When it comes to planning for an event, making sure it’s success is not only important for you and your company, it’s also great to come away at the end knowing you made it all happen.
But making it all happen on your own, with other work commitments and daily challenges going on, isn’t going to be easy.
There are some simple methods to follow when planning for an event which means you can turn up on the day knowing everything has been taken care of. You can focus on greeting your guests, networking and simply being able to enjoy the day (I know, I know, that does sound like a challenge but it really is possible).
How? Let’s look at 5 awesome and simple ways to help you when planning for an event:
1# | HIRE A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT TO HELP
Outsource the work. It’s the easiest method when planning for an event.
Over the years I have helped to plan and organise numerous events and more recently I have been working with a client where events take up over 50% of my time.
Whether it’s a workshop, summer party, networking or launch party, having me on board means I deal with all the nitty gritty organisation, planning, researching, documenting, emailing and liaising. All these things take a lot of time which most business owners like you don’t have.
Chances are you probably don’t have event management experience either so delegating and outsourcing is a much easier way to do it. You can still take the lead and make all the decisions but you can delegate and outsource all the hard work and tasks.
Imagine holding a successful event and afterwards receiving positive feedback from your delegates and clients. Everyone is thanking you and tagging you and your business on social media, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment.
So, you’ve decided that you’re going to hire a Virtual Assistant to help you plan your next event but what next? Finding the right Virtual Assistant for you, your business and your clients/delegates is the first step. Read my blog “Hiring a Virtual Assistant” for guidance.
Okay, so you know where and how to find your Virtual Assistant, once you’ve found him/her here are the next key steps for you and your Virtual Assistant to follow to ensure your event is a success.
2# | HOLD A PLANNING MEETING
Preparation is key when it comes to planning for an event so making sure you have everything organised and in place before the big day will ensure everything runs smoothly.
First thing’s first, you’ll need to hold an initial meeting with your Virtual Assistant to discuss various points. These will include:
- Date (avoiding holidays)
- Venue (to include location, parking, accessibility, size, cost)
- Audience (who are you targeting?)
- Suppliers (caterers, sound equipment, marquee, photographer, PR)
- Timings for the day to include refreshment breaks
- Speakers (if using a presentation you’ll need slides in advance)
- Room layout
- Equipment: sound system/mikes/laptop/screen/projector/flip chart
- Delegation – who is doing what?
- Handouts / marketing materials?
- Social media – how will you promote the event and will you create its own hashtag?
- Task list – how will you track tasks and activities?
3# USE A PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL
Planning for an event with your Virtual Assistant means she can do all the admin, planning and organisation work. Using a project management tool like Asana with your Virtual Assistant is a great way to keep all the event details, tasks, contacts and deadlines in one place. I hear you, what is Asana? Have a read of my blog to find out more about this amazing productivity tool.
Once your Virtual Assistant sets up the project and workflow, she will invite you and other team members to collaborate . This will also allow you to oversee things.
Tasks can be assigned and key dates can be set. Having a workflow in place also means you don’t miss anything. You can use this workflow for future events and tweak as necessary depending on what type of event it is.
Asana will also be a great place to keep track of the budget.
4# PREPARE AN AGENDA
Preparing an agenda will help set timescales for the day whilst planning for your event. Not only will you, your Virtual Assistant, your team and the venue stick to this, your attendees will also like to know what is happening throughout the day and you can add this to your Eventbrite listing.
Things to consider when preparing your agenda:
- When does registration start
- When does the actual event start
- When you want tea/coffee and breakfast to start
- First refreshment break
- Afternoon refreshments
- Name, position, company and title of talk/presentation.
- Time of talk and duration
- What time the day ends
- Do you need to include a wifi login and password?
TIP 1: Share you agenda with the venue so they can brief the team on what is expected throughout the day. They will need to know arrival times and timings for refreshments, lunch etc.
TIP 2: Don’t forget to send the agenda out to your attendees at least 1 week before the event so they are fully briefed.
5# – USE EVENTBRITE WHEN PLANNING FOR AN EVENT
Ask your Virtual Assistant to upload your event on Eventbrite. It’s a great way to promote an event either paid or free and there are so many advantages to using it:
- You can add your agenda into the description
- Attendees insert all their details (which you can pre-populate)
- Once registered attendees can save the event details straight into their calendars
- You can keep track of how many attendees have signed up and do some research on their companies.
- You can add custom questions to the order form e.g. ‘do you have any dietary requirements” or “where did you hear about this event?”
- You can download the attendee list into an excel sheet
- You can share the event on your social media platforms
- Use the QR scanner at the registration desk to automatically record numbers
- You can make the event public or private (private is a good option if it’s a member only event or internal)
To conclude, there’s nothing better than feeling prepared when planning for an event. Once you’ve found the right Virtual Assistant and sat down and planned your event together you can both follow a suggested workflow in Asana to set and complete tasks and deadlines and control the budget.
Events can easily get out of hand if not managed properly so this process will help you not only save time and stress but give you the credibility and experience of holding and showing up to your events. Your clients will ask you when you’re planning the next one as they can’t wait to attend.
If you have an event coming up, big or small and need some help with all the planning and organising then I would be delighted to help.