When you’re tasked with planning an event, it can feel like your to-do list instantly triples. With so many details to decide and calendars to coordinate, it can seem overwhelming.
This is the time to step back and figure out how you’re going to get started on the task of planning an event. Whether your company is hosting a lunch-and-learn, exhibiting at a trade show, or organizing some other way to present your product to prospects, taking the actions explained below will put you on the path toward a smooth planning process.
Decide on Goals and Vision
Before you begin, your team should decide what an event will accomplish for your company. Will it result in awareness? Brand recognition? Increased opportunities and sales? Deciding on a specific goal for the event will focus the whole planning process on creating an experience for attendees that will achieve it.
Secondly, think about your ideal customer or anyone else you’d like to invite. What kind of event would appeal to them? Consider the format, venue, subject, speaker, food and level of formality in order to get a vision for your event that will entice people to register and attend.
Set a Date
Without knowing the day your event will happen on, you can’t plan any other aspect of it. If you haven’t been given a date, set one that’s far enough in advance that you and the people you’re inviting have time to plan for it, but not so far in the future that people will forget about it.
This is a tough balance to strike, but talking with everyone else involved in the process should point you in a direction that makes sense.
Create a Roadmap to Plan Your Event
One of the first things to do is to decide what milestones need to be hit, and when you need to hit them in order to have everything ready by the big day.
Make a list of every large task that needs to be done and break it down into smaller ones. Put them on a calendar or in your project management system and assign them to anyone else that might be helping you.
With this step complete, you now have a clear roadmap for what needs to be done. Now it’s time to get to work!
Build a Budget
With a roadmap, goal, vision, and date in mind, it’s time to figure out what your company can spend. You should know by now whether you’re willing to reserve an exclusive pro-sports suite or if you’d rather book a reliable local steakhouse.
With that in mind, call up possible venues that host events like yours and other kinds of vendors you’ll need to get an idea of what your budget should look like. As decisions are made throughout the planning process your actual budget will become clear, but the idea here is to avoid arriving at a number you weren’t expecting.
Plan to Promote Your Event
A comprehensive marketing and promotion plan is vital to your event, and it should be executed in tandem with your planning as soon as enough details are known. (Such as when it will be, where it will be, and why prospects should attend.)
While email and social media are powerful tools for this task, make sure that you have salespeople calling on prospects to drive attendance well in advance. Waiting too long to do this can leave you with an event full of existing customers, or worse, an event with almost no one coming.
By identifying what needs to be done for your event to achieve its goals and breaking those concepts down into manageable tasks, you’ll have a much easier and less stressful time planning it. Taking these steps will set you up for completing the rest of the process successfully and generating positive ROI from hosting a sale event.