What is the importance of event planning?
Invest in event planning not just event marketing
Many organizations, especially nonprofits and associations, focus on having one annual event that is meant to be a fundraiser or a idea-raiser. Events are a great way to publicize an organization, get people together, and provide value to attendees. Except when the events don’t go well. And that is a big exception.
Unfortunately, many events have better publicity than planning, and that is guaranteed to backfire. What I mean is that event organizers spend inordinate amounts of time and money to make sure that people know and attend a conference, and spend much less time and money on the logistics of the event.
Lesson: Make sure the details are correct, and that everyone has the same information.
The people who were involved with greeting and registering were doing neither when I arrived at 8:50. Badges were still being put out. No one handed me a program. It was disorganized.
The program did not start until 10:15. From there, everything ran late. No one thought to tell people where the breakout sessions would be, and one was on a different floor (the session I was signed up for).
Lesson: Timing matters.
The “panelists” for the session I attended were sitting and chatting amongst themselves for 25 minutes, ignoring the fact that 40 people were sitting and waiting for them to start.
Lesson: Explain expectations to presenters.
And then there was the issue of lunch. It was supposed to be “grab and go.” I am vegetarian and guess what, there was not a single vegetarian option to be found.
Lesson: If you are going to offer food (and there is no other food available on site) then you have to consider dietary restrictions.
The bottom line is that the event organizers did not pay attention to the organization aspect of running an event. While I am sure that some people got some value from this particular event, these lapses in logistics wasted my time (and my money).
Why is event planning important?
It is important because it is your guideline towards effective production. Event planning involves the A to Z procedure, equipment, team, and all aspects making up the event. Let me give you an example: when you decide to travel, don’t you have a plan that suits your budget? It includes choosing the city airline, hotel, and also the program and activities.
Planning is not only applied to events, it is also applied in marketing (marketing plan), business (business plan) and so on. An event plan is like any other plan, important to keep track of the budget, required tasks and activities.
Why Having an Event-Planning Checklist Is Important to Keep You Organized
Planning an event doesn’t need to be an overwhelming and frustrating task. If you know how to make things easy for yourself, planning an event can actually be fun and exciting. Undoubtedly, the number one thing you can do to ensure your event is planned properly is to create an event-planning checklist. A carefully planned checklist will ensure you stay organized, focused, and on task. Here are some of the most important reasons why:
A checklist clears your mind
There are so many things to think about when planning an event. If you try to keep all of your thoughts, ideas, and tasks in your head, you will easily become overwhelmed. Creating a detailed and organized checklist will allow you to get everything out of your head and onto a piece of paper.
The first step you should take when creating your checklist is to brainstorm and write everything that comes to your mind. Once this is complete, you can group tasks together and organize them. The perfect checklist is one that has all your tasks listed in order of importance.
A checklist allows you to organize all of your contacts
Your checklist should include tasks that involve communicating with your event contacts. When your checklist is organized properly, all of your contacts will be listed somewhere on your checklist. You won’t have to search for your contact’s information or wonder if you’ve contacted everyone to finalize arrangements. Everything will be right there on your checklist and you can mark it off when you’ve completed it.
A checklist helps you keep track of finances
Including finances on your checklist is a great way to keep track of how much money you spend when planning your event. You can make a checklist that includes finance estimates or exact numbers. When you make a payment, you can check it off and it will be marked as complete. If you have a separate accounting sheet, you can easily transfer all expenses from the checklist to the sheet because everything is listed and organized.
A checklist helps your employees/volunteers
If you have employees or volunteers that are helping you plan your event, a checklist can help them tremendously. They will know exactly what tasks are most important and what tasks they need to complete. Creating a group checklist that everyone has access to is a great way to ensure everyone knows tasks have been completed. You can use a computer program to help you create a group checklist or you can do it by hand. The only thing that’s really important is that you and your helpers are on the same page and able to communicate.
A checklist will allow you to enjoy your event
After you create a great checklist and follow it, you can sit back and relax knowing your event will be an amazing one. You’ll be able to enjoy your event without having to worry if you mistakenly forgot to take care of something. Your event will run smoothly and the attendees will be able to have a great time because everything will be taken care of. The piece of mind that a checklist can bring you is priceless.
How to Plan an Event: The Complete Event Planning Guide
Develop Your Event Goal and Objectives
The very first step in planning your event is to establish a tangible goal and objectives. First, start by asking yourself: Why are you organizing this event, and what do you hope to achieve? If you know your organization’s key goals before planning, you can ensure that every part of your event is optimized for success. Are you trying to raise awareness for a cause, or collect a predetermined amount of donations for your next project? Are you hoping to attract 50 guests, or 500? Setting a goal with quantifiable metrics of success will make it easier for your team to ensure that you reach them.
Organize Your Team
Any event takes a concerted team effort to handle all the details. Consider identifying one key Event Manager or Event Chair as well as individual Chairpersons for subcommittees, such as:
- venue management;
- and volunteer management.
Assigning individual roles to team members creates a system of accountability, as well as preventing tasks from falling to the wayside. Plus, it’ll allow you to delegate – but don’t forget to account for committee meetings in your event plan timing!
Establish Your Budget
Establishing your event’s budget is one of the most important parts of planning an event. I’ve seen many great ideas fall by the wayside because the team who originally came up with it forgot to take their budget into consideration before beginning to plan.
Some of the critical expenses you need to include in your budget are:
- Venue: This cost should encompass the rental as well as any insurance you need to purchase.
- Food and Drink: This field is pretty self-explanatory. However, remember that the amount you can afford here might also dictate the number of tickets you’re able to sell.
- Entertainment: This field can be customized however you need it to be — whether it’s allocated for speakers, a DJ, or even a talking pig, make sure you have wiggle room for travel and accommodation costs as well as any compensation.
- Décor: Will you be going with a DIY mason-jar theme, or one that’s a little fancier? Establishing the costs upfront will help you determine which one you can afford.
- Staff: This category might often be forgotten, but it’s key to account for the transportation and lodging costs of your staff, especially if you’re headed out of town. Even budgeting staff time (what would they be spending time on if they weren’t working on this event?) can help you decide whether that extra meeting is worth it.
- Marketing: Whether you decide to promote your event through Facebook or go old-school by putting flyers up all over town
Event Planners Are Personable
What do all events have in common? People. Successful event planners are personable, engaging, good conversationalists, and excellent listeners. Event planning is a social profession in that the result – the event itself – will include a group of people, large or small. Understanding people and enjoying talking to them is part of the job.
This does not mean that, as an event planner, you will spend most of your day at client lunches and having cocktails at social events. Event planning is hard work, and much of it is spent at a desk with a phone or computer; however, a personable demeanor is a must when tackling one of these common event-planning tasks:
- Negotiating with hotels
- Discussing menus with catering managers
- Meeting with vendors
- Pitching your event ideas to a prospective client
- Networking anytime and anywhere
- Supervising event staff
- Working your event and interacting with guests and workers
In daily life, most of us remember the pleasant, helpful people with whom we interact, and that interaction can make an experience much more constructive for both parties. Knowing how to relate to different personalities, how to connect with someone, and making a positive impression are keys to success. No one wants to work with or assist someone who is difficult to talk to, hard to understand or rude and unprofessional in any way, so consider being personable an essential event-planning skill.