5 Basic Event Planning Lessons for Beginners

Events are fun! Everyone socializes, laughs, chats and enjoys a well-organized occasion. All event organizers want to ensure that their guests have a memorable experience and this reassures them that their efforts are appreciated. Even though events are usually hosted for a day or a week, lots of planning, time and preparation are involved for a successful turnout.

To make sure your event turns out to be memorable, apply these five fund amental tips when planning an event:

1. Early Planning

You know the date of your event, who your audience will be and what you think will be involved. This information can get you started with making a list of the invitees, selecting a venue for the event and getting in contact with the various vendors such as caterers, party rentals and printers. Find out what party rental equipment will be needed such as podiums, microphones, speakers, projectors and so forth. Start preparing a to-do list to help with covering all the requirements for the event.

2. Develop a Budget

A budget will prevent you from overspending as event hosting can get expensive. This will help in sourcing a venue and vendors that fit within your budget. You can go a little more than your budget as long as it is within a specific range. As part of your budget worksheet, include a column that will show the actual amount spent based on the vendor contract amounts. You should allocate extra budget and be prepared for additional expenses should that occur.

3. Announcements

Save the dates or invites should be dispersed as soon as possible. Many people are booked weeks in advance for various occasions. You want to ensure you give your guests sufficient time to plan and reserve that day for your event. First start with a save the date announcement for your guests to be aware of the upcoming event. This way they will review their schedules, reorganize appointments if needed and accordingly plan on attending your event. Give at least 4 to 6 weeks’or more time for invitees to accept an invitation to your event. Follow-up to ensure they received the invite and always include the RSVP date. With the responses received, you can determine the number of attendees which will help you in planning the seating arrangements. The RSVPs will help your selected vendors with their preparation as well.

As part of the announcement, make sure to include parking arrangements and transportation options. Choose a venue that will accommodate ample parking as you want to prevent your guest from getting frustrated with finding parking on the day of the event.

4. Prepare a Plan

It is vital to prepare a schedule of activities, a list of vendor contacts, list of equipment and a calendar of tasks to be completed for certain dates. This will ensure you do not forget important details. Additionally, the plan should include the venue, logistics, catering, presenters, marketing collateral, decorations, registration logistics and entertainment for the event.

5. Seating and Layout Arrangement

Use the venue space as efficiently as possible so you have a lot of space that can accommodate all your guests. The seating arrangement will depend on the type of event whether it is a seminar, networking or cocktail party. Once you know the number of attendees, you can put your plan into action by arranging the seats, tables and equipment according to your guest numbers. The layout of your venue will contribute to a successful event. Print out the floor plan of the venue and mark the entry and exit points, emergency routes, staging area, audience space, presentation area, safety on site and so forth. This will give you an idea of how to map the seating arrangement.

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