8 tips for planning a successful event

Event planning is often a stressful and time-consuming process.  When time and opportunity cost are factored in, many decide to outsource to specialist providers.  However, if you have budget constraints and are prepared to give this a go by yourself, here are some tips from Mary Tan from Plan Ahead Events Camberwell.

How to create a successful event?

Success has a different meaning for each individual.  When someone says that their event was successful – what does this mean exactly?
Hopefully, it means that the event has met their objective!

For instance, if the event is meant to attract clients and some of the attendees sign up for a workshop or purchase their product then the event is deemed as a success. So, if no-one signs up or buys, is it a failure? But what is someone has made an appointment to discuss further then the event could be regarded as a success.

So, bearing this in mind … let’s begin …

My top eight tips for a successful event are:

  1. Have an objective/goal for the event
    Just like in the above example, is the event to attract clients, to market your brand, an information session (seminar)?  Don’t just have an event for the sake of having an event
  2. Choose an appropriate venue for your event
    Think of your target audience – for example, if holding a conference, select a hotel or conference venue, if networking, a pub may suffice. I recommend you visit the venue to ensure that the ambience, layout, location etc is the right fit for your event.
  3. Don’t blow the budget
    If you overspend before the event is being held, you will feel that you have failed even before the actual event! But remember to take into account of proceeds from ticket sales (if the event is ticketed) when balancing the books.
  4. Plan ahead for promotion/marketing
    Give yourself plenty of time to promote the event to attract the attendees. Consider what methods you will use to promote and who will you promote to?
  5. Checklists and Timelines
    This is to ensure that you don’t miss any vital steps for planning the event and to keep you track.
  6. Prepare a running sheet for the event
    Schedule everything in for the event so you know what happens at what time. This will also help to keep the event on time and not overrun.
  7. Ensure food is of a satisfactory quality
    This is applicable if you have catering at your event. Use a reputable caterer/venue so that the food is good and try a tasting menu wherever possible.  Don’t let attendees remember the event because of the terrible food!
  8. Prepare contingency plans
    Think what could go wrong? For example, what happens if the keynote speaker falls sick?  Or if there is no cable to connect the data projector to the laptop (this has actually happened to me!)

Keeping these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to achieving that successful event.

About the Author:

Mary Tan brings a wealth of business and project management skills as owner of Plan Ahead Events Camberwell. Mary has always had a passion for seeing events through to a successful completion. With a background in IT, Mary applies a methodical approach, with a fine attention to detail, which always translates into smooth running events.

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