8 steps for a smooth event organisation

8 steps for a smooth event organisation

Set­ting your goals, prepar­ing a sched­ule, look­ing for part­ners, find­ing ser­vice providers, man­ag­ing your tick­et­ing, etc. Find out more about the 8 key steps to plan your event!

1 — Write down the basics on paper

Step 1: take a piece of paper and write down your goals and the pur­pose of the event. Clar­i­fy the scope of your event, its pur­pose, its DNA, why does the event exist and for whom?

With so many cul­tur­al, social and sports events out there you will need to stand out and cre­ate some­thing new! Putting it all on paper will enable you to iden­ti­fy your unique sell­ing point (USP).

These ele­ments will be use­ful as guid­ance, to avoid going in dif­fer­ent direc­tions when you are plan­ning your event and every­thing it requires. Pur­pose and strate­gic pri­or­i­ties will also be nec­es­sary when you present your project to poten­tial part­ners, spon­sors and the media, as well as your ser­vice providers and staff teams!

This work will enable you to think of the DNA of the event, the iden­ti­ty that you wish to bestow upon it: visu­al­ly, for the tone of voice of your con­tent and in the sched­ule of the event for instance.

2 — A complete schedule and associated budget forecast

This will become your best friend, the bea­con of your organ­i­sa­tion! Take the time to plan all the tasks that you will need to man­age through­out the plan­ning phase until the day of your event and don’t hes­i­tate to review them as you go along.

These will include but are not lim­it­ed to:

  • Build­ing your teams,
  • Look­ing for part­ners and ser­vice providers,
  • Cre­at­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools,
  • Cre­at­ing your online tick­et­ing tool,
  • Pro­duc­ing ele­ments of your event,
  • Look­ing for speak­ers or bands,
  • Safe­ty and oth­er admin and legal steps, etc.

The steps vary and are more or less numer­ous depend­ing on your event. Once all your tasks are list­ed and planned, you can start com­fort­ably organ­is­ing your event. Be care­ful – event plan­ning is well known to be full of sur­pris­es, so you should expect some road­blocks and cre­ate plans B, C and D…

You should simul­ta­ne­ous­ly pre­pare your event’s bud­get: avail­able funds, fore­cast­ed rev­enue, finan­cial needs, etc. It is eas­i­er to tack­le this once all the tasks and expens­es have been list­ed. This fore­cast bud­get will be nec­es­sary when you look for spon­sors, donors and part­ners.

3 — Team up with sponsors, partners or benefactors

One of the first tasks in your sched­ule will be search­ing for and secur­ing part­ners and spon­sors or bene­fac­tors. Their unfail­ing sup­port can be of great help finan­cial­ly, in terms of well-being but also in terms of equip­ment. It can also be valu­able for you in terms of expo­sure.

This will require time and ener­gy. The key is to define which organ­i­sa­tion could be inter­est­ed, i.e. which one can you pro­vide ben­e­fits to, and con­verse­ly how can it ben­e­fit you? For instance, you could pro­vide your spon­sors with links to the local com­mu­ni­ty, and ben­e­fits in terms of image and rep­u­ta­tion, and in return the spon­sors’ com­mit­ment to the event can help you out in terms of top­ics and sub­jects addressed (ses­sions, round tables, debates) and pos­si­ble actions dur­ing the event (speak engage­ments, booths, dis­tri­b­u­tion of prod­uct sam­ples, etc.).

4 — The best service providers

While look­ing for part­ners and spon­sors, you will also have to look for ser­vice providers. Depend­ing on the scope, theme and set-up of your event, your needs will dif­fer.
Gen­er­al­ly, it is com­mon to have to con­tract with:

  • a ser­vice provider to ensure health and safe­ty on-site and at entrances
  • a cater­er, food-sup­pli­er or cater­ing com­pa­ny for your teams and guests
  • pri­or to the event, a plat­form to man­age tick­et­ing or reg­is­tra­tions, invi­ta­tions and pass­es
  • a tech­ni­cal provider for every­thing that relates to sound and light­ing, inter­net access, etc.

Many oper­a­tional roles can be out­sourced to ser­vice providers. To choose them well, do not hes­i­tate to write a spec­i­fi­ca­tion note list­ing your expec­ta­tions and needs and issue a ten­der. It will allow you to assess dif­fer­ent pro­pos­als and prices.

5 — Sell-out your tickets!

We men­tioned it just before — your tick­et­ing or reg­is­tra­tions are the beat­ing heart of your event. Ensure a great atten­dance at your event using an online tick­et­ing plat­form well in advance and time­ly com­mu­ni­ca­tions to secure a high rate of reg­is­tra­tions or sales.

Many options are avail­able to sup­port your tick­et­ing, such as:

  • Cre­at­ing pro­mo­tion­al codes to incen­tivise your audi­ence to share or com­mu­ni­cate about your event, or about its high­lights (par­ties, sales, …) to boost your sales.
  • Set-up sale prices per peri­od. Many events use this tech­nique of price increase over time, i.e. the ear­ly birds ben­e­fit from pref­er­en­tial rates, the sec­ond wave of buy­ers pay a lit­tle more and so on. This is a good way to adjust your price and ensure vis­i­bil­i­ty of your event’s turnout.
  • On-site tick­et sales can also be a good solu­tion for some events.

6 — A strong communication

Very strong­ly linked to sell­ing out your tick­ets, com­mu­ni­ca­tion of your event must be planned in advance in order to trig­ger actions at spe­cif­ic times and have an increas­ing­ly high impact as the date of the event gets clos­er.

Tar­get your poten­tial par­tic­i­pants using the most rel­e­vant sup­port — social media, press, poster cam­paign, using part­ners and media to increase aware­ness or dis­trib­ute good­ies. Feel free to incen­tivise ear­ly bird reg­is­tra­tions and cre­ate com­pe­ti­tions and pro­mo­tion­al codes as we men­tioned above. There are a lot of com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools you can use to max­imise your atten­dance, it’s up to you to choose the one that will work best for your event.

Cre­ate a press kit for the media to talk about you and offer inter­views, tes­ti­monies and report­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties on the day of the event. The local and region­al press may be inter­est­ed. Your strat­e­gy will need to be adjust­ed accord­ing to your bud­get.

7 — Pamper your guests

Your guests, VIPs and your atten­dees in gen­er­al should be num­ber 1 in your mind. Do not hes­i­tate to remind every­one of the essen­tial and use­ful infor­ma­tion ahead of the event, and to cre­ate a friend­ly and warm atmos­phere at the event with ded­i­cat­ed spaces to eat, share, and enjoy the event. Do not for­get any infra­struc­ture such as toi­lets, water foun­tains, access for peo­ple with reduced mobil­i­ty, infor­ma­tion desks depend­ing on the scope of your event, etc. Not hav­ing to search for every­thing all the time and short wait­ing times will improve the user expe­ri­ence.

8 — On the d‑day = Briefing, communication and review

Before the day of the event, remem­ber to sum­marise all the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion for your guests but also your teams so that every­one has the infor­ma­tion they need.

Walkie-talkies or tele­phones are essen­tial for easy com­mu­ni­ca­tion between dif­fer­ent staff mem­bers and teams on progress, feed­back or ques­tions they may have. Nam­ing a man­ag­er per oper­a­tional team allows to esca­late feed­back eas­i­ly.

Once the event is over, do not for­get to do a review of the suc­cess­es and the things to watch out for next time!

 

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