Event management and effective Event Planner, you have to bring an array of skills and abilities to the table – and trust us when we say – it is far from your average office job.
A successful Event Manager will have excellent interpersonal skills, be an exceptional team player, and will have a knack for keeping those around them feeling upbeat and positive. They’ll be so passionate about the event they’re organising; it’ll radiate – and the energy will be infectious!
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They’ll be using those interpersonal skills to make meaningful connections too – networking with other event planners, and developing a rich web of industry experts. They’ll also be minor tech whizzes – not afraid to get stuck into exploring new tech options to be used as a support tool for events, reaping up the benefits of what the modern world can bring.
However, if there is one thing that an Event Management Planner cannot falter on – above all else – it’s organisation and planning. Planning needs to be meticulous, and the organisation needs to be next-level.
Imagine going to an event where you were expecting to see your favourite band, and they didn’t appear because, well – someone forgot to book their transport. Or, you went to a wedding, and there was no food? Or did you run a marathon, only to be advised you won’t receive a medal for your efforts this year?
The thing is, with poor planning and organisation, these things can and do happen.
That’s why you need to ensure that you leave no stone unturned and why you should make sure you have a checklist to refer to. Let’s look at what you should do 1-6 months before the event occurs.
Event Management Checklist
What are your Event goals and objectives?
Event management needs goal and objectives setting out before you start to plan the event.
- What would you like your event to achieve?
- Do you have a financial target?
- Or is this more about creating awareness, and letting the financial gains come later?
Whatever your goal – make sure that it is clear and concise.
Creativity and imagination can sometimes become far-fetched in event planning – this is great – but first, think objectively!
Select your date
You may already have a rough idea of when you want your event to happen.
For example, if you’re holding an outdoor event, you’ll likely want to select a date in the summer months. However, choosing the right date is an important task – you don’t want to coincide with other events in the local area (only events you can compete with!).
Once you’ve got your date, stick with it!
This requires thought early on, as it will certainly play a part in what you can offer.
Location plays a key role in who will attend your event – remember to think of things such as access, public transport, nearby car parks, and whether you may need to enforce some form of traffic management.
Develop the Event Master plan
This is where you get down to the nitty-gritty of event planning. You’ve got your goals, you’ve got your venue, now how do you want to get there?
Write down EVERYTHING you’ll need to think about – including sales and marketing, event schedules, and ticketing. Make sure you set deadlines for each task.
You may not know the answer to these questions yet, but write them down so they aren’t forgotten.
Time to budget
Now it’s time to detail the costs for the above. Can you really afford everything you want, or will you need to make cutbacks? Remember, annoying things like travel costs too!
This is really important in event planning, and you should always plan to have money ‘spare’ for last-minutes things you have forgotten, or you’ve had to buy simply for unforeseen circumstances.
Depending on what your event is, you will need to start sorting certain licences, assessments and unfortunately – this often requires lots of forms!
For example, if your event is hosted in a public space, you will need to contact your local council, who will require a detailed account of your event from you. Sometimes councils can ask for these documents 6 months prior to the event taking place – so make sure you do your research!
Marketing and branding
You may already have an established brand – if so, can this be improved? How can you make this year stand out? Will the brand help you to reach your targets set out above?
Once you’ve branded however, it’s time to think about the best channels to invite your attendees – are they likely to attend events they see on social media? Or is this a formal letter event? Will there be VIPs?
Know your audience, and pick wisely (using multiple channels if appropriate!)!
This is a plan all in itself, so make sure again, you have targets in mind, and the flexibility to change if something is not working or giving the results you wanted.
Before you send out any of your marketing, make sure your ticket system works, and you have outlined the costs too – registration fees, how the ticket money will be paid to you etc.
You may want to do an early-bird registration here, as this always goes down well with event attendees. Ideally you want these to be released as early as possible – before the event is properly planned. It will give an early indication of attendee numbers.
Contact sponsors of the event
If you want to keep your costs down, partnering with, or being sponsored is a great way to do so. Remember to have a package in place outlining precisely what benefits they will receive, and what they can expect.
Don’t allow your sponsor ‘free-reign’ over your event – it still has to tie in with your branding.
Start contacting the entertainment
You’ll want to start contacting your entertainment now. Especially if your event is set to be around Christmas, or summer, entertainers will start being booked up early on!
Event Management – 1-5 months before event
Following the above steps will give you a solid foundation for your event management when starting to plan your event. Once you’ve got these in place – it’s time to ramp it up and tie up all the loose ends. Let’s look at the four main areas you should concentrate on 1-5 months before the event.
Financial and administration
Make sure you keep an eye on the finances along the way. Is your ticketing method working? Could you make changes if needed? Also, make sure that your sales are looking healthy against your budget.
This is everything, from finalising role responsibilities for staff or volunteers to security plans, accessibility requirements, food, licences, insurance, parking and signage. Again, leave no stone unturned here! Remember to always refer back to your event master plan.
You’ll want to be in close contact with the entertainers and sponsors of your event. Checking in with them, signing contracts, and seeing if they can reach out to their network to spread the word.
Your event page on your website should be user-friendly but also look the part too – fitting with your event branding. Attendees will judge your event first on this – rather than the event itself – so it’s important you make it look professional! Once you are ready for your public launch – go for it!
Remember, you’ll want to create a buzz and from thereon, keep that buzz ticking over – content marketing, blog posts, videos and pictures are the best way to keep interests vetted.
You will need to closely monitor the progress of your efforts; if one particular method of marketing is not working – choose something else! Ideally, you’ll have a healthy amount of sign ups from your launch, and thereafter, they will continue to trickle in.
You’re getting close!
You’ll now be coming up to less than one month until your event, so (hopefully!), you have all the event management details together, and you will be on the right track for a successful event!