Event Planning 101

Banners on a Roll®

Banners on a Roll® in use at a recent event.

A good chunk of successful event planning involves trying new ideas to appeal to your audience. But whether you’re an event planning novice or a seasoned pro, it also helps to get “back to basics” once in a while. Here are five essential event planning tips to consider, courtesy of Cassandra Johnson at Promotional Consultant Today:

1. Set your business objectives.
Pinpoint your reason for hosting the event and identify a measurable goal. What will make your event a success? Is it the number of referrals you’ll receive as a result? This will guide you in your decision-making throughout the event-planning process.

2. Build a baseline. 
In order to track your event’s success, you must first get a baseline of the clients’ attitudes and opinions. This can be done by conducting a simple online survey that asks questions about your business. Are they aware of your services? Do you offer a product or service th at they would recommend to others? Keep the survey short with just a few questions.

3. Determine your budget.
Decide the amount you are willing to spend in order to gain the target return. When planning your budget, be sure to account for the venue, meeting planner (optional), food and beverage, printing, postage, photographer, gifts, audio/ visual rental and valet parking.

4. Identify your audience and create a guest list.
Define the type of guest you want to attend your event and build your guest list based on this description. If you are looking to go beyond your current contacts and client base, consider acquiring a list through a trade organization or other source.

5. Engage your team in the process.
Form a small team of three to four employees, request their input and assign specific planning responsibilities, as needed; then meet on a regular basis to stay on target.

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