Planning an event does not have to be stressful, in fact, with the right preparation, organising a memorable occasion can be relatively straightforward. Events come in all shapes and sizes, but a winning event will always have a concrete foundation of planning. Following a series of logical steps to help guide the planning process will reduce stress and guarantee success.
Here is the ultimate guide to planning an event:
Identify the event's goal
When it comes to setting out the most important pre-event considerations, establishing the event’s goal is undoubtedly deserving of a first-place spot on the list. Getting this step right will help shape the entire planning process, so a strong understanding of the aim and purpose is crucial.
The goal can differ widely depending on the type of event you are intending to host. For example, if you are hosting a conference, it is likely the event will focus on informing audiences of a specific topic. Alternatively, if you are organising a charity auction, your event will likely centre around maximising your fundraising efforts.
Whatever the event may be, it is important to have a clear idea of the goal beforehand.
Consider the style of your event
With many different styles of events, it is vital to decide your perfect formal early on.
Event styles include:
After dinner events
Webinars have quickly become a popular method of event delivery. The ability to reach a large audience from the comfort of your own home is a cost-effective way of making an impact. To get the most out of a webinar event, engaging webinar speakers are available to book to inspire your audience.
Who is your audience?
Understanding your audience is a central component of the planning process. Once you can name your audience, you can successfully fulfil their demands.
Different events will attract different audiences, so it is your task to tailor the proceedings accordingly. Once you have written your guest list, you should have a rough idea of what your audience might look like. For example, if your audience largely consists of business professionals who are used to attending corporate events, you will likely have to create a professional atmosphere at your event.
It’s crucial to keep the needs of your guests in mind throughout. In doing so, you’ll be sure to plan an event that accurately reflects the needs and expectations of those in attendance.
What is your budget?
Making sure you establish a sufficient and viable budget early on is crucial. You will need to be confident that your entire event can be covered by your budget, which also includes leaving some extra room for any unforeseen costs that may occur.
It’s important to shop around for good deals whilst avoiding cutting corners. With so many options available, conducting research beforehand will help you identify the options best suited to your budget and enable you to recognise value for money.
Select suitable event entertainment
Entertainment plays an important role in creating lasting memories of your event. For this reason, it’s vital you make the right entertainment choice for the occasion. The ideal entertainment will be dependent on your event objectives and the specific needs of those in attendance.
You will need to consider the role your chosen performers should play to help determine which entertainment choice is right for you. For example, if you are expecting to welcome a corporate audience on the day, book an engaging after dinner speaker, comedian or event host.
Our top picks of speakers & acts for events:
Sam Bailey is a talented entertainer guaranteed to captivate audiences at any event. Sam won X Factor in 2013 after she was voted for over 2 million times. Her debut single, a cover of Demi Lovato’s Skyscraper, shot to Christmas number one in the same year, marking the beginning of an explosive career. With an incredible chart-topping voice and a lovable personality to match, Sam’s emotive performances make for an unforgettable event.
Retired record-breaking athlete Derek Redmond is now a full-time motivational speaker. Winning numerous gold medals, Derek was one of Britain’s most talented 400m sprinters of the 1980s. Now an inspiring media personality, Derek regularly gives his unique insight into how he overcame numerous injury setbacks and maintained a winning mindset throughout his career.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Titled by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Greatest Living Explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes is a highly motivational public speaker. With decades worth of inspirational achievements, such as becoming the youngest Captain in the Army and the oldest British person to summit Mount Everest, it is no surprise Sir Ranulph is an expert on overcoming challenges. His influential career will have your audience hanging on his every word.
Not only surviving but thriving in a male-dominated profession, Mandy Hickson has pioneered the movement of women in the Royal Air Force. As the second female to fly a fighter jet on the front line and command an all-male squadron, Hickson has developed an impressive skill set in the RAF that she now translates into valuable workplace tools as a speaker.
Utterly unapologetic, Katherine Ryan is famous for merging socio-political issues with humour to create hilariously relatable performances. With her unique ability to successfully chop and change content to suit your guests, Katherine will make audiences of all demographics laugh out loud. Her award-winning personality is sure to set the tone of your event with laughter, creating a memorable experience for all.
An award-winning entrepreneur, Piers Linney is one of the biggest names in British business. Former Dragon on BBC’s Dragons' Den and Named in 2018’s Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business, Piers is a self-made success inspiring a younger generation, particularly in the BAME community. Developing a reputation as an unapologetically determined and resilient businessman, he is a captivating speaker.
Find a Suitable Venue
When searching for the ideal venue, you should consider the event’s location, size, technical facilities, catering and additional services.
The venue’s location takes precedence, as issues relating to the venue’s accessibility can greatly affect the success of the event. Make sure to select a venue that is situated in a central location, with good transport links and ample parking space.
The size of the venue is equally important, as it must provide enough space for attendees to enjoy a hassle-free event. The venue will also need to provide technical facilities such as Wi-Fi and audio-visual solutions. Depending on your budget, the location should also provide other on-site services, which will often include catering and event management services.
Marketing your event
Marketing informs, engages and most importantly, it sells. A successful marketing campaign will allow companies to maintain a strong, ever-present relationship with their customers, whilst also attracting new customer engagement.
Using marketing techniques to promote your event will ensure you reach your desired audience and effectively persuade them to attend.
Here are some ways to successfully market your event:
Eye-catching social media posts – Use engaging visuals to draw attention to your event.
Traditional physical marketing tactics – such as a newsletter sent via direct mail. The power of physical marketing is often overlooked.
Website - Use your existing website or create a new website dedicated to the event to create a base for all event-related information to drive ticket sales.
Blog - Tailor your blog posts to help publicise the event.
Influencer marketing – Use Influencer Matchmaker to find a suitable influencer to promote your event to your desired audience.
Market the speaker – Commonly a popular public figure, the event’s speaker is a great way to advertise the occasion.
Corporate sponsors – Make use of your sponsor’s network to reach a wider audience.
Partner with local businesses – This supports the local community and shows your credibility as a business, whilst also creating a further marketing opportunity.
Reach out to potential partners and sponsors
Event partners and sponsors can provide a great way of supplying your event with potential financial assistance.
If your event brings together a large group of professionals, a wide variety of sponsors may be interested in getting their name out amongst your audience. For this reason, contacting potential partners may lead to a fruitful collaboration between both parties.
Securing a valuable partnership can really help take your event to the next level.
Track the success of your event
It is crucial you critically review the performance of your event so that you can learn from any mistakes and make your next occasion even better.
Some good ways to measure success are:
Ask guests for their feedback via feedback surveys – Create a survey that is easy and quick to answer, with the option to write additional comments at the end.
Meet with your events team for a debrief – It is important to get the opinions of your team as well. Ask what they think went well and what could be improved.
Look at social media engagement – The data drawn from social media gives a strong indication of the areas that need improvement.
Calculate profit – A good way to measure success and show whether you stuck to your budget.
Compare your event to your competitors – Their results will give you an indication of how well you did.
Book a speaker
To book any of our leading event hosts and speakers for a corporate event, function or conference, contact the Champions Speakers agency by filling in our online contact form or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.