Guest blog

Now in the final year of my Creative Events Management degree, I am gaining ever more vital experience within the industry I wish to work – developing my skills and understanding how best to put them to use in real life situations. With that in mind, here are my top tips on planning and running a successful event.

1.     Think timescales

A key factor in any successful event is time management. When choosing a date to hold your event, take into consideration the amount of time required to plan – depending on the size of the project you may be looking at anywhere between 1 – 6 months.

2.     What are your goals and objectives?

Before any project, it is essential to set attainable goals and objectives – what is the purpose of the event and what are you aiming to achieve as a result of it? The answers to these questions will shape your planning and decision making process, making them an essential step.

3.     Create a master plan

Having a plan in place that covers all aspects of your event – such as the venue, catering, speakers, promotion, sponsorship, entertainment, registration process and more – will allow you to work through your checklist and ensure nothing is forgotten.

4.     Teamwork makes the dream work!

Creating a strong team and assigning responsibilities to each member will help break up the tasks and ensure all aspects of the event are receiving the attention they need. Remember communication is key – keeping all stakeholders and team members informed and in the loop prevents confusion and ensures that everyone remains on track with the final goal in mind.

5.     Always have a backup plan

It’s very rare for everything to go off without a hitch – whether it’s a speaker stuck in traffic or a malfunctioning microphone. Have a back-up plan in place, just in case.

6.     Talk the whole thing through

You’re in the final run up and have everything arranged – now’s the time to have a run through. Sitting down with the team and talking your way through the event will help to finalise all the last details and pick up on any potential errors.

7.     Use social Media

Social media offers a powerful and effective tool to promote, advertise and report on your event. Kick start your posts early, using your custom hashtag, then keep the momentum going – building excitement and suspense. During the event itself it’s worth having a team member on hand to post throughout, sharing images and updates – as well as live videos. Once it’s all over, social media provides the perfect platform to share professional images and videos and promote the event’s success.

8.     Follow up with attendees

Exhausted and relieved that it’s all gone well, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking a break – however, there’s still work to do! Now is the time to follow up with attendees, promoting the important points you’d like to get across.

9.     Reflect to improve

Once everything is finished, it’s very beneficial to look back at what you have created, considering what went well and what could have been improved. These experiences will shape future planning and ensure similar issues that have been faced in the past, don’t present the same problems in the future.

Events can be an amazing experience for all involved. They have the power to influence, encourage learning and development, be a platform for change, entertainment and celebration, as well as making a lasting impression of a business or idea. As someone looking to work in this field I love the fact that every project is different, offering up unique challenges and rewards.