Firstly decide the purpose of your event and what your goals are, for example, to make sales or new contacts. You need to do this so that you can work out what actions your attendees need to undertake whilst at the event. This way they won’t turn up and leave with no positive outcome for your business. Maybe have a contact form so that when people turn up they can sign in and leave an email address. Or do you need to make sure there is a demonstration of your product at the event so people are more likely to buy? Do you expect them to take any further actions after the event? Say to visit your website, if so do you need to hand out a business card or a voucher for the site?
Now you know what needs to happen at the event and what elements you need to include. Decide on the event itself, where will it take place, will there be a theme? If so how is it relevant to what you are trying to achieve and how does it represent your brand? Depending on the type of event you decide upon do careful research on local legislation, are there any rules you should be aware of in terms of health and safety or if you plan to serve any alcohol?
Begin to decide on the time frame involved. Decide on a suitable date for your event to take place and begin to create a schedule for all the elements you need to organise. When will you have to book a venue? Send invites or place an advertisement? Do you need to plan any entertainment or activities?
Remember if it starts to become too complex break it back down to the goal you decided on at the beginning, you really don’t need a lot of bells or whistles! Is it a one off business launch or a little monthly catch up? Plan the scale of the event accordingly! Make sure you stick to a budget otherwise costs can spiral. Remember sometimes the events that are free to set up are the most fun! As you have to think a little bit more creatively about venues and activities.
It can be a bit daunting arranging an event by yourself, so can you round up any helpers? Do you need any greeters or speakers at your event? Could you get them to carry out some market research for you while they mingle with your guests? Or could you combine your event with some other local businesses?
As for the day itself, plan how long your event will last, will it go on all day and people can come and go as they please or will it only last an hour and guests should be there for the duration? Plan what activities will take place and when. Don’t try to cram too much in, as schedules always slip a little and you don’t want to bombard people!
Most importantly make sure your event will be something to remember. As not only may you gain new custom from attendees. If your event is exciting, interesting and well planned it could increase exposure for your business through word of mouth promotion and this really is the best kind!