Time is precious, isn’t it? All Event Managers should follow this quote as a way of life. One thing is true: time management is the key that will drive your event to success.
There are different kinds of events (and some of them would require some specific modifications when planning), on this article I will focus on the 8 steps that an Event Manager should follow when creating an event.
- Set a goal: What are you willing to achieve with this event? What is the major propose? Or, in other words, what can you offer to your audience? The first thing you have to ask to yourself is: why do I need an event? It is important to set the goals beforehand, as it will help to sell and promote your event, plus we will use them to measure the results at the end.
- Name the event: Think about a name that defines the event and, at the same time, is catchy for the audience. Create a logo as well. This will make your event unique, easy to recognize and will help you to promote it.
- Organize a team: Choose a group of professionals that will work with you in the project and divide them by departments. The major areas you want to cover are:
- Logistics: Oversea the event from start to end. The main tasks are: create the agenda, organizing the venue, the rooms, the catering…
- Delegates: Send the invitations, taking care of the attendants, prepare some activities…
- Sponsorships: Raise money for the event by contacting with companies. In other words, selling the event. This must be a win-win situation between the companies and the event itself.
- Speakers: Selecting and contacting the professionals who are going to lead the event. Who is the right person to talk about one specific topic?
- Marketing and communications: Promoting the event in the social media networks, create a website, get in touch with the media…
- Set a timeline and deadlines: You should have at least 6 months to plan an event, maybe a year for the biggest ones. Make sure that you create a document with all the tasks for the whole process and you share it with the rest of the members. Time management is one of the most valuables skills of an event manager (as I was saying at the beginning, that is why this point is crucial). So, be certain that everyone knows what they have to do and they follow the schedule and task deliveries. You don’t want to run out of time.
- Be faithful to the budget: The budget is something that you can’t change. You would have to adapt your plans if you realize you need more money, so make sure you don’t forget to note all the prices of every detail or you could be in trouble. Keep in mind transportation costs, accommodation for speakers or catering.
- Checklist: Make sure you have everything under control. It is good to do a checklist and double/triple check everything that is on the list. You don’t want to run into any “surprises” the day of the event. 3 or 4 days before the conference go to the venue place and check if everything is working properly. For instance: the projectors are working, you have the keys of the rooms, there are enough chairs…
- The day of the event, be on time: Arrive a couple of hours before than your expected time, check if everything is set up as planned and get ready to receive the speakers and the guests. Even though you are nervous, show your best smile and let the show start! 🙂
- Evaluate the event: Congratulations, you made it! Thanks everyone that was involved in the event and… it is time to evaluate how it went, good things and bad things. You have to be honest with yourself and your team, if something went wrong, write it down. Learning from your errors is one of the best ways to learn!
These are the “must do” steps for creating an event. Depending on the kind of event there can be a lot of variations done. However, my intention is to give you a big picture of what “creating an event” is like.