Create Your Perfect Event
How To Plan An Event Step By Step
How To Plan An Event Step By Step
So you have decided to organize an event…
And it has to be perfect as your company could depend on it!
Do not panic!
We are here to help you and guide you…
With over 28 years of event management experience, we know a lot of secrets…
And we will share some of them here with you…
The Show Must Go On…
So the decision has been made…
You are organizing an event…
The process of planning a show can be split into six stages:
1. Plan it: Turning ideas into an action plan
2. Produce it: Executing the plan
3. Announce it: Letting everyone know
4. Showtime it: Hosting the event
5. Thank it: It’s all in the follow up!
6. And Finally!
Over the next 6 days, we will share with you golden nuggets about each stage…
Today, let’s look at stage 1: Plan it !
Stage 1: Plan it !
So you could be staring at a blank piece of paper…
And it’s your task to come up with the ideas and a theme…
Or maybe you already have a theme and and just need inspiring…
When you start to think about how to plan an event step by step, it’s a lot easier if you are prepared in advance.
One of the 1st questions we ask partners when we work with them, is:
What’s the purpose of your event?
It’s actually shocking that so many event managers don’t really know the purpose of their event…
– Is it a Christmas party where you just want to have fun?
– Is it a sales conference where you are motivating your sales team?
– Maybe it’s a product launch and you are trying to make an impact in the market…
You clearly need to know the purpose as the theme and content will be different for each type of project.
Who is going to attend?
– Are you inviting your company staff?
– Is it a paying public?
– Are they business partners?
– Is it a concert venue full of screaming fans?
Each market segment has a different way to communicate with them.
Who is going to put it all together?
– Will you handle this alone?
– Are you an experienced in-house corporate event team?
– Will you use external event management professionals?
The end result can be very different…
I would always recommending working with seasoned professionals…
Don’t try doing it alone until you are very experienced…
There are a lot of event planning questions to ask, but if you have answered the questions above, then you should have a clearer idea of direction…
If you are struggling, or would like help, here are 10 event planning steps you can implement immediately.
1. Need ideas?
It can be tough to come up with fresh ideas for shows…
I still get asked on a regular basis to do a “Star Wars” theme…
Which is cool, but it is a bit dated now!
There are two great ways to find new ideas…
Firstly Ask Us!
We know how to plan an event successfully…
As executive producers of shows, we have access to a whole range of talents and minds.
Being able to bring in different people for different projects, creates new ideas all the time!
We are here to help you, so let’s jump onto Skype or Zoom and discuss your show…
Secondly Ask On The Internet
There are so many event platforms or forums, but a great place to start is Linkedin
You can go to event or show groups and ask for ideas.
Facebook also has thousands of show groups. Join and get into conversations.
Another great resource is Quora, where you can ask questions and you will quickly get loads of replies.
You will be surprised at the answers you get and may also make new friends in the industry.
It’s a great place to start!
2. What’s the purpose of the show?
Now you have a theme.
You are probably getting excited…
Now comes, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects of the project…
Define your purpose and objective…
Without this, nothing makes sense…
In other words, why are you doing the show?
I recommend that you write a one sentence declaration that describes the show purpose.
“I am organising this sales conference to motivate our regional sales team to make gross sales of $1,000,000 in the next 3 months”
“We are organising this product launch to increase brand awareness and get our ranking from #3 to #2 in the industry”
“I am organising this demonstration to show our distributors our new products”
Initially you might have a paragraph or two…
However keep rewording it until you have it down to one short sentence.
It should really capture the essence of the event.
Now print it out and put it up in the office for the whole team to see every day.
3. Who is invited?
So who’s on the guest list?
We recently produced a show for the Swiss Embassy in Manila.
The guests were ambassadors and state officials, presidents of companies, and other special VIP’s.
Last year we were the laser safety officer for Coldplay’s Headfull of Dreams concert in Manila with over 30,000 screaming fans in the audience…
Both audiences need security, both need food, drinks, entertainment, etc…
However, the logistics of both are totally different.
Picture in your minds eye, the typical person who is coming…
Make a list of their requirements and needs.
Here are some of the characteristics that you should place in your plan:
• Marital status
• Income level
• Education level
• Geographic location
• Ethnic background
• Religious beliefs
• Technological knowledge
Build your plan around this.
4. Make a venue shortlist
The best venues book very quickly.
Some can book up weeks or even months in advance.
Remember that special holidays like Valentines, Chinese New Year, Christmas and New Year can also carry premium rates.
The earlier you can book the better.
The theme will often dictate the venue…
If you are having a dance party, you won’t need a venue with tiered seating…
Likewise if you are hosting a round table dinner conference for VIP guests, you won’t be needing an open field…
So using your theme and your guest list, you can start to create the perfect venue.
If you need help with this we would love to assist you.
Now, to help you identify your perfect venue, think of the following:
What is the basic cost. Do they charge more for ingress and egress?
How about special holidays, is there a premium?
Does the venue charge for extra services such as outside catering, drinks, equipment?
Does it charge extra for parking?
Do they charge extra if you go past specific hours?
Is it easy to find?
Can attendees get taxis to go home easily?
Are there restrictions for your technical equipment to be delivered?
How easy it is for your attendees to find and reach the venue?
Does the venue restrict technical and equipment suppliers?
How about catering, do they allow you to choose or do they have their own?
Are there volume (music and concerts) restrictions?
Do they have their own air-conditioning?
Is there sufficient parking?
Is there a holding area for your guests?
◦ The Right Venue For The Right Gig.
Is a hotel the right venue for a reggae night?
Or a techno gig?
Probably not… Is the open field or large 60,000 capacity venue correct for a sit down round table dinner?
Is the venue the right size?
You don’t want a massive venue for a small amount of guests and visa-versa.
There is nothing worse than the wrong size venue. It’s too cramped or to empty.
I have attached 2 links below to help you understand venue capacity…
5. When is the show going to happen?
This can be tricky…
– Client has a specific date in mind…
– But are ideal venues available?
– Are talents available?
Matching them all up can take a lot of juggling around.
The earlier you can start the production of the event, the better as it provides flexibility.
This is important.
It helps you set cut-off deadlines for planning activities and gives you a milestone to aim for.
The sooner you start planning your event, the better your chances of getting the venue you want and making the most of event promotion.
Things to consider when picking the event date:
• Declared holidays.
We have already touched on this a couple of times, but normally holidays and special events have a premium charge.
Valentines day, Holy week, Christmas, New Year and many more days, normally have a massive premium attached to them. Prepare way in advance for these dates as they are booked early on.
I once had a client call me on the morning of New Years Eve asking if they could have a show that night…
We were booked 4 or 5 months earlier…
• What’s going on?
Are there any other big local events happening…
Is there a Political rally…
Or a big movie launches..
Any other special days…
Once you’ve picked a date, mark it clearly in your calendar. Let all your team know.
Make sure everything is booked!
6. Put your team together
I promise you, that you won’t do this alone…
You need a team to support you.
Who is in charge of:
• Scripting the show
• Stage management
• And much much more…
Identify who will do what?
Make sure each person in the team knows their responsibility.
If you don’t have a team, we would love to help you.
7. Plan the plan
The success of an event starts way before the audience arrives…
It starts with great planning and a great team all coming together…
On the day itself it will probably start very early, even the day before depending on the event.
One thing I always find works really well is walking through the day with the team…
Start at the beginning:
3:00am Stage arrives
4:00am Video walls setup
4.30am Light, sound and lasers arrive
6.00am Venue places tables and chairs
7.00am Registration setup
10.00am Equipment check
11:30am First rehearsals
1.00pm Speakers rehearsals
3.00pm Final full dress rehearsals
6.00pm registration begins
And so on…
Doing this will allow you to and the team to feel the flow of the day…
You can start to identify any difficult moments or situations…
The team will also start to see the scope of each job.
We know how to plan an event as we have been doing this for almost 30 years so we are seasoned veterans at this and want to help you the best way we can.
The planning stage is one of the most important parts of the event.
It is the foundation.
And unless you have had professional event planning training, you will need help…
Make sure you go through the topics above with your team as soon as you can…
This training post was written exclusively for Argon Animation Inc. How To Plan An Event Step By Step © 2019