Tips & Tricks to Planning a Successful Event

Planning and organising an event can seem like a daunting task.  Use the below tips and tricks to help you through the planning process.  

Vision & Team 

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A good place to begin your planning process by determining your vision for the event.  Ask yourself  some of these questions: How many guests would you like to invite?  How much money would you like to make?  If your event isn’t about making money, how will you measure success?  How much money do you need to spend to bring your vision to life?  Your vision will help you create overall goals for your event and help you come up with your brands' creative strategy.  If you need some extra assistance, form a team of individuals you trust to help you execute your event.  Delegate tasks based on your teammates' skill sets to relieve stress and evenly distribute the workload.

Event Budget

Creating a budget for your event is one of the essential pieces of the planning process.  Remember, an event's success is strongly determined by a sound financial foundation.  The first step in creating a budget is to factor in and rally up any potential sponsors you may have.  Engaging and collaborating with sponsors can assist massively with underwriting the event’s financial position.  Use the budget and receipts from past events to assist you in the decision-making process, when it comes to narrowing down what is and what is not necessary for making your event a success.  Ensure you build in measures of your event ROI as well!  Use your budget to allocate your funds based on the most critical areas that will ensure the success of your event. Remember, to be as resourceful as possible during this stage of the planning process.

Venue

Be very selective when it comes to booking the space for your event.  No venue will tick all the boxes but the right venue will tick a lot and that will result in savings later.  If you can be flexible with date that will assist in this area too and the earlier you get in the more availability there is likely to be.  Make sure that the site you choose can accommodate the number of people you are expecting to attract.  When making arrangements with the venue, do not hesitate to ask all of the questions you have and take the extra step to coordinate a visit in person.  You will want to be sure that the venue you choose will allow you to have creative freedom when it comes to bringing your vision to life.  Here are some common questions to ask before booking: What exactly do you get with the venue hire, what’s included?  Are there any restrictions when it comes to decorating?  Can I bring my own caterer?  What technical production does the venue supply and what additional services need to be brought in.  Discuss parking restrictions and access times for set up prior and removal post.  What other restrictions apply that you should be aware of or that might impinge on your production.

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Invitations

Before sending out your invites, determine if a guest list is necessary for the event you are planning.  If you are planning a public event, focus more on event promotion.  Create personalised invitations to set the tone and make an excellent first impression for your audience.  Stay current and create an online event that will allow you to manage your guest RSVPs.  This will also allow you to place additional details and information all in one place so that your guests have it handy.  Be sure to include any features that are important for all guests to remember.
For example, include any parking information, details or instructions that the venue may have, so guests know ahead of time what to expect. Creating an event online will also allow you to sell tickets to your event and manage those sales as well.  Quick tip: Minimize the no-show rate by placing a price on the ticket. Guests feel more obligated to attend an event they’ve made a financial investment in.

Bespoke it

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The event production team here at Workshop Events are all about creating customised experiences designed with outcomes in mind.  Personalise your event by creating bespoke elements to reflect your brand ethos.  Name a beverage after a product or the bar.  Food options too can help make your project memorable and it is essential to have a variety of options for your guests.  Some attendees may have specific allergies or intolerances that they need to take into consideration. Having a variety of food stations will give your guests several choices to choose from.  Styling and the environment is another essential component in taking your event to the next level.  And this doesn’t have to break the bank.  Quality creative thinking and collaboration will ensure that your event reflects your brands' style and charm.

Promote it

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Get your guests in the door by promoting heavily on all of your social media platforms.  Hype up the event through promotional video footage you may have captured last year and add some music to it.  This can also be done by getting creative with still images.  You will want to excite your guests and show them how successful you are at creating an experience they won't forget.  Depending on the style of event you are promoting you may want to purchase a customised snapchat filter and encourage your guests to use hashtags as they post throughout their time at the event.  Lastly, the use of a drone at your event will allow you to capture a phenomenal video of your creation for use in the future at relatively low cost.

Finally 
If you decide that a little professional help is the way to go, let us design your unique experience today!
What we do: Corporate, Community, Conference, Awards, Parties, Entertainment, Experiential & Social Events.

Having an event strategy is the only way to ensure a strong ROI

You can have the best AV, superb catering, creative to inspire, but what I know from over 20 years in event production is this: you can’t deliver on a client’s ROI without an event strategy.  And, with the stakes getting higher and the budget more closely examined, it has never been more important to invest in a solid event plan.

Companies like Apple, Salesforce and Google are allocating more budget to events, with face-to-face interactions and experiences at the forefront of marketing strategies.

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And whilst we live in a digital world, according to a recent industry report, marketers believe events are the most important channel for achieving key business goals[1].

With recent investments into events, such as the new International Convention Centre Sydney, extensions to the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, and the Federal Government investing $12 million over the next 3 years into the Australian Business Events there is much excitement in our industry for challenging the status quo and creating new and interesting ways of designing experiences, however, it is imperative the planning and strategy stages of any event remains strong in order to lay sturdy foundations.

An event strategy is not simply a brief, but a clear articulation of the goals of the event, what success looks like, how it will be measured and how every element of the event works to contribute to that overarching goal.

A clear strategy ensures every component runs on time, to budget and is on brand alleviating stress, reducing hours and expense. 

I consider there to be four phases of event planning; 1. Conceptualisation, 2. Strategic planning, 3. Implementation and 4. Evaluation.

The Workshop Events team understand that every event is different, and no two briefs are the same, and as such there is no cookie-cutter event plan. So, what does a good event strategy look like?

Each strategy is built on the needs of the client and their KPIs. 

The first step conceptualisation, involves determining the why, what and who – why are you hosting an event, what are your goals, what are the key messages and who the audience is.

The second step, strategic planning, involves outlining how you can measure ROI and client satisfaction.  This is key to ensuring you can demonstrate a successful outcome and justify the effort.

The third step implementation maps priorities, timelines, budget, suppliers, logistics and production elements.

The final stage evaluation involves ‘closing the loop’ on the event. Gathering feedback from attendees, analysing the results, the key learnings and the recommendations for the future.  This includes how the event has met the goals set , delivered the key messages, successfully entertained guests and ultimately delivered sound ROI.  

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Reporting on ROI

In 2017, 29% of event marketers found the biggest challenge was increasing the overall revenue from a public event, while 75% of large companies expect a 5:1 ROI for live and experiential events[2].

Reporting on ROI can be a real challenge depending on the type of event you have, however, it is vital you set up your measurement tools before the event, to ensure you know what you can report on. 

At Workshop Events, we design unique experiences for our clients through an effective event strategy.  Our focus is to understand the why of your event – to ensure that we deliver your event aspirations, business goals and ROI.

Our recently launched Event Workshop by Workshop Events focuses on nailing down the strategic plan early by guiding our clients through a facilitated session to ensure a clear and precise event strategy, which will deliver a bespoke and tailored event.

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Richard Breatnach, Managing Director, Workshop Events looks under the hood of every event and works hard to gain a true understanding of each project in order to create the best possible solution.  An expert in both corporate and private events, Richard has, for over 20 years, delivered the wild and wacky, the prestigious, serious and amazingly creative events.  As Managing Director, Richard is responsible for maintaining client satisfaction by ensuring the highest quality in all products and services are delivered by the team. Richard has produced event solutions for Atlassian, Scentre Group, Westfield, Herbert Smith Freehills, Lendlease and many more.

View Workshop Events full portfolio here: http://www.workshopevents.com.au/

[1] Bizzabo, Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends: https://blog.bizzabo.com/event-marketing-statistics

[2] Bizzabo, Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends: https://blog.bizzabo.com/event-marketing-statistics

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