There are 5 things to keep in mind when planning an event:
1. Objective - What's my purpose for planning this event. Why do you feel there is a need to have an event? Answering these questions can begin to set the framework to developing a budget.
2. The Audience - Who will be attending? This will allow you to focus on how this event will serve the audience you have in mind. What are the demographics of your audience? Have they attended events similar to the one you have in mind? Knowing who you're looking to attract is key to developing an event that they would like to attend. If you have a captive audience, as in the case of a mandatory corporate meeting, it's still important to know what would work best for them.
3. Marketing - Knowing who you're trying to reach will allow me to design a plan of where to spend resources to connect with that audience. It will also help to determine the type of speakers or specials guests to invite to your event.
4. Event Details - Formulating a budget and knowing your audience will help to formulate the details around your event. First make a list of the things that your event must feature in order to be successful, including speakers, audio visual, food and beverage and venue. Once everything on your must list is accounted for in your budget, you can then look to add things that would enhance your audiences experiences. The event details is where a professional planner can help to identify those items that you may not consider, such as accessibility, outside factors that may impact your event and how to manage them, recommendations on decor and vendors.
5. Post Event Wrap-up - This is the area where you have an opportunity to evaluate whether or not you have achieved your objectives and look at ways to improve the event for the future or try something new. This should be done shortly after the event when it's fresh in everyone's mind. It is the time to take care of those smaller details that can have big impacts, such as sending thank you notes and recording best practices for the future.