5 top tips for planning an event
By Hazel Parsons from Hazel Parsons Wedding & Events
You’ve been given the task of event planning but where should you start?
If you’re not an event planner, the job of organising an event can often be quite overwhelming. You may find yourself putting together to-do lists, searching the Internet for ideas and spending a good amount of time trying to find a venue that can accommodate your needs, suit your budget and is in the right location.
We’ve been organising events across the UK for the last 6 years here at Hazel Parsons, everything from Collection Launches, Film Retreats, Awards Evenings, Christmas Festivals, Weddings, Trade Expo’s and Business Celebrations, so believe us when we say there are tried and tested techniques that ‘WILL’ make your event planning so much easier.
We work with event venues across Devon & Cornwall training the owner’s and their staff in wedding & event management and our team have experience in planning over 800 events. The tips we are about to share, are the foundations and initial building blocks for any event no matter how large or small, we use them day in and day out as part of the event planning process.
So here are our TOP 5 TIPS to get you well and truly started with planning your event.
One: Set yourself targets!
Always start with a clear idea of what you want to achieve. In this instance, what is the event? What would you like the end result to be? This will allow you to be targeted with how you plan out the event and source suppliers and budget both time and resources.
Two: Check dates…
When would you like the event to happen and where is your preferred location? Make a list of dates that would potentially work. If you’re planning a celebration event avoid other public celebrations like Fathers Day, Christmas Eve or The World Cup Finals. If you are planning a business event, do a search for business events in your County on that date, check what comes up. Ensure you pick a couple of viable dates that don’t clash with your competitor’s events. You want your event to be well attended, give yourself the best possible chance.
Three: Decide where you would like the event to take place
You need to have a good idea of your ideal location and then put together a tick list of what you NEED and what you WANT the venue. If the venue is your place of work or private house then make a list of the facilities you have and any additional that you may need. If you are sourcing the venue this will allow you to create a list of your top 3 to visit and request quotes.
Four: Setup an event spreadsheet
This will be probably one of the most important things you do. This spreadsheet will allow you to manage time, jobs, budgets, suppliers and planning. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy, often simple is best. Have a sheet with the event timeline and tasks with who is completing them and when, a sheet with the event day setup and timeline on for you to fill in as you go, a sheet with the supplier types you need then populate it with contact details, quotes and final pricing and a final sheet for the budget. You can prioritise jobs by highlighting them in the timeline with urgent in a different colour, for quick reference.
If you are planning this event for you, make sure you set yourself a realistic budget to work with. If your boss has given you this role, ask them what the budget is and try to manage their expectations with the budget you have been given. Allocate out the budget to the various elements of the event that have costs associated with them. If you aren’t sure how much something is likely to be, request quotes. You will soon get an idea of whether it will work within your budget or if the event design may need to change. Keep the budget up to date, putting in actual figures as and when you have them.
These 5 simple steps will allow you to start planning and organising your event, there will be many other elements you may need to consider, these will stand you in good stead.
On the search for your perfect event space? Find a venue on our location listings.