Event planning is an art and a science! The various small details that make up the large success of an event can be overwhelming on someone’s first attempt. At Durée & Company, we’ve put on our fair share of events for our various clients over the last 18 years. In today’s blog, our stellar Director of Operations Jenna Reed offers her top tips for making the event planning and execution process run flawlessly.
Plan Early & Efficiently
Begin planning as soon as you possibly can. Write everything down and create numerous checklists and create benchmarks for yourself. If you are able, leave yourself with nothing to do the day of and assign specific roles to each team member. This way you can “put out any fires” that may arise the day of the event and know that all your other duties are under control. Create a master document that details everything about the event, including timelines, vendor contracts, payment schedules, attendee information and RSVP lists, and the floor plan. Everyone will be able to use this document as a resource and it will help your entire team spot anything that might be out of place.
Have a Backup Plan
It is rare that an event is ever pulled off without at least one issue – an item may not turn up, an important person may arrive late, and there might be rain. Review the most valuable assets your event will have and create a backup plan for each. If you are having an outdoor event, make sure the venue has an indoor option (even if it isn’t your vision). If any issues arise in the future, decide whether an alternative can be found, or if it should be removed entirely from the event.
Do a Walk Through
Two weeks prior to the event, do a review of the entire event schedule. Organize a meeting with your team and mentally walk-through everything from initial set up to the follow-up process using your previously created timelines and checklists. Often complications are caught at these meetings giving you time to correct them! A few days before the event, organize a final run through at the venue.
Get Social & Take Photos
An event is the perfect way to up your social media game and showcase your business, brand or organization. Create a customized hashtag for your event and encourage your attendees to use it when sharing photos on social media channels. Upload your photos post-event and actively encourage users to tag themselves. Photographs will be your best friend when you are promoting future events for your brand!
Feed your Vendors and Volunteers
The last thing you need on event day is a low-energy DJ, photographer or volunteer who misses crucial details because they are in the back grabbing a snack. Make sure your vendors are properly fed ahead of the event. Talk to your caterer about what they offer for vendor meals. Sometimes it is included in your catering fee, while other times it is at a lower price, depending on what is offered. If you are allowed outside food and beverage, order a sandwich platter somewhere, or bring in grab-and-go meals.
Give Guests Swag to Take Home
Make your brand memorable even after the event is over by gifting your guests a swag bag. This is a great way to inspire attendees to make your brand a part of their life. You know who will be attending and you can create a gift bag with items they’ll love! Trends in merchandising have changed, and there are so many innovative options for brands to create unique merchandise. From selfie lights to canvas bags, the options are endless.
Once the event is over, many organizers fall into a common mistake – taking a break. While the logistics may be done, it is imperative to be proactive in following up with attendees, thanking volunteers, and highlighting the success of the event. If it is an ongoing event, follow-ups are critical, so you can keep your existing attendees, staff, and volunteers and not have to recreate the wheel.
Now it’s your turn! Share with us your top tips for pulling off a successful event and stay tuned for our exciting events coming up on Instagram @DureeCoPR.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. The firm serves the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients focusing on public relations for real estate, public relations for restaurants, public relations for law firms, public relations for charities, public relations for healthcare, and many more. Durée & Company services include Public Relations, Social Media, Marketing, Advertising, Special Events, and Radio Promotions and Outreach.