How to Plan an Event: Laying the Foundation for Success

Until you’re wearing the event planner’s shoes, it’s hard to imagine the amount of planning that goes into the events we attend. Think about it: behind everything from the Olympic games to music festivals and corporate events, there’s someone with a clipboard (and maybe a bit of sweat dripping down their forehead) making it all happen. Organizing and planning an event is nothing short of a hefty task, which is why we’re here to break down the first steps in event organization. Using these steps, you’ll lay a strong, secure foundation for the event of a lifetime.

Lay out your vision

If you’re planning an event, there’s probably a good reason for doing so (and if you’re just doing it for fun, we want to be your friend). Events are time-consuming and can be expensive, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish at your event. That’s why the first step in planning an event is laying out your goals and objectives. Is your event a fundraiser? A product launch? A celebration of a milestone or corporate success? Pick a mission before entering your planning stage and ask yourself along the way, “How does this aspect of my event help further my objectives?”

All event planning starts with a spark

Once you know what your event is setting out to accomplish, it’s time to evaluate who will be attending and what your revenue goals are. These two aspects are extremely interdependent. Not only is the rest of your planning dependent on being able to accommodate the number of attendees, but you need to define financial goals that these attendees will bring in. With this, it’s important to keep in mind the value of your event: is $200 for a ticket a reasonable price, or will your audience not want to pay that much? For example, assume that your sweet spot for attendees is 250 guests. At 250 guests, your venue rental will not be too expensive and will leave greater profit margins. However, needing to accommodate 350 guests might force you to rent a more expensive venue and may lower the profit margins on ticket sales. Once you have a general idea of your goals and objectives, you’ll begin to get your creative wheels turning on how your event will be executed.

Organize your event with a realistic budget from the start

Before planning can begin, it’s important to set a realistic budget during your organizational stages. While some aspects of budget-setting may seem obvious--like venue rental, food, and entertainment--there are aspects of event planning that aren’t so clear. You’ll need to consider how much you want to spend on marketing, security and personnel, audio and video, and any technology you’ll need to keep your event running smoothly.

Luckily, a ticketing platform can help manage this budget and drive revenue. Ticketing platforms not only disperse and sell tickets for your event, but allow you to create a custom website for your event. Using this website, you can begin promotional efforts for a fraction of the price of traditional web development and marketing. Additionally, a ticketing platform allows you to manage onsite ticket sales and utilize promotional tools, helping you stay within your budget and maximize the bang for your buck.

Nail down your time and place before preparations begin

Almost all event planning will revolve around the time and place of your event. Preparations involving caterers and entertainment, for example, cannot be completed until you can supply a date and location for booking purposes.

When choosing your venue and date, there are a variety of factors you need to consider:

Should I prioritize the date or the venue?

Be prepared to play a game of give and take if your event must be at either a specific place or on a specific date. You can avoid this by beginning your event planning as far in advance as possible.

How will guests arrive?

If your event attracts guests from far away, it’s important to consider whether access to transportation, parking, and overnight accommodations will be a factor in choosing your venue.

Is my event near a holiday?

Though it may seem obvious, be sure that you choose a date that doesn’t conflict with major holidays that could prevent your attendees from buying a ticket.

Partner with other brands to expand your audience

There are a wide variety of benefits to finding partners and sponsors for your event. Big brands love to get their names on the hottest events and are often willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to get in on the action.

When it comes to finding sponsors and partners, there are two main things to keep in mind: act early and act with intention. The whole point of a partner or sponsorship is that it lessens the financial risk of your company alone. However, many large companies plan financial sponsorships at the beginning of a fiscal year, so it’s important to act early in finding sponsorships. Additionally, it’s important to be intentional when choosing your partners. Be sure that the brand’s mission is aligned with yours. This not only ensures that the event is beneficial for all partners involved, but can help foster opportunities for ongoing promotional partnerships.

Organizing and planning an event can seem daunting at first. Luckily, Ticketleap can help you lay a strong foundation for the event of a lifetime!