Running a business event takes more organising than many people realise. There are multiple threads to pull together, none of which are as simple as they first appear. One of the guiding principles to organising an event, then ensuring it runs as smoothly as possible, is to allow plenty of time. Start planning months before the event itself. If it’s a big event, a year or more in the planning is not unheard of when popular venues need hiring.
Here are 4 tips to make your business event the success you hope for:
Know Your Purpose
Businesses run events for all kinds of different reasons:
- Launching a new product
- Attracting new employees
- Generating sales
- For charitable purposes
- Attracting new donors to a non-profit
The list is not exhaustive.
Knowing or pinpointing exactly why you want to host an event will lead you to the kind of people you want to invite in order to achieve the purpose. It also helps to focus the efforts of the staff who’ll help run the event when they understand exactly what the aim is in hosting the function.
Create an Event Plan
Once you know the ‘why’, it’s time to plan the ‘how’. Your event plan will be a guide that leads step by step through the planning process. Take into account how many people you plan to invite (and draw up an ideal guest list if you have specific persons in mind), how large a venue you’ll need, who will do the catering (the type of food and for how many), and how you’ll arrange seating, staging, stalls, barriers or lighting.
Delegation is key when there are multiple facets to plan at the same time. If the budget runs to an event planner, don’t hesitate to hire one as those experienced in this field will remove much of the headache and complication. Alternatively, draw together a team of people who’ll take responsibility for each area, and schedule regular meetings so everyone is up to speed and can see the bigger picture.
Give Special Attention to Staging
Of all the things that need planning for a business event, the staging is one of the most important. This specialised area can make or break events, and there are many considerations:
- Seating – make sure everyone has a clear view of the stage, and that there are functional aisles that make access easy. There are different styles of seating that work best in different function types, and these include theatre, classroom and banquet styles. You could include roped off sections to help guide people, or have reserved seating for VIP guests.
- Speakers – Think about acoustics and where the stage will be placed. How will the stage be lit, or how will you organise amplification and associated cables?
- Entrances and Exits – do you need ramps to facilitate disabled access? How will you signpost directions and exits? Will you need barriers to indicate queueing areas or direction of travel?
How you stage a venue sets the tone of the event every bit as much as the catering or the conference programme of events. Speaking to a professional staging company can help you decide what’s needed if you’re not absolutely sure how to proceed.
Create Something Unexpected
Maintaining an element of surprise keeps anticipation and motivation levels high.
Plan regular small surprises throughout the event and those attending will look forward to the next section of the programme. Ideas include prizes, unusual forms of catering, useful or fun souvenirs.
How much planning goes into an event can be a determining factor in its success. Take plenty of time, speak to professionals and experts, and always have a contingency plan in case things go wrong.