When planning any type of large-scale event, it’s key that all the necessary logistics and operational factors have been thoroughly assessed and considered. Before you even book the venue or invite the guests, there are things to think about that could make or break the event.
That’s why we're detailing 4 operational considerations every event organiser needs to bear in mind to guarantee a safe, practical and enjoyable experience for all attendees.
Set your goals
Before signing contracts, deciding on decor and inviting guests, make sure all the key players agree on what will make the event successful. By ensuring that this important step in planning isn’t overlooked, you’re likely to get everything you want from your event and more.
Write an event objective to briefly summarise what the event will accomplish - this could be anything from raising awareness or cultivating a community to honouring a person or group. Having this in mind will provide an effective structure around which to plan the finer details, and will mean your team is harmoniously focused on the same shared mission.
Creating measurable goals such as money raised, new contacts in database or tickets sold will allow your goal to be measured, and will serve as an efficient indicator of whether the event was successful. By setting the end goal, your team will have something to work towards, which will make it easier to keep the bigger picture at the forefront of planning.
As soon as you begin planning your event, schedule a debrief. It’s important to validate the success of the goals to improve at future events, which will mean your successes can be channelled into bigger things down the line. This step is often forgotten about if not planned for, but could be a stepping stone to even greater accomplishments and provide an opportunity to learn from any unforeseen mishaps you may have encountered in previous events.
Consider ‘big picture’ logistics
Before the smaller details can fall into place, consider the ‘big picture’ logistics, and ensure these aspects are accounted for to prevent any hiccups which may jeopardise your event’s success as plans fall together.
Defining the event budget from a total cost and per person perspective will account for all of your expenses. Printing, parking and gratuity are aspects often forgotten about, which could mean having to cut other budgets in the long term. Making a detailed line item budget, including the miscellaneous column, will ensure you’re fully aware of the costs your event will incur. This also provides an efficient way of getting to grips with the income that the event will generate, and being realistic with your numbers will allow you to plan for where you need to increase your efforts to generate more profits.
Once you’ve got your budget sorted, you can select your venue. Some pinpoints to consider are where your guests are geographically, what time of day they’ll be driving to the location (including access to the premises) and what activities will occur - from speeches to sit-down dinners and dancing. Whether the venue has smoking or no-smoking areas and car park access are facilities which can fail to be taken into account when selecting a venue, but are essential to making sure your event caters for all of your audience’s needs. By considering the above, you’re likely to find more guests confirming their attendance, and can ensure that everyone who does attend will get the most they can from the event.
Be certain to confirm with key hosts and attendees that the date will work for them, to prevent any attendance-related issues before your event - and make sure to cross-reference with various calendars to ensure your date doesn’t conflict with another large event in your city or industry to maximise turnout. After all, the more people who attend, the more promotion and awareness your event will receive.
Nail your promotion strategy
To ensure your desired attendance, make sure you give your guests enough notice. Usually, invitations should be sent out 6-10 weeks before your event start date. To manage responses easier, you may want to use a ticketing system that will keep track of attendee numbers in one place, saving you the hassle of getting various email rsvps. On the LIVEIT platform, there is an option to restrict your event tickets, limiting bookings to an invite list and even allowing you to keep it private if needed.
Utilise a variety of promotion avenues in addition to your invite, to spread the word on social media and local calendars - and consider distributing a press release to encourage attendees to bring guests. The more people talking about your event, the more likely you’ll be to reach your event goals and guarantee a fulfilling experience for all involved.
Think about the key hosts of the events, and equip them with the tools they need to promote effectively. Encourage them to schedule time to call important guests, and provide them with the material to post and share on their social media channels. Depending on the nature of the event, you could also organise a competition to get people talking prior to attendance, while also giving them something to look forward to when they get there.
Tailor to your audience
Whether your event is aimed at high-level executives, a broad range of employees or a small team of people, it’s important to consider who you’re targeting to maximise your event’s chances of hitting home with your audience.
For the higher-ups, your event may take a more formal and serious tone, while the small team may require something a bit more fun or engaging. This also depends on the nature of the companies involved, and the industry in which they operate. Matching the tone, format and framing of the event to the audience is essential, so that you can engage with them on their level, and prevent them from feeling bored.
Whatever type of event you’re holding, we hope you’ll be motivated by these logistical considerations to create an operational event which will be successful, with minimal hiccups along the way.