Event Planning for Your Small BusinessWayne Burgan
Organising and running an event takes a lot of planning. Whether it is a conference, seminar or product launch, the success of your event lies in the details. Here are some things to consider when event planning your small business.
Determine the purpose of your event
Before you can start planning a successful event, be clear on why you want to hold the event at all. Every decision you make should support your main goal or purpose. Is your goal to generate leads for your business? Is it to create awareness of your business or of one of your products? Once you know what your purpose is, make sure you communicate it well with your team.
Work out who your target audience is
Before you do anything else, you must clearly define your target audience. Once you have determined this, the other elements of the event will fall into place more easily in terms of format, content, location etc.
Details, details, details
When you are planning an event, the little details matter. Make sure you have a list of all the elements that will make up your event from lighting to the content of the program, to refreshments. Making a list will ensure you don’t overlook anything important.
Check the calendar
When planning your event make sure you don’t schedule it too close to holidays or to another event that your target audience might be attending.
Create a budget
Events cost more than you think, especially when it comes to the venue and food and beverages. Make a thorough list of all the expenses so there is no surprise when the bills starting coming in at the end.
Give people a good reason to attend
What is the hook or draw card for those you want to come along to your event? You need to define what about the event is going to get your audience through the door. For example, for a business audience, it might be an exciting, well-known guest speaker. Make sure you keep the audience in mind when you choose and promote your draw card.
Manage your RSVPs
Once you have decided on the guest list, make sure you keep a spreadsheet or list of those you have invited so you can mark them off as they RSVP. There are event management platforms online that allow you to send invitations and manage your RSVPs online, which can save you a lot of time. Keeping on top of registrations or RSVPs will help you forecast numbers and help you with your budget.
Be flexible and ready for anything
Planning ahead is essential for a successful event, but you can never plan for everything. Something unexpected will come up so you need to be flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances. It is helpful to have some back up plans in place depending on the nature of the event. What if the sound system fails? What if your guest speaker is sick? Always be prepared for the unexpected.
There is so much more that we could talk about with relation to event planning, but these are just some thoughts to get you on the right track with planning an event for your small business.