1. Choose a date.
Give yourself as much time as possible to plan and prepare in advance. Depending on the nature of the event this might be anything from six weeks to one year. Major events will generally require six months of planning.
2. Establish your committee or team and allocate roles and responsibilities.
3. Create a schedule.
List key tasks to be completed each week in the run up to your event and determine who should look after what. Make a note of major deadlines and of any holiday periods taking place in a given week. It’s also worth including post-event activities that may need to happen.
4. Draft a budget.
This will need to be reviewed on a regular basis with items added and subtracted as changes are made.
5. Select a venue.
Be very specific about your requirements – surface space, set-up and tear down time needed, audio-visual and staging, private areas/offices, accommodation, catering, deliveries etc. Be aware of fire and safety regulations. Get a written contract!
6. Plan the programme of activities – what happens when and where.
7. Organise transport and accommodation.
8. Food and beverages.
Choose menus, wines, cutlery, dinner ware and table settings that are appropriate for your event.
9. Book entertainment.
If you are organising live entertainment ensure you see a performance in advance.
Find out their requirements ie sound, equipment, set-up, dressing room, etc.
10. Plan the guest list. Organise marketing materials and/or invitations.
11. Organise presentation packs and/or gifts, novelties, awards, speaker papers to be handed out to guests.
12. Develop signage requirements with a design agency or your internal design department.
13. Prepare a list of suppliers, with full contact details, and ensure each member of staff has a copy.
14. Inviting the media? Give them what they need - parking, a storage area for cables, interview room (with interviews pre-arranged in advance), internet support, extra telephone lines, refreshments, press kit.
15. Define each team member’s role on the day of the event and ensure that everyone is fully briefed as to what is expected of them.
16. Post event, organise a prompt de-briefing. Produce a wrap-up report with conclusions and recommendations.
If you need help with event planning or getting the word out about your launch, festival or conference,