Event Planning 101: The 5 Elements Needed To Throw A Successful Function
Updated October 6, 2023
When you plan a business event, it can feel like the stars need to align for a successful outcome. Budget, scale and timeframes can feel like wild concepts and the dream of aligning your event goals quickly seems out of reach.
Though these thoughts are easy to get lost in, event planning is not some secret sorcery but a strategic process to which there is a winning formula.
Ace these five key elements and you won’t need to charm your way to a memorable function.
1:- Get it straight: drafting an event mission statement
Failure to align event aims is one of the biggest mistakes a project planner can make since it becomes so easy to create a lacklustre event when you don’t have an anchor. To give your function a fighting chance, set a clear mission statement from the very beginning.
This means you need to target the right markets, individuals and causes – and to create marketing materials that bring these strains together. You’ll need to define your budget, vision and how you plan to measure successes.
Do you want to increase sales leads, motivate employees or impress key leaders in your industry? Write it all down and set a timeline. Analyzing mission statement examples is a good place to start, offering a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes strategies of your favorite events.
2:- Selecting a venue that makes an impression
One of the first things you’ll need to book is also the most important – your event venue. With your mission statement in-hand, you need to look for a venue with enough space, the right facilities and brand image.
If you plan to host cutting-edge webinars, you need a high-speed internet connection and ports in all the right locations. Equally, it makes little sense to select a shimmering city center location for a farming industry convention.
Think about decor, a floor plan and the event logistics before booking the star spot.
3:- Creating a focal moment
Whether your event is an industry-wide convention or a small-scale fundraiser, every function needs its special moment. The worst business events pass in a whirlwind of confusion and guests leave unsure of the theme or purpose.
Arrange for a leader to halt the commotion and bring everyone together – even if it’s just for a few moments. At a minimum, they should let guests know why they are gathered and say a few words about the event’s core purpose. Traditionally, such speeches take place after dinner or refreshments.
Of course, it is possible to expand on this to enhance the quality of your event. Hiring a professional speaker is a great way to capitalize on the opportunity, since they have the skills to go one step further. Whether your event needs an inspirational human interest story or a touch of celebrity, an impressive host can give business events impressive flavor.
4:- Receptions and refreshments: managing event flow
This is where your organizational skills can truly come into their own. From the menu to the timescale to managing entertainment, great events need a strong flow – and this rarely comes naturally.
Behind every great event, a team of people will have planned every detail to mitigate a host’s biggest nightmare – boredom.
Draw a schedule of events, including the exact time frames between key milestones. If canapes should be served five minutes after the event begins and guests should be transported to a seminar ten minutes later, write this down. You can use these details to calculate your event’s human resources costs.
5:- Budget, scale and goals: measure your way to success
Many seasoned event planners make the mistake of treating measurement as an afterthought – something to tackle once the pre-event flurry has passed.
This is rarely wise since the process of reporting and feeding back can help you to adjust the way goals align, fixing problems before the big day.
Event planning software can help you with this process by streamlining the admin. When you have confidence that the deadlines are set and the numbers add up, you can step back and focus on the bigger picture.