Top 10 tips for putting on a successful event in 2018
Looking for tips for putting on a successful event? Waggle Events has LOTS of experience in putting on events and working with event organisers. So whether you’re a charity or a business, arranging a quiz or a 3 day event, we hope these tips will help you make your event even more successful.
- Start planning early
How ever experienced you are, you’ll enjoy the planning stages much more if you feel things are in hand and organised. For a big event, 4 – 8 months ahead is a good idea. Get the dates and venues booked as soon as you can. For smaller events, 4 – 8 weeks should be fine, assuming you don’t need to book a venue very far ahead.
- The purpose
Be very clear what the purpose of the event is and then work out why people would want to take part. You can then use that information to shape your event, budgets and marketing messages. Being very clear from the beginning will really help your planning!
- Break down the planning
Most event planning comes into one of three categories – logistics, marketing and content. If you have a project planner for each of these areas, it will help. Remember to include a backup plan for the key activities because things have a tendency to go wrong!
Under logistics, you may need to include signage, furniture, audio visual, flooring, crowd barriers, flowers, stewards, health and safety consultants, marketers, printers, designers, transport, insurance, portaloos, registration and box office and licences including alcohol and music.
- Be honest with yourself
It is very easy to get carried away with optimism! Have conversation with your colleagues and other event planners about what is realistic in terms of your ambitions for your event. Sound out potential attendees to gauge realist ticket numbers and price points. Construct your budgets around these figures rather than desired numbers, ensuring you can balance the books. You can always add features closer to the event if you sell more tickets than expected.
- Use social media and PR opportunities
If you want decent crowds, you need to get your message out there as soon as possible. Take or get hold of good photos you can use. Great photos of meetings, events, venues, speakers etc will all add to the interest. Build up a following, create an Event on Facebook, put it on Eventbrite…
If you can find marketing and PR partners or sponsors, that can be incredibly effective.
- Share the load
If at all possible, get other people to take responsibility for specific parts of the event. Use a shared folder to keep track of what is happening and to help communication within your team.
7. Audio visuals
You will almost certainly need speakers, microphones and screens of some sort. Make sure you have thought through what you want to achieve and have a good idea of the budget before you ask suppliers to quote. For instance, is the stage the main feature of the event or there to add atmosphere, or will a screen be needed. A good supplier will talk to you about how the event will run so that they can advise you and put the specification together. If the venue is supplying AV, make sure it’s up to the job and that someone will be on hand to set up and help with any problems.
Sometimes it feels like the delegates are only interested in the food! Sort out the catering as early on as possible – it can be a costly part of the budget if you’re providing food for an event. It certainly is something the event will be judged by. Remember the large range of dietary considerations you will be expected to cater for.
- The event team
You need a great team that you can trust and rely on to help plan, manage and run the event. Take your time choosing your team because the event will only be as good as the team running it. This applies to volunteers too. Arrange a briefing session and make sure you include some training events for all volunteers and organisers s that everyone is as professional and well informed as possible.
- The difficult second and third years…
On many occasions, the first year of an event will experience a little bit of a honeymoon period. This is especially true with small charity events where friends and extended contact circles are keen to help an organiser with a first-time project. Don’t be tempted to do the first year ‘on the cheap’ to ‘see how it goes’. We are a fickle lot and are unlikely to return year on year unless we enjoyed the last one. If we have a good time at the first event we are likely to return a second time, this gives you time to increase the marketing for the third event which will inevitably see some of the original attendees drop away.
Final note from us!
Waggle Events have over 20 years of experience in event management so we hope you enjoyed our tips for putting on a successful event. We supply audio visual expertise and equipment for fund raising events, conferences, exhibitions, special events and sportives – in fact, anywhere you need stages, lighting, screens, cameras, speakers and microphones. Get in touch to find out more.
Choose Waggle Events and support your chosen charity
We set Waggle Events up because we wanted to support charities directly, through our expertise. When you choose to work with Waggle Events, you can nominate a charity to benefit from a donation from us at the end of our financial year.
Telephone: 01626 897688
Mobile: 07540 345155