3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning Your Next Event
Summer season will soon be upon us and celebrations are in their planning stages as event organizers are suiting up and trying on their many, many hats. Many event makers get so caught up in the massive amount of things on their to do list that they often forget to take a moment to ask a few fundamental questions before planning their event.
Here are 3 questions to take you back to the basics and to help you create your best event yet:
1) What sets my event apart?
Keep your competition in mind. For example, if you are an Italian Festival, you are not just competing with other Italian festivals in your area. You are competing with all events in your area – large and small – that may take attendees from you. Combat this by looking at your event and asking yourself why someone would come to your event over any other. Ask why would someone take the effort to get off their couch, make plans with friends, get dressed, fight traffic, give you their money, and block out time to come to your event? Once you’ve identified that reason, you can play it up! Highlight this reason in your marketing campaigns, your Facebook posts, flyers, commercials, etc. Use this reason to drive a FOMO (fear of missing out) around your event. The more you can highlight the awesome parts of your event, the more you will create hype and draw attendees.
2) What is my attendee’s first experience at the event?
You’ve got it all set – the trusses, the signage, the floor plan. However these details, although important, aren’t always the first thing your attendees experience when they come to an event. An attendee will likely count their event experience from the moment they leave their house until the moment they get home. If there’s traffic getting there, if the parking is really bad, if the parking attendant is moody, if the weather is terrible, or they have to walk a mile just to get to the front gate. All of these things can impact your attendee experience. You may be saying to yourself, “But wait, I can’t control the weather or traffic and I can’t control if the parking attendant is having a bad day.” This is true. There are some things you can’t control specifically, but here are some things you can control:
– Location. Pick a great venue in a great location. Think about how hard it will be for your attendees to get there. Will it take them long? Does the area have enough parking for the amount of people you are expecting? Will they have to fight rush hour traffic? If any of these things don’t line up, reconsider your location.
– Timing. You may not know until the date gets closer if competing events, weather, and other factors will affect your event. Plan your event date by keeping these factors in mind. Try not to plan your event date over a major holiday where people are traveling and wanting to spend time with their families. When planning the event time, consider that most people work day jobs and that rush hour traffic is a real thing in most places. Think of your audience’s typical schedule when planning the time and date of your event.
– Volunteers. Finding volunteers can be hard! But good volunteers that are helpful, trained, and happy to be at the event can make all the difference. Volunteers are one of the first things your attendees experience at your event, here are some tips to have better volunteers at your event.
3) What can I do to make things easier and more enjoyable for my attendees, event staff, and myself?
The event makers I talk to seem to be superhuman. They do so much in so little time to ensure that their event runs smoothly. However, even super humans have limits and need to find more efficient ways of event planning. This will help them to stay sane and get more done. Find the things that are big “time-sucks” for you. Ask yourself, “Is this something that I can delegate to a member of my team so that I can handle more important matters?” To sort your tasks by what is urgent and what is not, try using the quadrant method. This method helps you to decide what needs to be done now and by you personally. All other items can be delegated to clear them from your plate. Aside from delegation and time management, finding the right tools to help you as you plan your event can also make a world of difference. You may have a system in place that “works well enough”, but there could also be other solutions out there that work better. It’s in your best interest find the system that works best for your, your event, and your team. Using the right tools helps you to get the job done with less headache.
- Jonquille is Director of Client Success at SpinGo. She is a motivated, passionate leader who has been educating her team and SpinGo clients on the do’s and don’ts of event marketing since 2013. Jonquille and her team are invested in the success you achieve with your event.