Your Planner’s Checklist

Your Planner’s Checklist

True story: Last week I was organizing a short video shoot and set of interviews. It was no big deal, I just had to make sure the venue was set, all the people were available, and everyone knew their role. I thought it was no big deal until the day beforehand, one of my team members was talking with the interviewees and they had no idea what she was talking about. Yep, I forgot to confirm one of the interviewees.

So this is really for me. Here are 10 things you need to ensure are taken care of before event planning can really kick into high gear:

  • Purpose

Why are you holding this even? Who do you want to invite? “You’d be surprised how many people think an event is a wonderful idea but when pressed on what the purpose of the event is, or its overall goal, they are unable to clearly articulate its objective. You want to make certain there is a clear mission and business reason to hold an event — a celebration for a new facility, a fundraising event with a clear financial goal behind it, a new product launch to share with customers — lacking a defined objective, your event can be a costly effort without the power to attract attendees or further your mission,” (Change Conversations).

  • Venue

This should obviously a no-brainer. It should also be a no-brainer to make sure the person you are interviewing knows that they are.

Here are Whova’s 10 considerations when choosing a venue.

  • Budget

“In the event industry, the task of budgeting is perhaps the most important feature in ensuring the success of the event and the business as a whole. Without it, there is no way to manage all the expenses and avoid the hidden costs which invariably creep in. Allocating sufficient funds for each aspect of the event will ensure that the client’s expectations are met,” (The Marketing Site).

  • PR

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances…”
-William Shakespeare

This monologue from Shakespeare’s As You Like It offers the perfect metaphor illustrating that each moment and event in our lives follows a prescribed script. For a public relations professional, this is more than a metaphor; it is a way of life- or at least it should be.” This explanation from Paradox Labs only starts to scratch the surface of why you need PR people on your team when planning an event. The next bullet point goes into this further.

  • Media

Media is a benefit of PR. This is why you need PR.

  • Catering

Here is Change Conversations’ wisdom: “Food. Will you serve it? How much? What kind? Hot? Cold? Appetizers or full meal? The answer to this question is often dictated by two things — the number of people you are inviting and your budget. Catered food can be pricey on a per person basis and the last thing you want is to run out of food at your event. Then again, caterers have the equipment and know-how to handle food safely and satisfy the tastes of a crowd. Always plan for more than enough food, but it may be better to go for more snack type foods than entrees to ensure you don’t run out and can stay within your budget.”

  • Rental equipment

Here are some questions for your rental equipment vendors:

  1. Can I get some client references?
  2. Have you provided equipment for events at this venue before?
  3. Does the rental include an operator?
  4. Do you offer set-up and tear-down service?
  5. What is your early cancellation policy?

For more, go here!

  • Sponsors/partners

I’m not gonna tell you how important this is, I’m just gonna tell you how to get them. Read here.

  • Staff

“Any event needs to be properly staffed so it’s imperative that you have your staff on board for the occasion. Make a schedule that everyone is comfortable with and accommodates your team members’ personal lives (particularly if your event is on a weekend). The worst way to start is to have an event staffed by unhappy employees.” Preach it, Change Conversations.

  • Volunteers

Last but not least, volunteers.

“According to Chris Bray, Head of Marketing and Income Generation at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice, volunteers are essential to the work of this hospice – including the running of their flagship fundraising event Colour Run.” Here is his interview!

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