At McCullough Moore, we know that running an event is no easy feat! If you have an agency like us running it end to end, you are lucky. Most don’t – especially smaller businesses.
So, here are our top 10 things to consider if you’re going to run an event:
- Always consider the big picture. Before diving in it’s worth taking time to explore the broader background. Are there other initiatives this event fits into? What’s the target audience? What outcomes are you looking for?
- Clearly define the budget. Whether you’re a cash-rich company, a public sector organisation or a charity there should always be a budget. This is important not only for financial control but organisational discipline, the ability to persuade and also to negotiate.
- Measuring success and feedback. This needs to be considered and agreed during the event pre-planning stage and a method chosen e.g. evaluation forms, electronic feedback during the event, attendee interviews etc.
- Check the diary before you set the date. The date and time of the event could be influenced by a number of factors: is it a time sensitive launch, end of year, annual conference, availability of key contributors, does it clash with other events in your sector – these are all things to think about.
- Choose a great venue attendees will want to visit. Your choice of venue is likely to be one of the largest expenditure items. If your company has it’s own facilities that’s great – if not, you need to carefully choose one. Venue search services are a real time-saver and is often a free service. The good ones will know the venues they suggest, have visited them already and got feedback from previous clients. However, you should still do a site visit to a venue yourself before you make your final selection.
- Ensure pre-event admin is robust and processes are easy to follow. There are many options available these days with on-line registration very much the favourite for conferences and seminars. Do some research about “off the shelf” packages and service providers if you do not wish to create your own processes.
- Don’t forget badges. Ensure the badging system works. The badge needs to be large enough to include the information needed and for others to be able to read.
- Get a good event facilitator or host. Good hosts are like gold dust. If you have a star in your company then that’s excellent news. If not, do some research to source an external agency who can host the event for you.
- Get the audio/visual right. People are often surprised how much sound bodies soak up. Unless it is a very small gathering you should consider a sound system. If people cannot hear or see properly they become irritated and pre-occupied. If you can include a professional technician in your budget – do it! If not, make sure sound tests are performed beforehand.
- Consider using an event management company for all or part of the event. If you are time poor then consider using an agency for some of the planning, or all of it if budget allows. It’s not always as expensive as you think and a good agency will work with your budget as best as they can to deliver as much value as possible. Well, that’s what we do anyway! Good luck with your next event!