5 Must-Have Strategies for Planning the Perfect In-Person Event

Events are back!

With Covid vaccination becoming more commonplace, travel increasing, and crowd restrictions lifting, in-person events are starting to make a comeback.

To prepare for the surge of events coming in 3rd and 4th quarter, keep in mind the following key steps to planning a successful event.

/ establish the goal for your event. There are many reasons why companies choose to have an event.  The goal can be to gather your top clients and thank them for their business, or it could be a networking platform to support business development initiatives.  Whatever the reason for the event, make sure you are clear about your objective as it will be the driving force for the overall structure.

/ determine the timing of your event. Timing is everything!  This saying is just as true in the world of event planning.  Keep in mind the business cycle for your industry.  Is it easier to bring attendees together during a slow time period or when business is at its peak?  Is there another industry event that attendees already travel for that you can piggyback on to maximize your own attendance?  These are the types of questions you should ask to help determine the best time to host your own event.

/ determine a budget. Dollars can add up quickly when you are trying to execute a top-notch event.  But a firm understanding of your budget will help you allocate resources accordingly.  Keep the following items in mind when you are reviewing everything you may need to incur expenses for:

  • Venue
  • Food & Beverage
  • Entertainment – DJ, Band, paid appearances
  • Décor
  • Travel
  • On-site event staff
  • Photography/Videography

/ book your venue. Choosing the right location for your event is a critical step to its overall success.  Depending on your event, the possibilities may seem endless.  A few things to consider when picking a venue include:

  • Size – Make sure the space is ample enough to comfortably fit your expected number of guests
  • Accessibility – It’s best to have a location that is easy for guests to arrive to. Ensure there are multiple entryways and exits as well as easily accessible restrooms
  • Cost – Don’t just focus on the price in and of itself. What does the price include?  Maybe the highest price includes the most for your guests.  Most importantly, don’t forget to negotiate, especially if your event may become a repeat event at the chosen venue. 

/create an event timeline/plan.To plan a successful event requires managing through a multitude of different details.  Map it all out to have a proper handle on all the moving parts.  Create your timeline starting with the first tasks that need to be executed to get your event planned all the way through your post event communication plan.  Put some thought into potential disaster recovery plans as well in case the weather doesn’t cooperate or a keynote speaker doesn’t show.  Putting some thought into what to do “just in case” will help you navigate through those situations like a pro if they do occur.

These steps, coupled with a detail-oriented execution plan, will ensure your event is on the path to success.