There’s something exhilarating about bringing people together to enjoy an experience you built. Anyone can bring a few friends together. Creating an environment for the public to connect requires more attention.
Controlling the chaos of an event is easier with solid planning beforehand. First-time events are always the hardest, but every event has unknowns. The more thought put in before people arrive, the smoother your attendees’ experience will be.
I’ve developed and managed countless events throughout North America. More tips and tactics, as well as, insight from my own experience is layered into the Event Management section of YDNTB.
Basic details include the venue, time, and guest list. Who’s the audience? Based on those you want to attend, how can the venue support the right vibe and is it accessible? How will transportation and parking work? Looking at community calendars, will your event compete with other related events?
With basic event details in place, how can you promote this event so people you want to attend notice it? Will a website be needed or is social media enough? Is it free to attend or will there be a cost? If it’s free, how will you cover costs? Speaking of costs, how could sponsorships work? What’s the plan for food and drinks? Is there a registration process? If not, will you still be able to gather attendee data? Is security staff needed?
Think about your own goals for the event and how you want attendees to feel when they leave. Beyond the basics, what’s the agenda look like? Will there be any sort of programming? What about special speakers? As the host, if you plan to say a few words, what are the key points you want to make? Are activities planned or is casual conversation enough to keep everyone engaged? Will you be able to capture enough media while still managing the event? If not, does it make sense to hire someone to capture photos and video to use later? Can you rally attendees by connecting them on social media before, during, and after the event? Could showcasing live social media activity boost awareness for those unable to attend? Where’s a good place to send everyone interested in the after-party?
Stay tuned! Next week we’ll shift focus to online events.
One common mistake is assuming an event is over when the last guest has left. Detailed planning leads to smooth events. Concerted efforts to commemorate events lead to future opportunities. Finish strong with thank-you notes, tagged photos, video highlights, recap articles, and follow-up conversations.
Event management is challenging and stressful, but super energizing. The more you bring people together, the more effective you’ll become. As the basics become second nature, it’s easier to get more creative. This leads to larger crowds, more memorable experiences, and longer-lasting engagement. Like everything, the more you practice, the better you get.