- The internet is full of supposed solutions for improving any given part of your job. All you have to do is buy this software or use that service, and your productivity will double.
- Event management is no different in this regard from any other job. There are things you should be doing now to ensure success when you find yourself in charge of a function or event.
- Below, I’ve put together 17 best practices of event planners that I believe are the secrets to success in this field.
17 Best Practices
1. Create mailing list
- It’s time to dig through that box of business cards you’ve been collecting over the years and build an official mailing list. This works best for email since standard mail takes longer and costs more.
- Staying in touch means you’ll remain fresh in the minds of your connections, and they’ll be more likely to respond. Send them emails on holidays, birthdays, and any other significant dates.
2. Year-end ‘thank you’s
- Never forget the power of a “thank you” when your network steps in to help you, not only right after the deed but at the end of the year while everyone is reflecting on the past year.
3. Surprise and delight
- The term “surprise and delight” originated in the marketing world. It’s pretty simple; you “surprise” your client with a gift intended to “delight” them. In this case, however, you’ll surprise and delight your network connections. These gifts don’t have to be huge, but the more useful the better, such as Amazon gift cards or books relevant to their work.
4. Host events for network partners
- Since your network comes through for you with your own events, why not host one just for them? These events are perfect for staying in touch with your network, as well as giving your partners a chance to meet other helpful connections. Events such as these should be small and intimate, such as renting out space at a bar just for your group.
5. Establish Goals
- Any desired outcome for a particular event is a goal. Examples include attendee numbers, press attention, new email subscribers, fundraising goals, etc.
6. Build a budget
- What do you plan to spend at this event? Include staffing costs, venue costs, catering, entertainment/speaker fees, marketing, event management software, and any other technology you may need.
7. Choose your venue and date
- Choose a venue that suits your event purposes; consider all amenities of the venue such as technology, parking, and location; and choose a date (as well as backup dates) for your event.
8. Book speakers
- Choose a speaker that is relevant to your cause in some way, and book whoever will provide refreshments for guests at this time.
9. Set up registration
- Once you’ve knocked out all of the main logistical hurdles, it’s time to register your guests. Consider online registration software to make guest tracking easy.
10. Market your event
- Reach out to your potential attendees by marketing your event through all channels including phone, email, content marketing, and social media.
11. Set up your venue and host your event
- Bring all of it together under one roof. Be sure to: Call all vendors and caterers to double check on schedules, double check the venue at least a week in advance to anticipate any issues, and test all equipment days before the event.
12. Evaluate your success and follow up with guests and client
- Use the reporting features of your event management software to see if you hit the numbers you’d hoped to and reach out to your guests and client to ensure satisfaction.These steps are the backbone of any event, however, some events require more detail. This checklist is flexible based on the type of event you plan on hosting.
13. Communication with vendor
- Not every correspondence with vendors must be made by you, even if you’re running the event. Your assistants and other team members should be fully equipped to gather information from vendors and communicate any logistics to them as needed.
14. Registration and check-in
- Volunteers are perfect for this type of job. Running check-in tables is a long and arduous process that will take away precious time you can use to oversee the rest of the event. How will you double-check on the placement of tables or maintain the event schedule if you’re collecting tickets and handing out name badges?
15. Walking the floor
- You’re not the only one capable of walking the event floor to make sure everything is in order. Assign other members of your team to overlook specific areas to make sure every need is attended to.
16. Customer service
- While you’re overseeing the progress of your event, team members can attend to the needs of event guests, such as coat checks, directing guests to their seats, and helping with any other information needed.
17. Post-event responsibilities
- While you tie up any loose ends, such as vendor payment or managing venue concerns, your team can focus on cleaning up and running the attendee survey programs.
Once you’ve implemented these best practices into your event planning system, it’s likely you’ll identify other areas for improvement. The ticketing software blog is full of guides, tips, software, and other resources to improve your planning experiences. If you enjoyed this piece, here are a few others that may interest you: