When planning an event, it is important to immediately begin with meticulous attention to a variety of details. When you are strategic from the very beginning of the planning process, you can avoid many missteps.
1. Create a Working Budget
It is important to know your budget before you begin planning an event. This information will be essential for everything from the location choice, to the number of attendees whom can be invited, to the amount and type of refreshments offered. Knowing the budget gives you a place to begin. It is easy to add amenities if the budget increases throughout the planning process, but it is much more difficult to scale back a plan that has already been set in motion. Be conscious of the budget before making any final decisions.
2. Find an Appropriate, Rather than Impressive, Venue
It makes the most sense to host your event at a venue that is affordable and related to your cause, if applicable. If you are hosting an event to raise money for a children’s charity, it may be appropriate to host the event at a children’s museum or store. If the event relates to science, it could be hosted at an observatory or research university. If the event is a conference, make sure there is ample seating space for all attendees. Choosing a location is not about obtaining the most luxurious place you can afford, but rather being creative in your approach and making it memorable. Outdoor venues can be magical, but be mindful of weather conditions.
3. Create an Agenda for the Event
Before making too many other plans, be sure to draft up the preliminary agenda of happenings that will take place during the event. If it is a conference, are additional meeting spaces needed for breakout sessions? If there are activities involved, will there be ample space in the main conference room, or will the activities need to be conducted elsewhere? Working from a preliminary agenda will ensure that everything is in congruence with the events that will take place.
4. Send an Appropriate Invitation
Depending on the style of the event, certain invitations are more appropriate than others. If the event is a dinner, then a formal invitation should be issued and personally addressed to the guest. If it is a mixer-style event, a more general invitation can be sent to a larger number of people, such as an entire department of a company. While it’s nice to receive a personal invitation to an event, it is not always necessary. Once attendees begin to RSVP with their acceptance, personalized reminders can be sent with more information about the event.
Utilizing this information in the early stages of event planning will increase ease of planning throughout. Adhering to the event budget is the easiest way to eliminate stress from the beginning. A proper location will not only be affordable, but also appropriate to the event. It is a substantial amount of work, but the payoff of throwing a great and memorable event is well worth the investment.