Planning an event can be a lot of fun, but also very stressful. Throughout your career you could be asked to plan anything from a business conference to a product launch.
With any event you are planning the most important part is to develop clear goals. What are you trying to achieve by holding an event? Is it to raise money? Raise awareness? To show appreciation? Whatever the reason, make sure that all of the planning is aimed at achieving that goal.
Use this timeline as a guideline for the planning process:
1. Brainstorm: Talk to your coworkers for suggestions and resources. Get out the white board and start writing down your ideas. Make sure your ideas are attainable and realistic with everything from venue to the food. Don’t plan a $30,000 event if you can only afford $300.
2. To-Do List: Use the resources around you – friends, family and coworkers may have a suggested venue or vendors they’re used in the past. Find a checklist online and base yours off it. Use Pinterest to get inspiration for great money saving but creative ideas!
3. Promote the Event: Remember that most people look to the Internet to see what’s happening in their community. Create a Facebook event page and utilize online community calendars free of charge. If the event is large enough, add a website to your budget.
4. Game Time: When the day of the event finally arrives, get to the venue early. Run through equipment checks, make sure your staff is in the right place, and all the last minute details are in place. Then, enjoy yourself. Events are supposed to be fun!
5. Evaluation: It’s incredibly important for you to evaluate yourself and the event. That way, for next time, you know what worked well and what can be improved. Refer back to your goals for the evaluation process.
Planning an event will help you gain a lot of experience. The skills you develop throughout the planning process will help you succeed in any job!
You may not be in the position to organize and run an event yourself yet, that’s OK – experience is key.
The best way to learn is by doing. See if there are volunteer or shadowing opportunities with catering or event planning companies in your area. It will be a long and hard day, but the experience will be worth it. Once you feel ready, it’s time to start planning an event of your own – even if it is just a friend’s birthday party starting out – any experience is good experience.