Your company has decided that this years special event is going to be the BEST year to date! This year you want to raise $100,000.00 for your organization. How can you insure that your goals are reached and the event is going to be successful?
1. Pick The Date
It is critical that the proper date is chosen and to communicate that date to prospective attendees. This also lets other organizations know that your event is going to happen and gives them the opportunity to choose a different date that will not conflict with yours. Although you can never pick a day that is perfect, study the calendar in your city. Is there a big ball game that day? Is there a concert that could draw large amounts of people? Is it a time of year when historically there is inclement weather? Once you decide… Now “SHOUT that date” in every way possible: Invitations and press releases are a must, but challenge your team to create novel ways to let the community know this is a “Not to Miss” evening.
2. Food and Beverage:
An experienced event coordinator knows that it will be much easier to have successful future events if your guests have a great experience the first time. Choosing the right “vendor partners” in the early stages is a make or break decision. Poll people in your community for recommendations on your food and beverage provider. Some of your best ideas may come from associates and friend’s past experiences. What food items and novel presentations were memorable to them? Using this information, create a “short list” of caterers. Ask these “finalists” for menu recommendations and the costs of those choices. It is not uncommon to ask for a “tasting” to allow you to prescreen the menu. If you are having a “plated dinner” always ask how the food provider is going ensure all the guests are served within a reasonable time frame. Many events have been ruined by some guests finishing the meal, while others are waiting to be served.
Having tasty food is a given, but don’t forget the presentation of that food can be the thing that makes your event a “great event.” Sushi can be a wonderful choice, but why not spice it up with a Sushi Chef making to order. Remember you goal is to do things that make your evening memorable.
3. Event Decor
After deciding the theme of your event, consult with event décor vendors on their recommendations. At the first meeting with this event professional be sure to bring the venue specifications. A part of making an event successful is to give your guests something new and exciting. Your décor company can be a big help with this. Challenge them for fresh ideas, let them know you what this to be a “Wow event”. It is always a good idea to get more then one bid. Let them give you the “pitch”. Choose the finalist who is bringing the atmosphere that will make your evening different.
4. Event Entertainment:
The final component to make your evening great is to choose the right event entertainment. Unless you have seen the talent in action, It is best to consult with an entertainment professional on this. Communicate with them your goals, what the tone you are trying to create and the fact you are trying to bring something unique. Once again challenge them for out of the box ideas. After seeing their recommendations ask if is would be possible to see the talent in action. If that is not possible then seeing a video of the act is imperative. Always ask for references from the talent!
After choosing just the right act, take to time understand what their needs are. Do they need a stage to be seen? Do you need to augment their sound and lighting? Do they need dressing areas? Remember the “right act” can bomb in the “wrong environment.”
Now that you have the key elements of an event in place begin the process of detailed planning. Always remember that excellence is in the details.