There’s a reason why event planning is considered a specialty:It requires good organization and detail orientation, along with some savviness about venues, catering, speakers, and other logistics. But when done right, it can do wonders for your business’s growth prospects.
There’s almost no such thing as too much planning. The best plans start with well-defined objectives: Decide exactly what you want your target group of attendees to do after the event, and the rest of the planning should fall in place from there.
And that relates to another important bit of planning: the guest list. Early in your planning, take a good look at your list of contacts to see whether you have enough of them to match your target demographic. Consider buying a list for this purpose, or partnering with other entities that have the connections you seek.
The next bit of planning concerns the budget, which you want to make sure to be as precise as possible about. Knowiing exactly how much you can spend will determine how much you have to do yourself or contract out. Ideally, you want to bring in outside help for as much of the work as possible. At the very least, consider outsourcing the registration and logistical aspects of the event. Hire a specialist in this area, preferrably a local entity.
Regardless of whether you do the planning yourself or work with a third party, make sure you choose a venue that has good parking and, if appropriate for your target demographic, access to mass transit. Of course, you will be visiting a lot of places (and perhaps sampling a lot of cuisine if you’re planning an event with food) before deciding on a location. Depending on your budget and target demographic, you could seek out sponsors to cover the cost of food and beverages in exchange for some branding space at your event.
If your event includes speakers, make sure to give them plenty of information about the kind of presentation you are expecting. Offer to help support them in their preparation for the event, including provision of multimedia capabilities, if appropriate.
As the day of the event approaches, send out reminders to people who have said they are coming, along with people who either haven’t committed yet or who are on the fence. If possible, call important (would-be) attendees to remind them of the event. The same goes for speakers, but again, only if time permits.