Tuesday 19th January 2021
63

Event Planning Checklist for Newbies

Event Planning Checklist for Newbies

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Event planning is not a cakewalk for sure. It requires tons of effort and planning. And at some point, even stress is inevitable. But if you plan it ahead and far in advance. You can make it convenient and hassle-free.

And whichever scale of the event may be. The dedication required is the same. A successful event comprises many elements such as venue, audience, hospitality, permits (if required), staff/volunteers, and many more.

You need to keep up with every task as an organizer. And this is where sharing the responsibilities becomes essential where you get an update from department heads/staff members at a regular interval.

As there are layers of work, it seems challenging and appears too messy outside. But when we have a first-hand experience, things start making sense to us.

And somewhere we make it a very formal affair throughout the process. Rather than enjoying and just being in the moment.

People miss a lot on this but organizing an event is a different high altogether.

In this digital era. There are tons of digital marketing tools, which you can use to enhance your event. Be it, email marketing. Facebook events, Survey Monkey, etc.

So here I'll be making a structured checklist of event planning, which you can follow to organize a successful event.

Just follow the given checklist points. And make sure that none of these slips away.

1- Start Early 

2- Know your Purpose and Objective 

3- Selection of Date and Venue 

4- Budget

5- Bookings and Rentals 

6- Assigning Responsibilities 

7- Sponsorship Drive 

8- Publicizing Event 

9- Venue Work 

10- Registration Desk 

11- The wrap-up 

1- Start Early

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Start ahead as soon as possible.

Just start with planning your tasks, sooner the better.

And starting early gives you the privilege of keeping up with the details and not compromising with your vision.

It also lends enough time for you to market and publicize your event. And making your target audience aware of the happening in the city/locality. This gives them a space to act.

And something or the other falls through the cracks and it’s quite normal. But if you’ve made your way ahead it becomes comparatively easier for you to rescue.

So the bottom line is, start plotting your event ahead.

By saying that I don’t want you to install an exhaust at your back and take off. Rather, if you begin at a decent time. You don’t have to juggle up things and make it hectic and stressful for yourself.

And to give a better view of "Start Early", it can be 3-6 months before the show date.

2- Know your Purpose and Objective 

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Establish your core motive for hosting an event.

Make yourself clear, do you want to raise money, or you want to raise awareness about a particular subject. And act accordingly.

You should be able to answer questions like-

What is the purpose of this event?

What kind of event would you like to host?

When & where you are about to host?

What do you want to cater to people?

Identifying your goals and objectives puts clarity onto the path and addresses the needful actions that we can undertake to achieve success.

As per the scale of your event, you should even try to gauge the amount of audience, you're hoping to get.

And the most important thing is to identify what are the kind of events that you wish to host?

As there are tons of alternatives.

Take your time and do wisely but keep in mind that this is the ground on which the whole game would be played. And it got to be strong and justified.

3- Selection of Date and Venue 

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After you are comfortable with the kind of event that you're about to organize.

Start with finalizing the date of the event and venue for hosting the show.

Do extensive research on the subject.

As the right selection of date and venue has the potential to create wonders. It is going to be one of the core elements to make your event a success.

Consider hosting it on days and places that have the highest potential to draw people.

And keep an eye that it doesn't clash with any other happening around in your locality in the same period. And even a similar type of event.

Concerning venue, check upon its availability, accessibility, permits (for alcohol), and insurance.

And make sure you are done with all the commitments before the booking.  

4- Budget

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Before making a rough budget. Consider running estimate research.

Get approximate costs for food and beverages, equipment, rentals, traveling, insurance, venue, staff, on-site requirements, and other miscellaneous expenditures.

Perform as per the need and nature of your event.

And if you've got the privilege of prior experience of hosting an event. You can take past figures for references.

And don’t be conservative in taking suggestions from your industry connections if needed.

In the end, it’s a game of money.

And getting a fair idea of the budget helps us to make our way ahead in a more practical manner.

And not just playing with mere predictions.  

5- Bookings and Rentals 

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There are a lot of things that you would need to reserve for the event.

First of all, the desired venue that you had shortlisted.

You might even need equipment on-site and other required machines. That you can procure from rentals. And all this requires a prior booking by lending a small token amount to reserve.

And if your event deals with speakers, panel, judges, special guests, celebrities, etc.

Then you also need to get time from their busy schedules.

And there would be places where you need to hire professionals for IT, ticketing systems, electric work, etc. You need to make arrangements for all this stuff.

Again, this largely depends upon the nature of your event.

So anything, which demands a prior monetary booking to secure that person, or any particular thing.

Just book them.

6- Assigning Responsibilities 

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You need to address your staff/volunteers about the responsibilities and the tasks they will be performing.  

Allot the work as per the capability of a person.

If someone is good with the communication he can be on the ground helping out the attendees. Or if one is good with his managerial skills he can be part of the organizing committee.

Give work similar to their skills.

"Right job to the right person".

There are a lot of departments that would need a workforce for on-ground, marketing, hospitality, Guest management, Sponsorships, creatives, registrations, logistics, official work (licenses, permits), etc.

These people are the ones who would make all difference in the game. So, earn and respect them.

And just make sure you get the right people on board.

7- Sponsorship Drive 

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Let’s dive into getting sponsors for the show.

Getting sponsors is the key aspect to run an event. Creating a sponsorship package is a good way to get businesses who would be interested in any particular event you’re organizing.

And getting them is not easy let me tell you.

But it’s no rocket science either. Here, when we start ahead we’ve got the privilege to work hard and get them on board.

Start engaging with local businesses and corporates to get them associated/partner with your event.

And this is going to suck a lot of your time and effort. You might need to make even a hundred calls a day. Then too, the chance of getting someone would be close to zero.

But what we possess in our hands is not results but hard work. And don’t step back, keep pushing.

You’re just “a call away” from getting one.  

Keep a constant connection and follow-up to confirm sponsorships and underwriting.

Arrange all the promotional materials from the confirmed sponsors to share at the event.

Get the sponsors to post promotional materials for your event on their different media channels.

8- Publicizing Event 

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Now it’s time to make a marketing strategy.

In this era, digital marketing is the center point of any marketing campaign.

Create social media marketing campaigns, write blogs/posts for publications, print ads, radio spots, newsletters, etc.

Having a dedicated event page on your website gives full customization authority.

Get digital materials from corporate sponsors such as logos for publishing purposes.

We all are aware of the impact of videos.

So shoot event promos and upload them on different platforms like YouTube and event pages to grab the attention, awareness, and influence of your audience.  

Arrange all the event media kits such as speaker’s picture, personal details, arrival times, participations, etc. before and aggressively publicize it.

Build fascinating creatives to promote your events.

Create invitations and posters for distributions.

And keep one thing in your mind, with every post and promotional endeavor. Always answer the question of “Why” why should anyone come to your event?

Simply present the perks of attending your event. For instance, it can be, participating keynote speakers, celebrities, VIP attendees, honorees, etc.

Just show it off.

9- Venue 

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When the final day arrives make sure everything is well organized and responsibilities are pre-determined.

Install audio/visuals systems at required places and other required equipment. Run a trial session before the event.

Giving utmost importance to convenience and accessibility, install signage at every needed point such as restrooms, parking, security, emergency exit, events, entry, exit, etc.

Make sure if you require any license, permits, or insurance from official authorities.  

Deal with security and review all needs and keep a constant connection with the venue manager throughout the happening.

Hospitality is a place where you shouldn’t lose any points. Have enough restrooms for M/F, lend wheelchair facility, maintain hygiene, trash bins, etc.

Deploy staff/volunteers to serve attendees and to answer their queries.

And apart from all preaching,

Keep calm and enjoy the day!

10- Registration Desk 

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When everything above goes as per the plan and efforts.

People show up on the day of your event and seek the registration desk first.

And you as a host should make sure that it’s not there’s no inconvenience caused to people.  

Have a decent amount of registration stalls. Installed with all needed requirements such as print machines, ticketing system, merch, cash/card payment, loose change, etc.  

You can experiment with tons of things at this place to scale up your revenue. For instance, if you’ve any artists performing at your event, sell his autographs or any of his stuff that has an emotional

thread.

In the end, make the whole process convenient for attendees.

And keep a track of money flow.

11- The wrap-up 

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Now it’s all done, pat on your back and thank all the supporting staff who worked tirelessly.

And there might be some places where you could have done better. Although there would also be times where things just turned up onto their places and the outcome were much more than expected.

So now, take up notes for your future references. See to it what sect requires more attention and meanwhile identifying your strengths too.  

Just host a small casual meet with all the staff/volunteers presenting your gratitude and thanking them all for their service.

Conclusion 

If you’re up for getting out of your comfort zone for an adventurous ride that is full of ups and downs then this is worth a shot. Mark my words.

The checklist suggested above has the potential to nullify all your questions and doubts about event planning.

Just follow them and keep a track of your work.

And I know at some point it’s quite overwhelming too but unless you start your journey it would always seem like it’s not scalable.

And every journey has its colors that are worth experiencing.

So, let me know which event you’re planning to host and why?

Meanwhile, if you’ve got any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments section!

 
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