Updated: Jun 26, 2021
Planning and organizing an event is something you have to ensure is clearly thought about and executed throughout the duration of the time spent with your guests. If you’re hosting for a brand then you have to maintain your branding and tradition while creating a unique event, and if you’re hosting as an individual, you have to make sure you cross everything off your list that can go wrong, and plan ahead for different events that could take place. At the same time, you have to watch how the guests progress throughout the duration of time, and respond accordingly. Whether you have no experience in planning get togethers or are a professional, MPS is here to help give you a few critical steps that are often looked over when planning a fulfilling event.
photo by Nikki Sepasyar
If you’re the host of a professional event that’s being held at 2pm in the afternoon, your guests will likely be working full time jobs and it
would decrease your attendance and/or make it a hassle for them to show. Therefore, the best times to plan events are on evenings or weekends later in the day. This way, you’ll receive the greatest turn out possible, and more people will interact at your event.
Activities don’t have to mean balloons and streamers, clowns or dancers, unless you’re celebrating, of course. Activities means booths, tables, and displays that your guests may be interested in. For example if you’re hosting a meet up like MPS, you might want to include a table with different photographers and their names, or even a help desk if you’re hosting a bigger event where guests need help locating where they’re supposed to be. If you’re holding an event where the atmosphere is contributing to the event, such as an interior design or architecture event, you might want to host tours so guests get the full experience.
Making sure your caterers arrive after your band gets set up (if any) is vital to preventing a clash in the event that leads to chaos. If you’re featuring a guest in a surprise party, it’s common to invite them 30 minutes after everyone is set up. Coordination is like timing, except for what happens during the event not before or after. If you’re holding a bigger event, you may need to make a few phone calls to not only set up, but also to confirm arrangements at about 24-48 hours in advance.
You have to remember that your budget exists if you have one, it would hurt the event if you planned everything out without realizing everything costs money. From the food to the music to the set up of tables, make sure you can cover everything and leave at least a third of the budget left over for last minute fixes. Especially if you’ve never planned an event before, you’ll likely run into instances where you have drinks but no ice, tables have no chairs (it happens!), and bowls have no spoons. The best way to prevent this is to have a store nearby that you can run to and money left over in your budget to spend.
Try for a live singer or band if your budget allows, and ensure they’re not too loud to disturb the guests. The type of entertainment depends on the seriousness of the event, and it is safe to say that not all events call for a form of entertainment. You should have some flexibility with your entertainment, as it likely will need to be adjusted on different preferences.
If this event is hosted through an organization or company, make sure you’re sticking to your branding. That could mean handing out items that advertise your organization, or decorating the space according to your branding. If you need any tips on branding, you can read an article we posted here.
If your event is outdoors, make sure you choose a date that the weather is not too hot or cold, and there is no expected rain or snow based on where you live. It’s always good, if you are able to afford tents, to have them handy if the weather predicts rain at some point at a different time that day. If you’re hosting indoors, but in a public space, make sure there’s no crowds and it’s relatively quiet, to avoid unsettled guests. Either way, think ahead to prevent any last minute panics or chaos when planning.
8: 5C’s of managing an event
concept: The atmosphere and vibe you want your event to have and how it feels for your guests. This helps you determine the who, what, where, when, and why of the event! This includes speakers, performances, and activities.
coordination: Delegate tasks to different members of your team, reserve the dates, hire the caterers, purchasing necessary equipment such as audio/visuals.
control: Backup planning - if caterers cancel, alternate speakers, or if budget runs low, what would you do?
culmination: Event day, rehearsing event before guests arrive, food is ready, speakers are continuously flowing.
closeout: Feedback to team and from speakers/performers, vendors, and caterers, complete payments that haven’t been completed.
If you follow these steps, you’ll have a successful event that your guests are sure to enjoy. Have fun, plan ahead, and your event will be at the top of the line!