Tuesday 25th August 2020
23

9 things to consider when planning an event

9 things to consider when planning an event
 

Before starting planning an event. You will need to think about various things.

Being planning events for the last 20 years, I have listed the following 9 things you need to consider before planning your event.

So let's cut the crap and let's get to the point straight away:

Number One 1#: Finding the proper venue for your event

Finding the proper venue for your event
 

If your event is networking oriented then. One thing you need is a breakout space in your event where people can just stand up chit chat with each other and network with each other.

Or can you actually host your whole event in one room, sometimes when you're hosting events for a presentation or brand awareness or a charity, a small room with a nominal seating arrangement should be okay.

But when it comes to a bigger event where you are considering more than 50 people. You need a bigger space, and you will definitely need breakout areas.

Another thing you need to consider under this section is if you can actually rent a venue for your event?

One of the biggest challenges the event hosts faces is the budget. When the event budget is not that much, it is very difficult to find out a venue where you can actually host your event.

But you can always consider renting a venue if you can, depending upon your budget. I must say that when you rent it gives you quite a lot of flexibility in terms of resource availability as well as the location.

But when you don't have a budget for renting a venue, you need to consider space available for you for free. For example, you can break a deal with the bar or a restaurant where you can bring more than 20 people to them and they can give you a part of the restaurant to host your event.

Another thing you have to consider is does this space has good transportation links?

Because if you're hosting an event, which is in the center of the city, and everyone is able to travel to your location easily, you will end up getting more interest and traction. 

It's obvious, isn't it?

Although,

If the location is not easily reachable. Then, even though your event is quite interesting, people might not turn up or not RSVP to your event.

Number Two 2#: Virtual Event

Consider Doing Virtual Event
 

If you want to save yourself from all these hassle, then you might want to consider a virtual event, which a lot of people are doing our days because of COVID-19.

You can always host an event with the help of virtual meeting apps like Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook, etc.

With virtual events, there is a lot more planning needed in terms of:

  • Should you link your virtual meeting join link to the event openly
  • Defining Process to get people invited to the meeting providing them all the login details
  • Making sure that everyone has proper login details and a backup plan if few people can't join it during the meeting.
  •  Set up some ground rules so that people don't get annoyed by other people in the meeting etc. and there are so many other things you have to consider. But I wanted to state the basics.

But virtual meetings are not necessarily as good as live meetings. And the reason is in live meetings people can actually talk with each other, more toward the end or start. Whereas in virtual meetings, it is very difficult to do that.

Number Three 3#: Type of Event

 Type of Event
 

The next thing you need to consider before planning your event is you need to decide on the type of event you're hosting.

There are multiple types of events you could host:

  • You could host a charity event where you can invite all of your friends and family to raise some money for a charity.
  • You can host a startup event where all the startup people can come and network with each other.
  • You can host a career fair event where students from different universities can join and then apply to the companies that are looking for fresh talent.
  • You can host networking events for local people. For example, you can host even for single people in the city, or you can host an event for old age people in the city who wants to get to know each other or who are new to the city.

So all these kinds of events, you can host and they come under the tag of type of event.

Number Four 4#: Audio/Video Capability

Audio/Video Capability
 

Another thing you need to consider before planning your event is if you need any audio or video capabilities.

Most of the time when you're hosting an event, it is mandatory to have a centralized location where all the information can be kept and propagated via a suitable medium.

For example, if you're doing a startup pitch event, you need a projector, a mic, and a staging area where you can introduce startups and they can pitch their startup.

On the other hand, you also need some chairs, a Judging area for judges for the startup pitch where they can sit down and give them some feedback on their pitch.

If you're hosting a charity event, you will definitely need audio capability which you can use to communicate about the cause of the charity, and what are the different ways people can contribute to the charity.

If you're hosting a student career event, then you need lots of canopies to be installed where students can go and talk with individual companies so that they can understand about them and then they can apply via their online portal, or directly handover their CV's.

Number Five 5#: Your Event Team

Your Event Team
 

Another thing you need to think about before planning your event is.

Do you need a team for organizing this event.

We all know that organizing an event is not an easy task. And if you have a couple of extra hands to help you out. It will be easier for you.

Hence, having a team to organize an event is always helpful.

For example, I always make sure I have couple of people joining hands with me for any event I host.

I always try to assign tasks to different people. For example, I have always have a technical person in my team who take cares of all AV needs all technology needs. I always have another person who take cares of sale of tickets, promoting the events online, and making sure that everybody received their answers when they have any questions regarding the year.

And I myself.

Look after the venue, the vision for the event. And the goal we need to achieve, and obviously, you need supervision to have the overall accountability for.

Number Six 6#: Event Date

event date
 

Now when you start planning your event you need to set a date, setting a date is very important.

You need to always remember that when you're hosting an event in your city, you should not set a date, close to or around the same date as another big event.

Because if you do that, then people will be divided into these two different events.

So always keep an eye on different events happening in your city in your location, and make sure your event is not happening on the same day.

Obviously, you cannot do anything about the events which are already planned.

Although you can always do some research around the dates available for your preferred venue. This helps you understand what kind of events are happening at your selected venue before your event. 

Number Seven 7#: Steal the Audience

Steal the Audience
 

One of the things which I always do before deciding on my event date is, I go to the events which were planned before my tentative date, attend those events and introduce myself to the event host.

I try to pitch my event date to the event attendees of that event so that I can bring some of them into my event.

This really helps because that gives you an opportunity to go in front of the people who are willing to attend similar kind of events in your industry.

They are motivated to actually attend those events. This way you can make sure that you are promoting your event, as well as you're encouraging people with similar hobbies and mindset to come to your event.

Number Eight 8#: Partner with Sponsors

Another thing you have to consider is partnering with sponsors.

I am not saying that you always need sponsorship to host an event. And I'm not saying that your sponsor needs to actually give you something in order to sponsor your event, but this actually helps both ways.

If you get a sponsor for your event that means that sponsor could help you to get a venue or could help you to actually get some nibbles and drinks in your event against a little bit of branding for their organization.

Whereas, it also establishes, your brand awareness and credibility in your locality.

Because when people see that your event is sponsored by other local entities. They understand that you are a well-known figure in the local area.

Same time your sponsor gets to advertise their brand in front of your audience.

One of the best strategies I have used is to utilize my sponsor's connections in my demography. 

Let's say you are hosting an event in London. You got 2 sponsors who are willing to support you. 

You can ask them to include your event in their newsletter, their website as well as on all of their social media platforms. 

Isn't it's fantastic? A free advertisement is always better than a paid one.

Number Nine 9#: Speakers 

Remember those days when you were asked to get in front of your class and talk about something. How nervous you use to feel? This is how a speaker feels when he or she has no clue what to talk about. 

This even gets more painful if the speaker doesn't know about the audience or the theme of your event.

Hence preparing your speakers and doing a test speech multiple times before your event is always a good idea.

When I use to run Startups in Noth East meetup in Newcastle - England. I made sure that I have all of my speakers prepared and confident enough before handling them on my stage. This way my audience use to feel very special and my speakers had confidence that everything is in controlled and managed by the event host.

Here is a video that explains more about how you can plan an event.

how to plan an event

Okay, so now you have a list of things you have to consider before you plan your event. Let me tell you what you have to do on the day.

Early in the morning, you drop off at your event venue.

You check all the A/V setup is working, and it's in proper condition.

Have a quick volunteer coordination meeting with your team.

Set up all posters, cards, name tags, etc needed for your event.

And then before the event starts when attendees begin arriving, make sure there is somebody available for them to welcome them.

While the event is happening, make sure that people are having an interesting conversation with each other, and if you see people standing alone, or not, talking to other people walk towards them, talk to them and introduce them to other people so that they can have a good time.

Always remember, events are all about having a good time and networking with people who are interested in each other.

So let me know what things you have considered before planning your event?

 
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