How to plan an event

How to plan an event

You have to plan an event. Maybe it needs to bring in money, or maybe it’s a party for friends and family. No matter the reason or occasion, you want to make sure it comes off without a hitch.

There are tons of information on how to plan an event – just do a Google search and you’ll see just how much. There are also many courses offered on how to plan events; you can get a certificate on the subject. And depending on which site or source of information you look at, there can be just a few or tens of steps to do to in organizing an event. Just thinking about it can be overwhelming.

Relax. We Thrive Events can help. We’re a company run by women, for women, seeking to tap into and enhance women’s empowerment. We use social media and marketing strategies to help you with your event planning and donations to charity. Whether it’s helping to promote and sell tickets or getting donations to nonprofit organization, we make the connections necessary in organizing your event to ensure it is a success. It’s how we help you contribute to great causes and how we further women’s empowerment. And the more each of us is empowered, the more each of us can do.

If you’re planning an event, there are a few steps you can follow. Here are a few things to consider.

Budget. You’ll need to figure out how much all aspects of your event will cost. It’s helpful to have a range instead of a fixed number, especially if you’re in the beginning stages of organizing. As things you didn’t count on will come up, costs will change. You may also find areas where you can save on expenses; this will affect the budget as well.

Venue – when looking for a venue, cost is important of course, but so is capacity. Will it hold the number of guests you anticipate will attend? Does it have enough seating for the number you anticipate?  Is it wheelchair accessible? Are the washroom facilities enough for the amount of guests anticipated? Is there sufficient parking on the premises? Will guests have to pay for parking?

Music – music often sets the tone of an event, so it takes some planning. Whether you decide to hire a DJ or providing your own music via mp3s, you’ll need to know what kind of music you should play. You’ll also need to consider what kind of sound equipment will be needed (if using the DIY method). You may need to check with your venue about what’s available and what they will provide (MY IDEA). If you want to have a live band, be sure to allow extra time for planning how this will be arranged and scheduled into the event.

Food/beverages – One of the biggest things to consider and (arguably?) one of the biggest expenses will be the food. There are many options when it comes to how and what to serve your guests. Will you hire a caterer? What kind of food will be served? (How will you handle allergies/food sensitivities?) (When deciding what kind of food to serve, it’s helpful to know about your guests. If predominantly from a particular cultural background, you may want to serve food familiar to that background. If not, and you decide to have food from another cultural background, you may have to make decisions regarding how spicy the food should be, whether to have mainly vegetarian or kosher dishes, etc.). Will you serve a meal or just appetizers? If serving a meal, will you provide table service or a buffet? If your budget allows, it may be worth your while to hire a caterer.

When thinking about beverages, consider whether alcohol will be served. Be sure to check with your venue whether alcohol is permitted on the premises. If you decide to provide alcohol, you must decide whether and how much you will provide free of charge or whether you will offer a cash bar.

Sponsorship – If you’re holding a fundraiser and want to have your it sponsored by businesses, you’ll need to come up with a list of those you want to approach. Sponsors look for good marketing opportunities, so in return for backing your event, they will want signage at the event and advertising space on your promotional channels (e.g., website and social media platforms). Acquiring sponsors is a whole subject on its own, but corporate sponsorship expert Linda Hollander offers a few tips, including preparing a good sponsor proposal to get the company’s attention (this involves telling your story and describing what you do), and finding the right person to go to. If you don’t know who to go to, start with the marketing department, and always follow up.

These are just a few steps to consider when planning an event. No matter how many steps you take, good organization and thorough planning are the keys to the success of any event, large or small.


Author: Yvette Trancoso-Barrett


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