Despite the title of this post, there really is no such thing as a perfect event. Because life happens, not everything will go according to plans on the day of your event. That is exactly why you should plan, and plan well. You can pull off just
about any event, if you are smart about it.
Before I ever meet with a client, I send them a questionnaire. Why? It makes them think about their event in ways they probable haven’t yet. I want them to be very specific about what it is they want. Why are you having this event? Is it to raise money or awareness for a cause? Are you launching a new product or business? Is someone getting married or having a birthday? When you start with a focused goal, the planning process is much easier.
No one wants their event to be a flop, but how you measure the success of an event is mostly determined by the type of event being held. If it’s a social event like a wedding or a birthday party, then it’s pretty easy to determine if your guests are having a good time. For community events such as a fundraiser, success may be seen in how your attendees respond to the call to action. Do donations and volunteer hours increase after the event? Think about what you want to accomplish and set up a system to help you determine if you met your goal. If you are planning a conference, think about placing a questionnaire on the seat of each attendee and collecting it before they leave.
Whenever someone tells me about an event that didn’t go the way they had hoped, it’s usually because their goals were not achievable in the first place. I see this often with non-profit organizations. They set out to make a lot of money with their very first fundraiser and are usually left frustrated and dejected. If you are not sure if your goals are achievable, then make a list of the resources that you currently have. Then ask yourself, “if this is all I have to go on, will I be able to pull it off?”
Being realistic is a must While it may seem like a good idea to save money by decorating the venue yourself, this may not be reasonable if you are one person trying to make an entire conference hall ready for 500. It also might be slightly impossible for you to get the hottest band in town to perform at your child’s birthday party.
One of the first things you will do when planning an event is select a date. You will have to determine if what you hope to accomplish can be done in the time allotted. You will want to give your attendees as much advanced notice as possible especially if many of them will be travelling from out of town. Will you need to obtain any permits or licenses for your event? If so, you need to take into consideration that there may be a long waiting period for these items.
If you want your next event to be a success, it’s going to take some work. Just remember to be smart about it! What do you think is one of the biggest contributing factors to unsuccessful events? Comment below and let me know.