When you are first faced with the idea of planning an event from scratch, it can seem like an overwhelming task. There will be a whole host of reminders on your ‘to do’ list and where can you know where to start? Whether you are new to the event organiser role, or you have years of experience but seeking a few fresh tips, our top tips for event planners are guaranteed to bring nothing less than success.
The Event Planners Essential Guide
Event planning is a very stressful, yet rewarding job, even more so when you are based in the London area where there is so much competition. Unless you specialise in one particular event type, you are likely to see yourself planning anything from a wedding to a business conference. Take a look at our top tips to ensure that no matter the situation, everything runs smoothly.
First things first, set out a clear and precise budget, the worst thing that could happen is that you overspend at the beginning of the planning process and end running out of the budget. You will need to draw up a list of every potential spend, including the main aspects and the smaller details. Everyone has their way of remaining organised, whether this may be writing lists or creating a table. Included in this should be the name of the expense, why it is needed, the amount you will set aside for it and once booked/purchased, the amount spent. Ideally, there should always be a set amount that you set aside for backup, just in case a last minute expense is required.
2. Outline Objectives/Goals
The initial step to the event planning process is to outline what are the primary objectives of the event and what goals do you want to achieve from the event. Are you promoting a new product? Launching a new campaign? Drawing attention to a new business? All of these are questions that you need to ask yourself, a clear objective means that you can tailor every aspect of your event to suit these requirements, and a goal gives you and your team something to work to.
3. Plan In Advance
Of course, any event needs to be planned in advance, but for maximum results, try to start the planning process as early as possible. Give yourself enough time, so you can research, for example, the best venue or the highest quality caterers, rushed decisions usually end up not going to plan. If you are planning on booking entertainment for your event such as an Inflatable Photobooth in London, some companies may require booking and a deposit months in advance. Keep a detailed diary of all of the meetings you book with potential companies you plan to use for your event and jot down when you have scheduled them.
One of the best pieces of advice you could be given as an event planner is always to have a plan B. Unfortunately, we cannot predict what may happen in the future, and some situations cannot be helped, so to ensure that this doesn’t affect the success of your event, always have a go-to back up plan.
If you are an event manager for a team, the planning process will also involve delegating tasks to each member of your team. A detailed description will need to be given to each individual to ensure that they do not waste time trying to work out what it is their responsibility is.
Everyone loves to save money, and if we had the chance, we would always try our best to negotiate prices. As an event planner, an essential skill is negotiation skills; companies are more likely to offer discounted rates to a professional. Never let people know your full budget, determine a price you are willing to pay for an expense and provide just a little lower than this amount. It means that if they ask for more than the price you offer, you are still in the budget. Take a look at this useful Brodow article we have found which includes ten tips on how to successfully negotiate.
5. Be Flexible
Every event is different, each client will have different requirements, and each business attracts a diverse target audience. This means that you are likely to have to alter the way to work to tailor client needs, be as flexible as you can, treat each challenge as a learning curve.
6. Practice Run
Sometimes, unfortunately, you can have a great idea in your head, but when it comes to it, it doesn’t work out as successful as you had hoped. This is a standard issue within the event planning industry, so to avoid the problem arising on the day, it is always recommended to do a thorough run through. Obviously, it cannot be possible to have a run through including your attendees, but everything else can be walked through. It is an excellent opportunity to pick up any potential issues and resolve them in advance.
7. Photographic Evidence
Regardless of whether you work for an event organisation company or are a self-employed event organiser, keeping a record of all of your success stories is a fantastic way to maintain steady business. Building a detailed portfolio is crucial, and after all of your hard work, you want to be able to showcase this to potential future clients.
8. Constant Learning
Some events may run perfectly, and some may not run as well as you can imagine, but no matter the outcome, always use it as a learning opportunity. Ask yourself the following questions: What was successful? What would I do differently if I had the chance? What did I find challenging? How can I use these challenges to help me in the future?
Times are constantly changing, new technology is arising, and peoples interests change with time, which means that you can never stop learning how to be better at your job. The key point to ensuring you are a successful event planner, no matter the situation is to plan in advance, you can never go wrong with planning, and no amount of organisation is ever too much.