Event Planning 101: Where To Start
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
So, you want to throw an event, but where do you start? Thinking of where to begin can seem overwhelming but if you break it down, it can be a lot easier than you think! We are here to help with some tips and tricks that we learned along the way of putting together our first event.
The 3 W's
First things first, you need to figure out where, when, and what kind of event it is that you want to host. Whether it’s a networking event, a fashion show, a music festival, an art gallery, or even a holiday party, you need to know the gist of your event before you get to planning the nitty-gritty.
After you have decided WHAT you want your event to be, you need to decide WHEN and WHERE you want your event to be. Keep in mind, if your event is NOT a holiday party, you need to be wary of the date you pick. November to December is typically full of fundraisers, galas, and holiday parties that might be difficult to compete with. Weekdays do better for business-related events and pleasure takes place on the weekends (or close to it like Thursday).
Timing is Key
Be mindful of your timeline. If you know you need three months to secure sponsors, two months to start promotions and marketing for your event, you want to secure your venue and date with that in mind. Location is also very important. Look into venues that you can collaborate with who believe in what you are doing. If you are hosting a family-friendly event, a concert venue might not make the best option - depending on features, of course. You also want to do it in an area where the majority of your target demographic spends their time.
Money is the Motive
Now that you have your W’s figured out, it’s time to figure out the most important part of all, the budget. It's always safe to have a bigger budget than expected for all those 'ah-ha' and 'oops' moments you may run into.
Always be open to bringing on someone to help you get event sponsors. Sponsors are a great way to collaborate with other awesome people that align with your vision for the event. For example, if you are hosting a luxury fashion show, you would want to reach out to beauty and fashion industry companies for sponsorships whether it's an activation or monetary donation. Although getting help from anywhere possible might sound good, having too many sponsors could take away from how much you are putting into the event and can even make it difficult to lock in potential bigger sponsors if conflicting interests are present (think if the Super Bowl had Pepsi and Coca-Cola as the title sponsor). Stay persistent when reaching out to your sponsors and event partners - it once took us fifteen text messages, three phone calls, and six emails to hear back from a potential sponsor.
Teamwork IS the Dreamwork
Outside of the budget, it's important to secure your team in advance. YOU CAN NOT DO IT ALONE. Consider having multiple teams, a day-of team and a core team. Your day-of team will most likely be volunteers. These are the people answering questions around the event, running the door, picking up trash, etc. Your core team is going to be your right hand. This can consist of a planner, marketing specialist, sponsorship coordinator, event producer and other roles. On the day of the event, you are going to be pulled left and right so, it's important to have a team in place to handle anything you won't be able to get to.
Now you are officially ready to get started on planning your event! Want to learn more about event planning? Stay tuned for our Event Planning 101 series where we dive deeper into planning and executing an event.
Make sure to get your tickets to our event Business After Hours in Downtown Plano on October 23rd from 6-8 p.m. It’s networking with a twist where we bring creatives together for a night of mingling in search of work connections, love, and friendship. Get your tickets here.