• Ryan Murray

What goes into Planning an Event from Start to Finish?


There are several steps that go into creating a successful event, whatever the occasion may be, from start to finish. This guide will take you through every step in creating one of these events!
1) Establish an Event Goal and what you want to Achieve

The very first step is to establish an event goal and what you want to achieve with the event. For example. if the event you are planning is a product launch, the event goal you may want is for 500 people to attend the event and what you want to achieve from the event is more brand awareness.


When planning an event, it is crucial to keep these goals in mind, as they are ultimately the purpose of putting on the event in the first place. Decisions you make for the event should always relate back to how they are going to help you achieve these goals.

See the 'Red Mix' product launch we put together:

https://www.juliacharleseventmanagement.co.uk/case-studies/red-mix-product-launch/

2) Establish a Budget

Your budget should incorporate estimates for all of the items, performers etc. you have put into your 'Event Master Plan'. Your budget will have a huge impact on how dramatic and how high the production level is of the event. When adding up your costs, don’t forget to include any travel or accommodation costs for speakers, presenters, etc.

3) Set a Date for the Event

When planning an event, it is important to understand when the event is taking place as it gives you a deadline to work towards. Ideally, you should have at least 4 months to plan the event, depending on the type of event. You may have also agreed to plan an event that is very last minute, but whatever the case may be it is important to understand whether the goals are achievable in the amount of time you have been given to put the event together.


See the Opus Conference we put together with just two weeks notice.


Another thing to consider is whether the event is taking place during a public holiday, school holiday periods and whether key participants can actually attend the event.

Once you have a solid goal in place and a date where it will take place, you have set a solid base to build upon!

4) Put together a Team

Once you've got goals in mind and a deadline to work towards, this is where you consider who to put in your team. It's important to put together a strong team to ensure the planning and the event itself goes smoothly.

Key Members of a team include:

- An Event Manager

Very crucial to putting together an event - the one who gets in contact with everyone involved in the event.

- Venue Management

Very crucial to the event running smoothly - ensuring the venue, where the event is taking place, is all correct and suitable for the event.

- Speakers / Entertainment

What sort of entertainment do you need to bring to the event? Circus entertainment to create a dramatic, eye-catching, intense display? Dancers to get the crowd going? An influential guest speaker to get your guests motivated?

- Publicity

How are you making others aware of the event?

- Sponsors​ (potentially)

5) Choose a Theme

When putting an event together, you should consider choosing a Theme for the event, as it helps to really make the event stand out. You need to pick a compelling theme that sets you apart from the competition - do something different!

See how we created a wedding with multiple themes to really stand out here!


A theme also gives you the opportunity to pick a real attention-grabbing name for the event - great for online publicity and general awareness!

There are plenty of themes out there to pick from that you can use to make your event really stand out.

Consistency is key when creating a strong theme for your event and the theme is conveyed by the venue decor, staging and of course the entertainment options you choose - to keep this in mind!

6) Create an overall Plan

To ensure you have everything covered and have a step-by-step guide on how your event will run, you should create an Event Plan to encompass all aspects of the event, including:

- Venue: contracts, permits, insurance

- Entertainment / Activities / Guest Speakers: confirmation, timings, management

- Publicity: marketing plan, people who are promoting the event

- Sponsor / Partner Management

- Who is attending

7) Establish Partnerships & Sponsors

You can lower the cost, increase participation and increase awareness of the event through identifying and establishing partnerships and sponsors.

When involving other parties, they can spread word of the event to a much larger reach, which will of course increase the overall chances of a successful, well-known event.

Think about who is attending the event and who is there that can create a mutual benefit.

8) Promotion

What makes up an event? The people that attend.

No matter what has gone into the event, the entertainment you have booked, how you have decorated the venue - you need promotion to get people in the door!

You can go several ways about promoting your event - a page on your website, social media posting, email marketing campaign.

It is important to consider where the most people are and where you can get the most reach from a promotion. It's usually best to promote in several areas to get the best awareness.

Social media works great for promoting an event - post about it a few times a week leading up to the event and try to get in contact with people who can share the content and increase the reach even further.

It's a good idea to promote the event on the home page of your website, as the majority of viewers of your page will be aware of the event.

Post promotion of the event is also a very important aspect to consider. Post-event thank-you’s, sponsor acknowledgements and articles about the event’s key messages or fundraising success are a great way of making people aware of what you have achieved.

Other things to consider

Entertainment

Entertainment covers such a vast field, but do not underestimate the importance of including a wide variety in your event that compliments the purpose and the goals you want to achieve from the event. For example, if you are looking to increase brand awareness at your event, you may want to consider using a eye-catching, unique performers that will ensure people remember the event and subconsciously associate your brand with the high-energy display of a circus performer (for example)

See our range of Circus Performers and see what they can bring to your event...

Catering

Catering options can be used to add another 'wow-factor' to your event. There's plenty of options out there that can cater to your exact wants and needs.

Before sticking with any catering options, it is important to check the quality of the food or drink before committing to a menu choice.

Some people argue whether the drink at the event is more important than the food, as it creates the calm, relaxed atmosphere that you need at any social event.

There's plenty of drinks options out there that are suitable for a variety of events, have a look at our fantastic mixology cocktails for example...

Lastly, you want to consider the success of the event - how many people attended? what was the response? did it run smoothly? And of course, did you achieve your goals?

Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped you in the planning of your next event!


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