Putting on an event is highly rewarding, and can be fun during the process.
It can also be a lot of work, but if you can nail down these essential things, putting on an event should run smoothly from inception to the conclusion of the big day.
Have a Clearly Defined Goal
You can’t even begin to create a to-do list for an event without knowing the purpose of said event. Clearly define the goal of the event, and then work to outline the steps that need to be taken to reach that goal.
You’ll want to consider vendors, décor, possible activities to enhance the event, budget, pre-event items like sending out invitations and promoting the event, and post-event items like clean-up and sending thank yous.
Book the Right Entertainment
There are many options for entertainment when it comes to events: musicians, dancers, comedians, and so much more. You’ll want to find an act that speaks to the crowd you’re inviting.
Look for someone who will invigorate the atmosphere of the event, who will get guests talking and maybe participating.
Research local acts, or peruse the offerings of a live entertainment agency to see what is available nationally.
If it’s a gathering where people don’t know each other well, opt for ice breakers like comedians. If it’s a group that’s comfortable with one another, hire dancers or musicians who will get the crowd involved in a more physical way.
Pick the Proper Space
Nailing down the right venue makes all the difference, and should be your first step after determining your budget and crowd size.
You’ll need a space to accommodate guests, entertainment, food, and any other activities you may have planned.
Shop around to see what venues offer things like set-up and take-down in their fee, or provide things like tables, chairs, and linens.
If you are trying to achieve a particular ambiance, choose a place with inherent décor that speaks to that.
You will also want somewhere that has ease of parking access, coat and bag checks if necessary, and ample restrooms.
If this is a large public event, you might want to consider courting sponsors for money to help fund the event.
Sponsors should have values that align with your event and can financially contribute to the event’s success. In return, you can offer sponsors signage and logo placement during the event itself and throughout its marketing. You might want to offer exclusive sponsorship for those whose pockets are deep.
Also offer up free event tickets to the sponsors and any other benefits made just for them that shows your appreciation.
Having sponsors can help alleviate cost burdens.
Your event can make an impact even after it’s over, and can help inform how you put on future events.
Talk to staff to see what they felt worked well and what didn’t. Consider surveying attendees to ask them what they liked best, or what they might improve the next time around.
Take notes on this feedback and any personal observations you made during the event to ensure you carry it with you for the next one.