A) Start by thinking about and answer the following questions:
Who is your target group?
Think about the characteristics of your intended guests.
Who are we?
Think about the characteristics of you and your brand, such as your brand message, brand promise, and the tonality of your business.
What is the purpose of the event? What message is important for you to highlight at the event?
A new product? An update of the brand with new logo and graphic profile? The half-yearly report? Or is the most important thing right now to attract new customers?
B) Planning – both strategic and operational
Once the answers above are determined, it is time to start planning, both strategically and operationally. The strategic plan should include guidelines and the ultimate goal of the event. The operational plan specifies how, when and by whom everything should be implemented. The key for all aspects to work is communication between all parties involved.
Who does what?
Think about the aspects of the event and how they should be communicated.
Who says what?
What type of invitation will you have?
Are you going to advertise?
Are you making a newsletter or writing a customer letter in connection with the event?
Who will greet people as they arrive?
Will anyone hold a speech?
Delegate tasks as early on as possible, and make sure that the planning of all individuals is in line with the common concept. Agree on who has ultimate responsibility!
C) Running schedule
This should specify who is responsible for what and when, and how they should act. All time-frames are included here as well. Make sure that everyone involved is aware of and prepared for the fact that time-frames are unlikely to be fully met.
D) Are venue and permits in place?
Book the venue well in advance and be realistic. It should neither be too small nor too large.
Depending on the size of the event, there may also be different permit requirements. You need to look into this and take them into account. Does the venue have the fire classification required? Is a permit from emergency services or the police required? Do you need to do anything about the traffic situation outside the venue?
E) Invite and remind
Invite in good time so that your guests can book the event in their calendar. Enclosing or attaching the main items on the programme with the invitation is a good idea. Your guests must also be made aware of everything that is expected of them in the invitation. How much will they pay and what is included? Is there a dress code? Should they prepare a presentation of themselves or the company they represent? Also make sure that a reminder goes out in the weeks before the event. Online invitations with rsvp
A) Food and drinks
The most important thing for many guests is what food and drinks are served. So keep a high quality, and don’t let them wait. Serve on time and keep an eye on how you serve the drinks. Always offer non-alcoholic options.
B) Give each (if possible) guest a bit of your attention
Take the time to speak calmly to all of your guests. Look them in the eyes. Be present and make every effort to make each guest feel unique, seen, and warmly welcomed.
Be sure to follow-up. How did it go? What was gained from the event? And most importantly, what did your guests think? Ask them for feedback. Your guests are a valuable source of information and their thoughts and opinions enable you to make your next event even better.
B) Recognise your guests after the event
Remember to recognise your guests afterwards as well. Send a card, thanking each guest for his or her attendance and invite them to the same event next year.