10 Event Planning Steps for a Successful Party

January 6, 2020 Jessica Stewart

There's a little more to planning a successful event than a children's birthday party, but it can be just as fun.

A successful event can do everything from awarding employees and recognizing achievements to boosting a brand signal and building community. They're a flexible, fun way for a business to do something out of the ordinary.

While organizing events may seem intimidating, the easiest way to plan an event is to keep things simple. 

1. Hire an Expert

Hiring an event planner is one of the surest ways to make your event a success. An event planner can tackle the complicated juggling act that a successful event demands — after all, they do it for a living.

Does this make the rest of our list redundant? Not quite! An event planner can help you nail down the fine details of your event (i.e. the bits that might go wrong) while you focus on big-picture stuff like your mission and who you're going to invite.

2. Move with a Purpose

If you're planning an event, then you have a purpose or purposes in mind. That can be as simple as rewarding employees. But it could also be more complex, such as supporting the local community while promoting your brand.

As part of establishing your event's purpose, start thinking about your ideal guest. Who are they and what will they expect to see? This will be useful when constructing your guest list.

3. Save the Date

Finding the right date can make or break an event. Steer clear of significant dates in the calendar, including events similar to yours — you don't want to fight over your audience. On the other hand, your smaller event could take advantage of a larger expo in town and pick up guests who are staying locally.

Whichever date you choose, the most important thing to keep in mind is that guests can only attend if they know it! Promote the heck out of your date so that people don't have to think too hard to remember it.

4. A Stunning Location

From a humble function room in a hotel to an arena complete with a main stage, a venue sets the tone for an event. You need to find a venue that suits your budget, your style, and checks boxes like meeting health & safety considerations.

For instance, do you plan to use pyrotechnics? Then you'll need to find a venue willing to accommodate that choice. 

Other considerations can also demand more planning. An event on a chartered yacht, for instance, requires some unique 

5. Guest Who?

Even if your event welcomes gatecrashers, you should still build a core guest list of people and brands you hope to see there. This ensures you have a target audience to tailor your event around.

Figure out your guest list early. The more notice your guests have, the better the chance they'll save the date. Take some time to think about which guests are a lock and which are likely to be a harder sell. You can then factor this into your invitations later, and it will help you tailor your event to your ideal attendees.

6. Invitation Nation

Until event day comes around, your invitations are the public face of your event. No matter how you choose to invite your guests, you need to communicate your energy, positivity, and purpose — excite your guests and get them hyped for your event.

The ultimate invitation is a personal one like a phone call followed up with a written invite. That's not always practical for big events but take the time to include personal elements like the invitee's name to make it clear the event is about your guests.

7. Safe Space

When you're putting together an event, you have some serious matters to consider alongside the frivolities. The safety of your guests is one of these, as the burden is on you to create an event where everyone feels safe and welcome.

Working with the venue is typically the easiest way to do this, as is scheduling time for some quick safety notices early in your event. But it may also mean hiring security, creating ID badges, and various other ways to ensure your guests are protected.

8. Shout It from the Rooftops

An event can only be as successful as the guests it attracts. An under-promoted event is sure to be a damp squib. Keep this in mind and don't skimp on your event promotion. 

Keep the date front and center when you promote. Make it clear what kind of event you're running and be sure to let people know why they simply have to be there. Most of all, say it loud and proud — there's no place for shyness about self-promotion when it comes to running a successful event. An event can't exist if your guests don't know about it.

9. That's Entertainment

Entertainment will mean different things at different events. For instance, value and entertainment can go hand-in-hand for some events, like corporate conferences. A keynote speaker can play both roles.

But most events also have some form of music or light comedy to build the party atmosphere and help people relax. It's important to keep your entertainment on-brand for your event. A serious conference themed around corporate growth isn't going to be the best place for a comedic TED talk about the evils of capitalism, for instance.

10. Feedback Loop

Nothing is ever perfect and planning a successful event isn't easy. Taking feedback is a great way to improve your event for next time, even if it was a success.

Taking feedback for an event couldn't be easier. You can hand out feedback slips during the event or provide a convenient way to leave feedback afterward, such as an online form.

Event Planning Steps for Success

These 10 event planning steps should set your event up for success. Planning an event can seem intimidating, but it's not so bad once you break it down.

There's no better way to pick up all the best tips for event planning than to attend the Event Planners Expo, so get your tickets today.

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