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How to Plan a Big Event

eventPlanning any event is a challenge, regardless of the scale. But when a big event is underway, there are many more pieces to the puzzle and moving parts to keep track of. There are plenty of tasks to delegate and naturally, the more there is to do, the more risks there are and chances something can go wrong. To mitigate those risks, it’s important to plan as best as possible ahead of time. Whether it’s a wedding or a tech conference, you can never plan too much.

Communication is key

When you’re planning a big event, communication is crucial across all players. As with planning, there’s no such thing as over-communicating; the more details you communicate, the less chance there is for confusion down the line. To keep communication in line, incorporate standard practices into your planning, such as production timelines, design decks, roles and responsibilities, etc. Maintain weekly calls or meetings, and put rigid organization practices in place.

One of the best ways to do this is through project management software like Asana, ClickUp, or Basecamp. These tools allow you to organize tasks into a meaningful way and keep track of progress, ensuring that you don’t miss any steps during the event planning stages. Use your project management software of choice as a springboard for your master plan. Your master plan should cover all important details and list who is responsible for what, and what the status is for each task and mini-project.

Delegate ownership

By structuring events in a way that creates accountability, you increase your chances of a smooth ride. Give ownership to your staff over different areas. For example, someone might handle event furniture rental while another is in charge of stage set. Of course, within each area, there are many sub-tasks, but by enforcing accountability, it allows each staff member to focus on a specific set of tasks and incentivizes them to do the best job possible with their part.

Promote social sharing

There’s more to event planning than putting the event together and hoping it does well. Just as you promote your event with social media, you should be make it easy for attendees to also promote it to give you maximum exposure. This creates not only a buzz for what’s happening right now, but for your future events, as well.

According to an Eventbrite survey, 78% of millennials reported having “fear of missing out” over events due to social media. This doesn’t have to occupy a large budget. For example, your sharing opportunity could be dress-up photo booths, an oversized lounge chair, cutout photos, or large signage. Be sure to include your Twitter handle and hashtags on event materials, such as the program and bar menu. Another way to do this is to have a competition or raffle among guests that require some sort of social interaction for participation.

Understand your vision and get feedback

Your event vision is the foundation of all actions you’ll put into motion. There are a few key elements to putting your vision together: budget, rentals, lighting, venue, food, decor and entertainment. Your budget should be the first stepping stone. From there, you can begin deciding on a venue based on your budget and how you want the overall look and feel of your event to be — whether it’s a large conference space, lavish hotel, or city parking lot. Again, it ultimately depends on what you’re trying to achieve and the aesthetic that best matches your goals.

Your lighting is also very important and can set the mood for the entire event. This could be anything from string lights to colored ceilings — the right lighting can make everything look better. During the planning phases, look at platforms like Pinterest and BizBash for event planning inspiration. This will help you narrow your options and find something that best fits your vision.

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