Planning an event can be a tough exercise. Whether you’re managing just one conference, or a series of exhibitions over the course of a few months, you’re likely to face the usual challenges.
These include, but are not limited to, the following pinch points:
- Lack of time – Often a result of having too many events or tasks to manage, we all wish we had just a few more days to finish everything off.
- Lack of budget – Most events need to be financed in some way. It’s very easy to overspend, especially when you’re doing something for the first time.
- Lack of cooperation – Even some of the most experienced event managers have trouble organising speakers, suppliers and attendees.
- Lack of organisation – To ensure success, every team member has to be organised and pulling in the same direction.
EventsCase has seen it all over the course of our lifespan. From dealing with event managers on a day-to-day basis, we have picked up several useful event planning tips that could help you avoid some of the issues above.
Event planning tips for saving time
If you need to unlock a few hours to knuckle down on the things that matter, why not allow your technology to handle some of the more mundane, time-sapping duties? Use an event management platform to automate the sending of important information, like booking confirmations, and FAQs.
You can use the same technology to facilitate one-on-one networking between attendees, which could save you countless hours over a busy event.
Another, more basic idea is to plan your event as early as possible. That way you’ve given yourself the maximum amount of time to organise it. You should also get used to delegating tasks to other team members, seeing as you can’t be everywhere at once.
Event planning tips for tracking spend
Spreadsheets can help you manage your budget effectively, but don’t forget the capabilities of event planning tools for the same goal. They will provide a more in-depth view of your costs and expenditure, allowing you to make adjustments where necessary.
Ratios are also important when planning event budgets. For a typical conference, you can expect to allocate around 20% to hiring a venue, with speakers requiring 30%. Most of the remaining 50% will go towards marketing and production costs. Don’t guess these percentages – they need to come from analysis of your market.
Above all, though, don’t be afraid to ask for more money if you can justify it. Around 26.1% of event managers expect their event budgets to rise in 2019. Sometimes, things just cost a bit more than you anticipated.
Event planning tips for gaining cooperation
Events can fall apart through no fault of its organiser. Speakers, suppliers, attendees and sponsors each have different duties to carry out. When they become hard to work with, problems occur.
Our advice is to log each interaction with these parties in a system. Having a single database will allow you to see who’s on top and who’s lagging behind.
Sometimes it pays to take a hard line with certain individuals. If a speaker has failed to submit their slide deck on time, you should already have someone lined up to replace them if necessary.
Occasionally, the problems are in your own team, which is even easier to solve. By using a project management system to assign tasks and deadlines, everyone will know where they stand.
Event planning tips for improving organisation
If we’ve learnt anything from our years in the events business, it’s that you can be as calm as the sea while everything is being planned. That doesn’t prevent a complete catastrophe on the day.
Well-organised events answer to schedules for each staff member, detailing where someone needs to be at a specific time. You should have a single channel for communicating with your team (a WhatsApp group is perfect) and keep everything topical. Pointless conversation will make the emergencies harder to find.
To alleviate the strain on your resources, be sure to move as much of the pressure across to your technology. Tasks like the sending of “thank you” messages can take hours to complete. It’s the same for networking between attendees; self-serve technology lets them book meetings on their own accord. A machine can do these tasks quicker, and with fewer mistakes.
Need more event planning tips? View our blog