A Checklist for a Successful Event

It’s safe to say here at the Royal Horticultural Halls, we’ve seen our fair share of successful events being hosted, and we like to see ourselves as experts in the field.

As experts, we know that event planning is no easy feat, and can be quite stress-inducing. Whether you’re organising a conference, exhibit, charity fundraiser or convention, the planning that goes into it hardly changes, and with our checklist, we want to help you host incredible and ground-breaking events without the stress. 

1.        Set your objectives

Before you dive head-first into planning your event, having a strong objective is vital. Think, why are you hosting this event? Is it more brand exposure, a new product launch or simply generating an income?

These objectives play a key part in how you will organise the rest of your event, like who you invite and whether this is social or corporate affair.

2.       Research your audience

The people you invite to your event are arguably the most important factor. Get the guest list right and you’re on to a winner, get it wrong and your important announcement or launch will be lost. Remember to ask yourself these questions when planning your audience:

  • Who is going to benefit from your event?
  • What are their needs or challenges?
  • What can they afford?
  • How far will they travel?
  • Why is your event special and why won’t people want to miss it? 

3.        Visualise your event

Now you’ve set your objectives and done your audience research, you can start with the fun bit. Visualise what you want your event to look like and what you’re wanting to cater for.

  • How should it feel and look?
  • Is there a theme? And how will the event reflect this?
  • Will there be entertainment?

Getting this right is an important part of the planning process.

4.       Set your budget

You’ve probably already got a vague idea of the budget you’ll have behind your event. But after you’ve taken the time to visualise it, you’ll have a clearer idea of how much money you actually need.

Financial considerations include:

  • The number of attendees needed to breakeven
  • Venue hire
  • Food and drink
  • Entertainment
  • Decorations/signage
  • Equipment hire
  • Event staff

5.       Choose your venue

Where you host your event has a big impact on the overall success, after all first impressions do count. There are thousands of venue locations throughout the UK, but now you know your capacity, budget and have an idea of what it should look like, it’s easy to narrow down a suitable venue.

Remember to bear in mind these important factors:

  • Cost – keep your venue well within your budget, remember the days of the week effect the price, so hosting on a weekday will keep you costs down.
  • Location – your location is key to who will attend. A central location is a must! Does your venue have great transport links? Are there good hotels nearby for attendees that need to stay overnight?
  • Services – what will be included with your venue space?

Here at the Lindley Hall, we think we have it all for hosting a successful event. Located in walking distance from London Victoria, our beautiful and historical venue is perfect. Not to mention, we’re located next to good hotels, and have a vast roster of recommended suppliers for a variety of events. 

6.        Hire the right people

Hiring the best people for your event will ensure it runs as smoothly as possible, which is obviously important for it to be a success. If the venue you pick can’t supply the appropriate staff, you’ll need to make your own team, which could include hiring contractors for:

  • Signage, furniture, audio visual, lighting, flooring, crowd barriers, stewarding, health and safety, marketing, design, transport, insurance, portaloos, registration, and alcohol and music.

If you pick an event with a list of recommended suppliers, it can make your job a lot easier and you can often get a good deal by using anyone recommended by the venue.

7.       Promote your event

It’s important that you don’t underestimate how long it takes to promote an event effectively. The type of event you plan to hold, the target audience and budget will influence how you promote your event differently.

Effective techniques for promoting an event include:

  • Finding a commercial partner/sponsor
  • Direct marketing and PR
  • Digital marketing – promotion specific landing pages, email
  • Social media – dedicated Facebook page, LinkedIn etc.

8.       Create a plan of action for the day of the event

After all the careful planning, the day of the big event has arrived. Most events are complex operations, which means things are liable to wrong. Having a list of final checks in the immediate run-up to the event will minimise risks and help ensure that things run as smoothly as possible. Key final checks one week prior to and on the day of the event include:

1 week prior:

  • Performing final registration check
  • Confirming arrangements with caterers, entertainers and other outside contractors
  • Confirming travel arrangements with speakers

On the day of the event:

  • Briefing all staff about their event duties and timelines
  • Ensuring you have copies of all instructions, directions, phone numbers, keys, extra parking permits for VIP guests, seating charts and guest lists with you
  • Ensuring all signage is in place
  • Gathering all receipts, documentation, final registration data, etc. and updating budget

9.      Evaluation and follow-up

Ideally, your evaluation process should be planned well in advance of your event. This way you will get all the information you need to determine whether your event has been a success and what you can learn to do better next time.

  • Reach out to event participants with a thank you
  • Do a post-event survey
  • Conduct follow-up communications with event participants

 

So, now you’re ready to plan a successful event, see what the Royal Horticultural Halls could do for you.

 

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