While there are no official numbers, we can safely assume that millions of people attend hundreds of thousands of events a year.  This includes business events like conventions, trade shows, and conferences; and pure entertainment events like concerts. The one thing all these millions of people have in common is that none of them want to host or attend a mediocre event.  So how do you make sure that your event stands out from the thousands of others planned every year?

To really have an event that shines, you need to ask yourself quality questions, and dig deep into the details as you answer each and every one.  The details make an event, and keeping these essential questions in mind as you plan will ensure your guests leave longing for your next event.

  1. What are the goals of your event?

Don’t over-complicate your planning by having too many goals.  Your event should have one or two high-level goals, max. These goals are the foundation of your event, and everything that you plan should in some way support this foundation.  Do you want to increase sales of a new product? Do you want to become known for always gathering the top innovators of your industry?

Identify your “Why”, and communicate it to everyone. Be sure it follows the SMART guidelines: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.

  1. What is unique about this event?

Your event needs to stand out in some way if you want to draw attendees in, especially new attendees.  This can be anything from the layout of your networking center, to the speakers you’ve hired, or the food you’ve prepared.  People nowadays are on the lookout for events that double as experiences, use this to your advantage.

  1. Who are you targeting?

Who specifically is your audience for this event: people in your industry, young professionals, retirees, people who like to travel…?  Identifying your target population will allow you to more easily plan the proper marketing and the most engaging event.

  1. When is the best time for the event?

Will your event fit the schedule of your target audience to attract the most attendees? Will your event draw the most people in if it is all-day?  Should it start in the morning, or is evening better? Do you need outdoor space? If so, you’ll want to consider the weather and the time of year.  Also ask yourself – what are my plans for inclement weather? Will you cancel or reschedule? Or does the event continue rain or shine?

  1. Where will the event be held?  

Consider the nature of your event and determine what type of space will be best.  An auditorium? A park? A restaurant? Do you need multiple rooms with audio visual or recording systems?  Do you need a networking space or a dining hall? 

Once again, factor in the weather if you’ll be outside.  Do you need tents set up? What about bathrooms? Never forget the all about transportation question.  You want it to be as easy as possible for attendees to get to your event. If you think most people will be driving, do you have a good parking plan?  Remember: you want guests to arrive excited and happy, not frustrated.  

  1. How will you engage people during and after the event?

Attendees can be your biggest promoters.  You want to make sure that they not only talk about how much fun they are having while at your event, but that they also remember you after the event has ended.  Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Live stream certain events to engage people who couldn’t make it
  • Make it easy for attendees to connect on social media
  • Offer specific incentives for people who attended the event
  • Have a plan in place for how you will follow-up with attendees before the event ever starts 
  1. What services will you need?

Be detailed in the partnerships you will need to achieve your goals and make your event the smoothest, and most engaging any attendee has ever experienced.  Do you need a caterer? Are you worried about food sensitivities or food allergies? Do you need a videographer or a sound system? What is your plan for registration?  Don’t leave anything to chance and be sure you have attention-to-detail people on your team who will double and triple check that everything is accounted for.  

No matter what kind of event you are planning, it’s crucial that you use these questions to think through not only your desired outcome, but every eventuality.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out at any time. As the experts in event production and stage (AV?) staffing, our experienced team can eliminate the stress and confusion from staffing any event, and ensure absolute success every time.