Monday, January 26, 2009

Planning Pointers for a Great Event

With so many things to keep in mind when planning an event, it can sometimes seem insurmountable. Yet, when you have the right tactics in toe, planning a great event is not only possible, it can be enjoyable, too.

1. Make a plan. Your first step should be to clarify why your organization is holding the event. Once you determine the purpose for your event, set the goals and budget. With these elements defined, it is easier to extract all the details needed to achieve your aim and layout a timeline of the steps to get there.

2. Get people excited. Attitude is everything in event planning. The mood of the hosts, speakers and attendees will make a huge difference. Make sure the invitation and other correspondence attract, intrigue and excite guests. Generate buzz. Create a publicity plan where applicable and contact appropriate media to alert them of photo/interview opportunities.

3. Plan for the worst. Be sure to crash test the event. Scout the location beforehand, check all the equipment, confirm reservations, send a reminder to attendees and taste the punch. One of the best things you can do when planning a successful event is assume that nothing will go as planned.

4. Expect the best. Success requires a lot more than a smooth function. Sufficient parking, proper lighting, appropriate thanks, comfortable seating, a clear view of the speaker, and chocolates on the chairs are just a few of the accents that distinguish a good event and great event. These "little" things add up to make a big difference in making your event a hit.

5. Unwind. Evaluating the event while the details are still fresh is essential. Provide a questionnaire to attendees, and write down any pluses, minuses and insights of your own. Express your appreciation to all parties involved and as a final touch, send a picture, program or note to those who could not attend. After the clean up and lock down is complete, kick up your feet with some leftovers and congratulate the team on a job well done.
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