Ali Hartney, our Head of Custom Content, is brilliant at putting together events. In this post, she shares a few of her secrets to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.
Whether it’s a full-scale conference, a small meeting of minds, a team celebration or a major awards ceremony, events take a huge amount of organisation and planning. Doing all the prep work in advance will ensure things go smoothly on the night.
#1 Work it
A successful event is based on detailed planning and co-ordination so everyone knows their role. An event worksheet is a handy way of keeping preparations on track, with a check-in meeting at stages of the planning to ensure all tasks have been completed. It is also helpful to share this with suppliers and your venue partners so everyone involved is aware of expectations.
#2 Make it inviting
Ensure your guests have full-on FOMO when they receive your invitation. Do you have a keynote speaker? Will there be a significant announcement? Is your host a big draw? Your invitation needs to strike a balance: enough information to entice your guests, but not enough to give away any surprises. Make sure that you send out your invitation in enough time to hit people’s diaries and not too late that guests feel they were on your back-up list.
#3 Know your numbers
Ensure you have an accurate handle on the number of attendees by having a strict deadline for RSVPs. Perhaps hold back some details of the event and share them only with those who have responded to confirm their attendance. Alluding to exclusivity and a strict limit on numbers will focus people’s minds to RSVP by the deadline. However be warned: ringing around to your guest list to rustle up numbers may smack of desperation, and people will not want to attend a damp squib, so ensure that any follow-ups are of the “we don’t want you to miss out” variety.
#4 Food for thought
With so many different requirements for gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian and vegan options, it’s vital to ask your guests if they have any special dietary requirements or allergies. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and you can also ensure you are catering for a variety of dietary needs.
#5 Dressing it up
On your invitation, be clear about the dress code: smart casual, smart business, black tie, cocktail. This will help your guests to visualise the event and manage their expectations for what to expect. (Nothing says champagne and oysters like ‘black-tie’.)
#6 On trend
There are so many demands on our diaries these days, that your event must really stand out and be memorable. Is it the hottest new venue that will appeal to people’s curiosity? Is the latest band to hit the music scene performing at your event? Is the cuisine a new fusion of influences? Make sure your event has the edge over all the other invitations your guests might receive.
#7 Tech crunch
If your event focuses on presentations, speeches or awards, ensure a full run-through with the tech team to make sure lapel mics are working, audiovisual elements are tested and music and lighting are synchronised to pre-planned cues. Guests will only notice the tech if it doesn’t work, so make sure it runs without a hitch.
#8 Make it social
Unless it’s an internal event, a hashtag is a great way to ensure your event has reach beyond the guests on the ground. Ensure your hashtag is visible on collateral, screens and menus. An Instagram frame helps lighten the mood and encourages people to share their own photos using your hashtag. Ensure you have someone earmarked on the night to live tweet or fill your Instagram feed with pics from the event.
If you need help for an event you’re planning, from goody bags, to creative themes to social media support, give us a call!