You have an event to organize, now what? I have hosted hundreds of events in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Below I have created a list of actions for you to take in order to make your event a success. Creating a Strategy: Before organizing and setting up the event, create a strategy that is clear and defined.
Your strategy could include the following elements:
- Where will you hold the event? At convention center, hotel, company offices, community center, local restaurant, country club?
- Where will you promote the event (Online, Flyers, Partnerships, Community Calendars, Community Groups, Alumni Newsletter)?
- What time of the year will the event be held?
- When will you time your announcements and invites?
- What does success look like? How will you measure it?
- How many people do you expect?
- How long will the event be?
- How big will this event be?
- Who do you invite and how many people do you expect?
- How much money will the event cost?
- What will be the cost for attending?
- What do you have available in your budget?
- How much will you need to spend on staffing resources?
- What will the theme of your event be?
- Do you even need there to be a theme?
- Do you need live music, what kind of ambiance do you want to create, will there be food/drink sampling, etc.?
- Who will be the host or emcee?
- Co-produce the event with another company or association?
- Having a Keynote Speaker? Panel of experts?
- Securing event sponsors?
- Will you partner with media, associations, etc.?
Keep in mind that securing a space is the most critical and hardest part! Choosing the right venue can be a difficult task. Before you start looking, determine the number of guests that you want to attend your event. Keep in mind factors like whether it will be day or night, inside or outside, age range of guests, food and accommodations, etc. How far in advance is best to book your venue? Typically, 90 days or more is a good time to lock in a venue so you can start planning the rest of the event. For big conferences and sales events this may be years in advance.