Keys to Successful Event Planning – Focusing on the Details // on Thursday August 27, 2015
Whether we want to admit it or not, we have reached the end of summer. Kids are already returning to school, and the relaxing, fun-filled summer has come to a close. However, this also is the time of year that is jam-packed with festivals and large events, such as an end-of-summer bash or a homecoming celebration.
Whatever reason you have to host such an event, there are a lot of planning elements to keep in mind. In this three-part blog series surrounding event planning, we will look at what details to focus on, marketing the event and safety precautions to consider.
Determine a Budget
Before you begin any planning, make sure to set a budget. Think about the maximum amount of money you want to spend on the event, or divide your necessities up by category and think about the budget in smaller portions. Things to consider:
- Supplies (dishware, tickets, paper costs for signs, etc.);
- Payment of staff; and
- Cost of safety and training.
Put together a budget template that includes indication of expense items, descriptions, quantities and total cost. Sample templates can be found online through a quick web search. As many organizations do, when it comes time to discuss an annual budget, consider adding an events category. This will help ensure you have the right amount of funds to plan great events each year.
Consider a Theme
Not every event has to have a theme, but it can add an extra level excitement to the occasion. If you do choose a theme, make sure your guests are aware of it ahead of time. Also, try to incorporate the theme into other elements of your event. For example, if your festival is carnival themed, consider popcorn and cotton candy for a snack, and various midway carnival games for entertainment.
Choose a Time to Host
When it comes time to choose a day for your event, consider what day(s) work best for your organization and potential guests. Look at the calendar and see what you can and should plan around. Once you’ve settled on a date, pick a time that is most convenient for your guests, staff and volunteers.
Find a Location
As a good starting point, decide if you want to host your event indoors or outdoors. From there, think about how many guests will be attending, and make sure you pick a location that allows for that number of people. If you go with the outdoor venue route, be sure to have a back-up plan in case weather does not cooperate.
Decide on Entertainment
Entertainment isn’t necessary for a fun event, but it can be as large or small scale as you’d like! Choose something that will fit the profile of your guests. What’s suitable for children or families may not be something enjoyable for young adults. Also, think about your location, as the amount of space you have available may play a factor in your decision.
When it comes to large scale events, it’s no surprise that food and drinks are important to attendees. If you choose to serve refreshments, determine if you will have items catered in, or if you will be preparing it all yourself. Also, make a list of supplies you’ll need to serve food, such as silverware, plates, cups and napkins.
With these details in place, you’re on the right track to a fun, successful event! Now, you can begin to move forward in your planning. In part two of this blog series, we’ll look at event marketing and creative ways you can invite guests or inform the community of the occasion.