Ten Basics for a Brilliant Event
Whether you’re a veteran of the events sector or someone who’s just been handed the daunting task of organising the company dinner or staff party, it’s always worth refreshing on some of the basics that make up a great event. Here are our top ten tips for getting it right.
1. Location, location, location
Your venue matters most – it sets the scene, creates the atmosphere and where it’s sited will dictate whether people turn up.
Meticulous financial planning is essential. Splashing out all your cash in the early stages may not leave you with enough money to give your guests the delicious food and wine you had in mind. Always keep a 5% contingency fund for unexpected costs.
3. Be an early bird
Contacting suppliers a long time before your event will get you good deals. It’ll also highlight any problems far enough in advance to give you time to sort them out.
4. Make a noise about it
Shout about your event. You might have the best speakers, the finest food and the most beautiful setting ever, but if there’s no one to appreciate it, it’s all pointless. Make a wish list of who you want to come along and plan ahead about the best way of getting your event in front of them.
5. Breakout time and spaces
Conferences and events can be very intense for delegates. As well as wanting time and space to relax, they’ll need to check emails and make phone calls. Make sure you give people comfortable areas to do this.
6. Walk the walk
Take time to walk through the day from your delegates’ point of view – from getting off the train or parking their cars to arriving at the venue and basics like locating the toilets or finding their way to different rooms. Plan ahead for any possible problems and be prepared for all eventualities.
7. Pictures paint a thousand words
Hire a professional photographer and use the pictures to create a post-event buzz. These will give you real social media clout, confirming your profile as a great business that recognises the value of investing in events that make a real impression on people.
8. Get things going
If you’re booking speakers, make sure you prepare some questions to trigger a debate. Delegates might be reluctant to be the first to talk, so help everyone out and get the conversation started.
It may seem obvious but at the core of your conference is its content and you have just one chance to get it right. Are your speakers talking about the most current topics in your field? Do they know how to engage delegates? Will they fire up interesting, groundbreaking discussions for your delegates? Remember, content is king.
As well as chatting to people during the day to gauge their enthusiasm, make sure you’ve got a questionnaire ready for people to fill out before they leave. It’ll be a lot easier than chasing them afterwards and it’s essential to find out what went well (and not so well) in your guests’ eyes.