If you are thinking about creating an event for your business, then you are probably starting to realize that it’s not as easy as you originally thought. Running an event, be it charity, conference, training seminar, or exhibition, is not much different than running a small business.
Organizing a successful live event (versus a virtual event) is going to require a great deal of high-level ideas, detailed planning, and effective management of a wide range of issues. You will need to be using skills from sales and marketing, financial and project management, logistics, safety, and much more to execute the perfect event.
- Set goals
A basic and fundamental starting point is the “why” we are organizing a particular event. According to Sean Adams of Motivation Ping, it is important to set clear goals and to have a purpose before you set out to accomplish anything of such magnitude.
The reasons can include anything from building a revenue stream, launching a new campaign, creating awareness around a product or service, promoting your brand, or positioning you as an authority on a topic. A critical analysis should ask what a live event will offer that other marketing and information channels do not.
- Format and content design
After completing the feasibility study and determining that a live event is a better option to achieve your goals given a certain budget, an organizer must consider the most appropriate format.
For example, creating intimate, niche events, or large-scale public events? What will your event look like? Is there a theme? Once considered, how will you ensure that the venue, participants, guest speakers, and ideas reflect the theme?
Building a diverse project team with the right mix of skills will ensure that elements ranging from idea generation and creativity to practical logistics thinking, marketing, and financial management are covered.
“Your format and content design is going to play a pivotal role in the type of keynote speaker you hire for your event” says Dan Smith of Keynote Speakers. “If you want to make sure that you book the appropriate speaker, you need to establish your format first.”
- Identify the venue
This is likely to be one of the biggest costs in the overall budget and there are many things to consider when selecting a location. Is a specific location required or could it be considered a neutral space, such as a warehouse or a field, that could be used as a blank canvas to be dressed in? Or would an unusual outdoor location be appropriate? Some of the key issues to consider include cost and service delivery; What are the hidden costs, such as administration, security personnel, provision of first aid, furniture, electrical supply and food service?
- Promoting your event
Don’t underestimate the timeframe required to successfully promote the event and how long it can take to get your message across and impact your attendance. The type of event, target audience, internal resources, and budget will dictate your marketing approach. However, for public events at scale, finding media partners often pays off, along with direct marketing and public relations.
The partners will see this with an eminently commercial approach, so think carefully about the opportunities you can offer and the audience reach, the profile and the monetary benefits for the partner, partner and/or sponsor.
Another critical factor of promoting your event will coincide with the guest speakers you hire. If you plan on spending a decent amount of money to hire a speaker, then you will want to make sure you can promote the event in a way to maximize such a costly investment. According to the speaker agency Motivational Speakers, you can expect to spend upwards of $25,000 to $50,000 on a top tier speaker.
- Event ticketing
Identify event creation tools that allow you to include all the event information such as:
- Event day
- Place and time of celebration
- Explanation of what it will consist of
- Guest speaker profiles
- Registration start date
- Enrollment end date
- The price of said event
And if they also include the possibility of managing the collection much better. In this sense, alternatives such as organizing events with Formfy can offer you interesting advantages.
You can see a full list here.
- Managing the event
Generally, the process involved in managing the event falls into three categories: logistics, marketing, and content.
Each event will need a detailed project and financial plan, breaking down all these activities into schedules, resources and responsibilities necessary for the realization of the event.
Financial questions to consider may include how many assistants are needed to break even and how this impacts cash flow. A risk management and contingency plan should also be implemented for all events, and the higher the profile and scale, the greater the contingency planning.
Larger venues and local authorities can usually provide some guidance, however, if your event attracts a large number of participants, a consultant specializing in occupational hazards and safety is sure to be money well spent. Timing is key here. Never underestimate how long it takes to complete certain elements of the project and allow some flexibility in the plan for contingencies.