Procrastination can be a good thing sometimes, ideas can be incubated and brewed further which in term can result in a greater outcome. However, when it comes to event management procrastinate on the creative theme but start planning the event as early as possible. The secret to a sensational event is early and detailed project planning.
Planning should include 9 key elements for success:
Purpose – Why are you having the event? Is it a rare networking opportunity? To highlight exciting opportunities with new technology?
Outcomes – Each outcome statement suggests a different approach to strategy, content and marketing. An example might be: “delegates will have opportunities to sample suppliers’ products and services”.
Size – Target market analysis will help ascertain the number of candidates you might expect. Size dictates venue, catering and logistics required as well as marketing goals.
Strategies – Strategies are about how to achieve your outcomes. Eg: the theme, speaker’s schedule and topics, hospitality, security, technology. Each strategy must be thoroughly planned and aligned with the purpose, the target market and key messages.
Timeline – Unlike many general projects, planning an event will have strict deadlines with little margin for error. For this reason it is vital that planning begin early.
Budget – Be realistic about how much you can afford and what you would like to receive for your investment. Research will help you identify where you can receive the best value for money.
Responsibilities – An often undervalued skill in event project management is the ability to delegate appropriately. The co-ordinator ensures there are people available when needed with skills to undertake all the tasks required to implement strategy.
Risk Assessment – No plan is complete without a detailed risk assessment and strategies to manage risks as they emerge.
Measurement – You will want to repeat a successful event, so include ways to effectively measure achievement of outcomes.