Your Event’s Best Friend - Planning Ahead
One of my clients has three events lined up in the next year - one to be held in the next few months, one for the fall and the third for the spring of 2021. I’ve been working with them to get them organized and ready to run once planning returns to normal. Here are 5 things we are working on that you can do ahead of time and put into action now, or for any future event.
Dig into the details of your event and answer these questions:
Why am I having this event?
Who will benefit?
What is the end goal?
What is my perfect attendee profile?
What is the attendee takeaway?
What is my/company takeaway?
After you answer the questions in number one, you can identify your partners and demographic by knowing who will attend your event and who will support it. From there we can tap into the community who will jump on board to help you promote the event or who will want to support it through products, services or sponsorships. It will also guide you in creating a marketing plan (if needed) as you’ve identified key partnerships and target attendees profiles.
Budget can be a chicken or the egg situation as you’ll need to know your venue and vendors to help you back into expenses on both ends. We like to budget conservatively on income and a bit over, but accurately, on expenses - this covers you on both ends if attendees are down or an expense comes out of the blue (or both). Where should you spend your money? Music event, it’s a DJ. Corporate team-building, the activity. If you aren’t sure, nine times out of 10, it will be on food and beverage. Pepper in the Instagrammable backdrop, and don’t skimp on your needs for audio/visual but when people remember an event, they remember the food - especially if the food was bad.
Venue discovery is one of our favorite things to do - it’s also likely one of the largest expenses. Venues are always looking to get quality clients, events and people into their space for the sole purpose of bringing you back, again and again. Big cities like San Diego are filled with unique venues and the good news there is that it’s pressured the standard, old-hat venues to come down in price. A venue can make or break your event which is why it’s important to lock in your venue months in advance. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price or extra expenses such as parking, internet or resort fees. If you have a flexible date, discuss the slower times of the year that bookings are lighter and see what types of deals they offer.
There’s no time like the present to research vendors. Most events have the same basic needs outside of the venue: audio/visual, furniture, and food & beverage. When asking for quotes make sure to ask about delivery fees, yearly price increases, insurance needs and more as all of those factors can easily put a vendor outside of your budget.
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