Are you currently looking to plan your first event? Or simply looking for ways to manage your events more effectively?
In this guide, we will discuss all you need to know about event planning and event management, and by following the tips we’ll share below, you’ll be able to manage successful events.
Obviously, all events are unique, and each will require its own management approach. However, here we will share some best practices that you can use as a foundation for any event.
Without further ado, let us start with the first one.
Earlier Is Better
When it comes to planning an event, you should begin planning as soon as the idea for the event is conceived, or as soon as you possibly can.
If it’s a relatively large event, then realistically you’ll need at least four to six months of planning in advance. Even if it’s a relatively small, basic event, you’ll need at least a few weeks or a month of planning.
Also, make sure you’ve secured all vendors, sponsors, exhibitors/speakers, and other parties at least a couple of weeks before the event.
When it comes to event management, earlier is always better.
2. Rigidity Is Your Enemy
The nature of event management is that you’ll always face changes throughout the planning and even during the execution of the event itself. It’s perfectly okay and expected.
You should remain flexible throughout the event management, whether there’ll be changes in times, event locations, exhibitors, or even when the event requires a complete overhaul when it’s just a few weeks away. Always be ready and flexible.
3. Leverage Technology
People are getting more used to doing everything online, including buying tickets and booking your events online. You should provide the right experience and make sure it’s as easy as possible for your audience to find and book your event.
We’d recommend event management software like Eventtia where you’ll get the following features in just one solution:
- Online registration and ticketing: Arguably the most important features in any event management software. You want a platform where your potential attendees can easily book your event and purchase your ticket
- Payment and invoices: Easily generate and send personalized invoices.
- Attendee tracking: accurately track which guests are visiting your event, and what your guests are doing when attending your event.
- Event promotion: Easily send targeted emails from the Eventtia dashboard, and also the ability to send and manage discount coupons and early bird tickets.
- Attendee management: Managing your event’s guest list for various purposes from facilitating the check-ins to controlling access.
4. Negotiate For The Best Deals
One of the key objectives of event management is to reduce expenses and ensure the event is as cost-efficient as possible. Even when a vendor mentions that their price is non-negotiable, the first rule of event planning is that everything is negotiable. Always try to negotiate as low a price as you can: Define your budget for a vendor beforehand, and negotiate to pay 10% or at least 5% lower than this number.
5. Build Your Team
If it’s a fairly small and simple event, then you might be able to handle everything by yourself and you can skip this step. However, most likely you’ll need to build a team to manage and execute the event.
One of the keys to event management success is to ensure you are assigning responsibilities to the right people. It’s best to break up various elements of the event into different departments (i.e. booking, catering, sponsorships, exhibitors), and assign each department to the right member of your team based on their knowledge and/or experience.
6. Manage Your Team’s Collaboration
Again, you should leverage technology to provide your team with the most convenient and effective way to collaborate. For example, you can use cloud tools like Google Docs, Trello, Slack, and others to easily share documents and discuss everything in real-time. The idea is to have a centralized place to store various documents related to the event: invoices, floor plans, contracts, schedules, and so on. So, your team members can always go back to this shared hub when there are disputes or when they are unsure about what to do next.
7. Always Have a Plan B (and C)
Again, you should always expect changes when planning and managing an event, and it’s very rare that an event is executed perfectly without any issue at all. An exhibitor may arrive late, or a vendor may not be able to fulfill its promise on the day of the event.
Thus, always have a backup plan for every element of the event, especially for the most important aspects. Identify which element can be substituted or even completely eliminated in a worst-case scenario.
8. Evaluate and Follow Up
Your job isn’t over when the event is over, but you should evaluate the performance of the event and be proactive in following up with attendees to ensure conversions (or repeat purchases). You can send a thank you email or even engage attendees on social media, which can also be very important to build your social proof in running a successful event.
Encourage your attendees to tag the event in relevant posts, and upload your photos once the event is over while encouraging attendees to tag themselves in these photos.
When evaluating the event you should ask yourself:
- How did the event perform against the forecast?
- What was the attendee feedback like?
- How is the performance of your team?
- Is your marketing effective?