn’t stop with the client, it’s also crucial to know the needs of attendees. Planning seating charts or guest lists means knowing who will bring in publicity, social media following, or simply drive business. It’s also important to know attendees dietary restrictions if the event will feature a sit down dinner or hors d’œuvre.
Unfortunately, guest lists and budgets can’t be narrowed down to an exact number which means that estimates are crucial for event planning. When building a guest list it’s important to consider the event space capacity as well as that pesky attrition rate. No matter how many people you invite, there will always be an attrition rate of 30 percent, this means you can invite a little more than you’d think would attend as there will be an inevitable drop in attendees. Estimates are also great to keep in mind when planning for food and drink as well as entertainment or vendors.
In the age of social media, reporting has become both easier and much more difficult to manage. Event success isn’t just limited to press hits and attendance but also by social media metrics such as engagement, and impressions. Make sure to monitor social channels for posts involving the event geotag or hashtags and always keep track of those Instastories! Tracking doesn’t stop at social monitoring, make sure to keep track of all receipts, copies of vendor contracts and any correspondence pertaining to the event. This is crucial when reporting as it will allow you to explain what budget was allocated to. This also allows everyone to keep in mind what the process will be like the following year and can leave room for improvement.
Roll with the punches
Events are large gatherings of people and like any gathering you never know what can go wrong…or right! Common occurrences such as a vendor being late, technological issues, etc are bound to happen. That’s why it’s necessary to always roll with the punches. Mitigate all situations and anticipate issues ahead of time. And if anything, just keep the event moving, because at the end of the day attendees won’t know that they got a dish that wasn’t on the menu or that the speaker had a slideshow that wasn’t able to be shown. They will remember the interactions, how great their meal was, and the great time they had.