Plan an event is a challenging task and requires weeks or months of preparation. Companies can achieve great results, catching leads, and generating sales, as long as they know how to conduct this process.
An event needs to be based on a goal. Not always selling tickets is the most exciting possibility, considering that brands can strengthen their images in a market if they know how to generate value for the participants.
From the main objective, it is time to think about how to give life to this event. With a defined budget, comes the stages of creating a promotion schedule, until the great day.
Creating all this perfect environment requires time and money. So, if your company wants to produce an event, it’s essential to do it the right way.
In this post, we will show, step by step, how to plan an event, going through the main stages. At the end of it, you can download our free template for the main tasks.
Keep reading and check how the process works!
Set the goals for the event
The first step is the most important: what is the purpose of your event?
There are several formats, between in-person and virtual, being the main ones:
- trade shows;
- annual meetings;
- networking sessions.
In each of these events, it is possible to gain something. From ticket sales to closing deals, whatever the aim, it must be relevant to the company.
Even before knowing which event the company will host, it is essential to understand what is intended for that occasion.
With the objectives, it is possible to define the content
The main objective will also guide the event’s agenda. Besides selling tickets, a company that wants to attract leads for future business needs to have relevant guests.
This way, the schedule must engage the public, generating the desire to participate in the major day.
Define your budget
The investment cost in an event can be high, so it is essential to consider your company’s financial possibilities. It is necessary to adapt the idea to the available budget.
Setting financial limitations is one of the most important steps to plan an event. The money available will determine what the structure will be like, which guests will be present, and many other essential details.
When defining this budget, it is necessary to define what will be the main costs besides knowing how much the company has at your disposal. Some of the most common are:
- choosing the venue;
- paycheck for lecturers;
- video and audio infrastructure;
- material purchase;
- payment to suppliers of various types.
Knowing the costs helps to plan a strict budget
When defining each of the expenses, it will be possible to set the event organization’s total cost.
If the initial preview is over-budget, the organization team must look for cheaper suppliers and venue rental.
Build a team
Plan an event requires dedication, and a lot of time invested in defining each of the important issues in this work. Therefore, it is essential to create a team focused only on that.
To have good results, it is important to build a team of experts in several areas, such as Digital Marketing, sales, events, financial, among other departments.
From the company’s objective, this team’s role is to ensure the development of an idea for the event and then continue with the organization process.
This team should also be responsible for hiring services and set details with suppliers.
The team can measure the results
Another important part of the work is to measure the engagement of the target audience with the event. This will help optimize the promotion strategy always to achieve better results.
The staff involved will be dedicated to planning the event and its execution on the day it takes place.
Set a date
It is not enough just to choose a random day in the calendar, based on the time needed for planning the event.
It is necessary to have a good time margin until the date, but it is also necessary to think about the audience. Some periods should be avoided since they can be impeding to the participants.
Always avoid statutory and religious holidays and school holidays periods. Participants may have scheduled trips or even their vacations for these occasions.
Dates need to be set according to supplier availability
The date also needs to be set according to supplier availability. They will not always be able to offer the services on the day you initially intended.
Besides thinking about enough time for preparation, it is essential to set a date that is in line with providing all necessary services and availability of the chosen venue.
Create a brand for your event
Your event should not be a single event, but a brand.
After all, to arouse the public’s interest, it is essential to position your event as a unique opportunity to learn and make business connections.
Branding will help to create a concrete idea about what you want to present at the event. From this, it’s also easier to promote the occasion with a consistent strategy.
When creating the event’s brand, your planning and execution team should think about the main points, such as:
- the name of the event;
- the visual identity;
- the tone of voice of the event’s brand;
- the concept, which should be based on the type of event.
Event branding generates greater engagement
An event with its brand is better qualified to have a continuity, with future editions, reaching recognition among the target audience.
The creation of this brand will make the promotion more powerful, especially on social media.
It will be possible to use visual identity elements to capture attention, generate interest, and engage.
Create a buyer persona for your event
Brand creation considers the organization’s company characteristics and the event concept.
However, the way branding will be conducted depends on the target audience.
Creating a buyer persona helps to define an average profile of people who are interested in the event. The promotion and communication efforts should be directed to these people.
A buyer persona helps to fulfill expectations
When there is a well-defined buyer persona, the marketing team knows the public’s expectations, desires, and pain points.
From this detailing of the potential participant’s profile, the actions of promotion and the event’s schedule are more appropriate.
The chances of engagement tend to grow significantly.
Create a website and social media pages
Plan an event is also to think about promotion. The best way to reach an audience, besides attracting interested people, is to have a special place on the web.
For good Digital Marketing strategies, it is essential to have relevant channels at your disposal. We are talking about the basics for promotion and branding: social media pages and a website.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the three main social platforms for this.
In them, you can keep frequent publications to create expectations and generate engagement with the interested audience.
Offering previous content also helps to increase public interest. A Content Marketing strategy will be of great help in this phase.
A website is also essential
Finally, the website must be the main channel where the public will find everything they need. There, it is essential to make it available:
- information about the date, time, and venue of the event;
- event’s programming;
- list of guests and lecturers;
- directions to arriving at the event;
- updates on important information;
- links to the event’s social media;
- information on ticket sales.
Create a work schedule
Make contact with suppliers, create the event’s brand, book the venue. These and many other tasks are involved in planning an event process.
It is necessary to have time and organization to accomplish everything. Therefore, a work schedule helps to distribute all these tasks in an ideal period before the event.
For example, suppose the organization’s team has defined a four-month preparation period until the big day. In that case, it is necessary to plan in how many weeks each important issue must be defined.
Setting the deadlines is important
A schedule helps to create deadlines according to the time until the event. Thus, there is enough time to set all the issues, even with unexpected events.
No matter how much optimism is needed, it is always important to consider potential problems. Many of what happens are not the organization’s fault.
Therefore, the more extra time, the better to readjust and find solutions if something doesn’t go as planned.
It is necessary that a supervisor, or manager, monitors these deadlines. Their role must be to follow the tasks’ progress, always observing the remaining time for each one to be completed.
Find a proper venue
Part of planning an event is finding a suitable venue for the occasion. We are not only talking about space but also available infrastructure.
If your event is an award or seminar, you will need a stage and space to set it up. If one of the guests will not be in person at the venue, being presented through live streaming, a big screen is needed for everyone to see that person.
In addition to these issues, it is also important to think about the location. A downtown area is easily accessed by most of the participants.
Anticipate the choice and define a spacious location
The choice of venue can be lengthy, mainly because it depends on visits. Therefore, set the venue as a priority and close the deal as soon as possible.
Finally, be sure to predict how many people will be at the event. It is essential to place everyone comfortably. A venue with the right size must also be among the main issues in planning the event.
Select your technological infrastructure
You will need technology so that everything goes as expected. Therefore, when planning an event, it is necessary to define a list of essential equipment, such as:
- big screens;
- sound system;
Your event can perform a live streaming
Part of this technological infrastructure is indispensable for the quality of the event.
The equipment allows the sound to reach everyone at the event, and slides and images can be projected on the screen, for example.
Also, if the event is also streamed online, it is important to have computers, cameras, and a good internet connection available.
Technology can also help with attendance. The use of digital screens can help people to get directions and information about the event schedule.
Thinking about each of these elements when you plan an event is a job for those who already have experience in the task.
There are many obligations, and it is necessary to respect deadlines and meet a schedule. Therefore, it is essential to have a qualified team in the event organization.
The organization team can better manage all these items with an adequate control tool. Download our event planning checklist, and don’t forget about anything important!