A good event is like launching a rocket: everything has to be carefully planned and prepared down to the last detail. It is thanks to this approach that the passengers’ experience may be unforgettable, if not cosmic.
A company party, conference, or gala? Or perhaps a training course for employees or a team-building trip? Regardless of what’s in store for your company, you can be sure that you will achieve a good result by applying a methodical approach to the organisation of your event. In order to effectively use its potential in terms of communication, plan everything following seven key steps.
First of all, set a goal
As is the case with any project, you need to know why you are doing it. However, it is not about limiting yourself to determining the direct cause (e.g. celebrating the completion of a project, an anniversary, etc.), but about considering what should be the deeper effect of the event. What is important - team building, sharing knowledge about company plans, or recognising employees or partners? What emotions need to be evoked in the guests and how to go about it? All this is of great importance for the subsequent steps, relating to areas which are vital for the company, such as employer branding, B2B relations, or relations with the media invited to the event
Second, determine the budget
Although the participants’ unforgettable experience will be priceless, costs will have to be borne so that it sears in their memory. Setting an upper limit to the budget will certainly make it easier to determine an estimated project framework, and the more detailed the financial plan is, the easier it will be to make changes, which is usually unavoidable, at the subsequent stages of the activities. It is also advisable to bear in mind that although the technical possibilities of providing spectacular attractions are almost unlimited today, it does not mean that the success of the event depends only on the funds spent on it. Equally important is the creative approach of the organisers, skilfully using their resources and adapting the event to the tastes and needs of its participants.
Third, create a concept
Once you know what you want to organise, why you are organising it and how much you want to spend, you can move on to the most important question, i.e.: how to go about it? In order to understand the importance of a good event concept, it can be assumed that the question is basically: why will the guests remember this event for years? That's what it's all about. This is why the theme must be both original and attractive to the guests while supporting the goal, emphasising the values chosen, as well as "gluing” the whole project together. This concept will determine the consecutive elements such as the choice of the event’s location and date, additional attractions, technical subcontractors, decorations, the compère’s job, and finally many small details such as invitations or gift packs.
Fourth, choose a place and a date
In short, the venue must fit into the concept of the event as well as being easily accessible and safe for guests, whom it will easily accommodate. In order to assess these criteria, a thorough audit of the venue or other event space is always necessary. You may need to arrange for extra transport or rearrange interiors or surroundings. In such cases, special attention should be paid to potential limitations resulting from fire regulations or the historical nature of the place, which then should be confronted with the technical requirements of the planned attractions, performances, or shows. On the other hand, when determining the date of an event, you should have a calendar with dates marked not only for public holidays or holiday periods but also industry-specific or cultural events important to your employees which may overlap the potential date of the event.
Fifth, plan things with details in mind
If you already have the event’s framework, it's time for planning and selecting reliable partners. It's best to start with a general agenda created in parallel with the concept of the event, but at later stages, it will be necessary to prepare a detailed scenario. It is a map, as it were, thanks to which everybody - the organisers, technical crew, compères, or artists - will know exactly what they are supposed to do - not only on the day of the event, as it is often necessary to have an extra “technical day” for purposes such as preparation of the setting.
Also, you must not forget about the rather mundane issue, which is... cleaning up after the event. It may be necessary to additionally provision the event in terms of security and medical facilities. Moreover, it is worth considering event insurance - after all, it is never possible to rule out potential losses and predict their scale. It is always advisable to use the knowledge and experience of people who have already organised many events and know how important an unnoticed detail can become. Industry specialists know a bunch of stories like the one where a perfectly prepared ball turned out to be a torment to elegant ladies who wore off and lost their heel tips on one of the room’s rough floor surface, previously unnoticed by the organisers.
Sixth, inform and promote
Attendance at the event cannot be seen by the guests as an obligation. Every effort must be made to ensure that it is a pleasure the participants are looking forward to. That is why it is so important to plan and carry out an effective information campaign, one which will interest the audience and - from the very beginning - help build a unique atmosphere, whose crowning point will be the special day of the event. It is worth considering tools such as original invitations delivered in an interesting way, a functional website of the event, an intriguing mailshot, or competitions.
Seventh, monitor and analyse
The organisation of the event does not end with the sound of the first knocks of the welcome glasses of champagne. To paraphrase Hitchcock, it's rather that the preparations are like an earthquake, and then as the event begins, the tension rises. Everything must be watched over until the last guest says goodbye, and often even longer, when, for instance, it is necessary to have advanced logistics involved in cleaning and leaving the place of the event.
Finally, it should be remembered that the evaluation of the activities carried out is always of great value, which is why it's a good idea to ask the guests about their impressions after the event. If you manage to plan and conduct it according to the above principles, you can be sure that once the event is over, it will be an unforgettable story for its participants.