So everyone voted and it’s been decided that a fundraiser/launch/neighborhood party is in order. And the committee/boss/neighbors have voted you to head things up. It’s very exciting and you just know you’re going to do an amazing job of planning and executing and ensuring the event is a success. No run of the mill event for you! You know you want to make it special, exceptional, amazing!! You`re just not sure how.
There are so many ways you can make your community event stand out, in the minds of attendees, the press and in your community. Even without a big budget all it takes is a little creativity and the willingness to work hard.
Special Event Planning – Why Bother?
A Special Event is a onetime event such as a grand opening, product launch, concert or even a spotlight on a neighborhood. It can bring together a community, publicize a new product, business or service or create awareness about a charity or local neighborhood.
Special Event Planning – Making Your Event a Success
Even though your experience in planning is limited, you know you can do an amazing job. Don`t worry about your lack of experience because we’ve got a few tips to help make your event a HUGE success.
First and foremost, plan ahead. When possible, try to ensure you have scheduled ample time to plan your event. Ideally, this allows you the time to plan the event, create a publicity plan, recruit volunteers, organize and execute the plan to achieve maximum success.
Special Event Planning – The Success is in the Details
The most important thing to know before you start planning is your budget! Whether big or small, it is crucial that you stick to your budget. There are always ways of working around your limitations (volunteers, donations, bartering) but if you end spending too much money, the success of your event is negligible.
Make a list and check it twice, and then check it again. A checklist will help you make sure that nothing is missed. It should include the event date, publicity, decor, entertainment, food, volunteers and staff, logistics, suppliers and more. I believe in creating your checklist and working backwards from your event date. This will help ensure you don`t miss any important details, bookings or confirmation dates.
If you can`t afford a lot of paid staff, consider volunteers. Some of the best events I have participated in (planning and attending) have been volunteer driven. Often, volunteers are just as dedicated, if not more so, than paid staff. So if you require a larger team than what is currently available to you, consider volunteers. Be sure to look at your local high schools. Many communities require students to acquire a minimum amount of volunteer hours before graduation.
Special Event Planning – Publicity
Publicity, before, during and after your event, can help create success. It can increase attendance and help raise awareness, both before and after your event.
Write a press release; they’re a great way of connecting with the local press and creating awareness of the event. Include the date of the event, the purpose and any contact information. In addition to writing a press release prior to the event, you should follow up with one after the event has taken place. You can talk about attendance, prize winners, entertainment and the success of the event (money raised, awareness and follow up info).
Be sure to invite the local press to attend the event. Offer free tickets (if it is a paid event) and even have a press kit available. A press kit is easy to compile, include information about the organization, the event and be sure to include your contact information! (That way, if they have questions, it’s easy for them to contact the correct person).