When Forbes business magazine publishes its list of The 10 Most Stressful Jobs, the job titles are usually the same: police officer, airplane pilot, firefighter, but also an event organizer. Being on this list is hardly a surprise for people working in event planning. The planning of large-scale corporate events is a massive task with dozens of permits to be obtained, responsibility to be taken for hundreds of guests, and only a single date, which cannot be rescheduled.
It’s easy to get lost when faced with such a challenge. While every step of an action plan is important, an event planner’s strength lies in their ability to see the big picture.
For successful event marketing, it is important to clearly define what the company wants to convey during the event. With a clear goal, the event team can effectively communicate the message to the evening’s guests.
Is it hard to know where to start?
Here are 10 event planning tips to remember when organizing an event that will keep you focused on the key point: the guest’s experience.
1. Consider the Event as a Communication Tool in Itself and Not as an “Add-On” to an Existing Marketing Strategy.
The time when event marketing was seen as an addition to traditional advertising strategies is now a thing of the past.
Our receptivity and attention have diminished in the wake of the flood of advertising on social networks and other media. In this environment, the strength of the corporate event is enhanced by the direct human relationship that ensues. An event is a perfect opportunity to create an experience for the guest and to convey a message using all 5 senses. Therefore, the event is not just a “good add-on” to a communication platform, but is, in itself, a communication platform.
2. Include an Amount for Event Marketing in Your Annual Budget. You Don’t Create an Event With a Surplus… or Leftovers.
When planning the budget, a budget allowance for the organization of events must be created. Knowing in advance the budget allocated for event marketing limits the amount of wasted time and gives you the possibility to work with high-quality vendors.
3. Distill Your Goal Into a Simple Sentence That Illustrates Your Message. Too Many Goals Will Kill the Goal.
It’s the moment of truth, where it all counts.
How do you organize a successful event that conveys the company’s message?
By starting with a clear goal that can be summarized in a single sentence. This sentence will become a common thread or a guideline. It will act as protection against ideas that have more to do with form than substance. It will also warn us against intellectualizing the goal (which would be 2 pages long) or the “15 main goals of the event,” which would quickly lead to dispersion.
The goal is the foundation of our event concept.
It is the meaningful message that the company wants to convey, distilled to its simplest expression.
4. Emphasize “Useful” Creativity to Convey Your Message. This Is the Best Way to Avoid the Siren Song.
When the team understands the goal of the evening and the conception begins, the golden rule is to question the relevance of every artistic choice by tying it back to the goal.
The corporate event is a true success when the guests understand why they attended. The message of the evening should challenge and nourish them.
“Useful” creativity supports the message being conveyed and not the communication tools we have available (new technologies, virtual reality, interconnectivity).
5. Remember That a Professional Event Is Designed for Humans. Technological Features Should Never Be an Irritant for Guests.
New communication tools can be a double-edged sword. If they help to share a special moment, they add lustre to the event. However, we must be careful. Technological features can create friction between our concept and the guests. (Think of the interactive menu, which people are still trying to figure out during dessert!)
A festive evening is an occasion to relax and to put away the laptop and telephone. The event organizer wants to create a relationship between the guests and the brand. This relationship should happen without friction.
6. Surround Yourself Well. In Event Planning, Vendors Are the Main Contributors to a Successful Evening.
Event planning is a team effort. Vendors, concept designers, artists, chefs, service staff… we can achieve great things when everyone works toward the same goal with flexibility and determination.
One of the secrets to success is to surround yourself with the best people. When planning the evening, vendors need to find solutions in addition to delivering a product or service. Their ability to perform triple backflips, reinvent themselves and keep smiling is an invaluable asset. We’re not much without talented collaborators!
7. Accept That Planning an Event Is Synonymous With the Unexpected and Changes.
Event planning is managing the unexpected, details and change. It’s no surprise that the evening’s planner often has to switch to plan B, C or even D. Don’t bother fighting against this reality. Developing versatility and learning to keep calm are essential.
This allows the planner to remain “present” and give every detail the importance it is due because an event is the sum of all these details.
8. Never Lose Sight That Event Planning Is Also the Art of Entertaining. Like at Private Events, the Important Thing Is to Please the Guests.
Through the multiple tasks associated with event planning, it is essential to keep the primary goal in mind, which is to please your guests. An event is, first and foremost, a human experience. Nothing is more gratifying than a venue packed with smiling guests who are happy to experience the moment.
9. Measure the Outcome of Your Event by Referring to Your Goal and Your Message.
The evening went well, the team is proud of the work accomplished. Now is the time to look back on the event. Over and above aesthetic concerns, the advantage of a debriefing is to return to the main goal. It is essential to determine whether the message succeeded in reaching the guests. This is the best way to measure the event’s return on investment.
10. When Reviewing the Event, Speak Frankly About the Successes as Well as the Difficulties. Identifying Mistakes and Missteps Is the Only Way Forward.
The last point may seem easy to achieve; it is, however, no less important. Talking about the successes is nice, but it is vital to talk about the difficulties, even if it makes us uncomfortable. We learn more from our mistakes than our successes.
Event planning is a massive task. However, by following these 10 important points to stay the course, the planner will be able to conceive, implement and analyze the benefits of an event’s main goal.
A simple, clear goal that conveys the message that the company wants to share with its guests.
– Lulu Events Team