Whether you are a full time event planner or have been assigned the responsibility of putting on an event for your company, boss, friend, or family member, strategic event planning should be your motto.
Too often, I see people throwing together an event at the last minute with no regard of the Seven P's: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Painfully Poor Production. Let me tell you, this will almost directly put wrinkles on your face. The level of stress caused by seat-of-the-pants events escalates until the day of the event, when your stress level will be off the richter scale.
If this is an event for a business or organization you're affiliated with, you surely want it to succeed. And you don't want others to smell the fear of failure when you're scrambling around the day of the event. You'll put on a much better show when you're calm, cool, and collected while an event with many moving parts is going on around you.
So, what is Strategic Event Planning? It just so happens to be part of our name, so we'll tell you!
Strategic Event Planning in 5 Easy Steps
1. Define the Event | What's your event's purpose? Is there a mission statement you could associate with it? Check out our event management tips for more.
2. Determine Success | There are five different levels upon which event ROI can be measured. Choose which element you want to focus on and keep that in mind throughout your strategic event planning process. Afterwards, you should be able to measure the event's success.
3. Create an Agenda | This not only includes the agenda for the big day, but your agenda for the pre-planning stages. Give yourself milestones and goals, and always allow some time for hiccups and unforseen challenges. For tips on this, you could research what event planners do and make sure you're following suit.
4. Foresee Needs | Now that you have defined your event and have an agenda, it's time to envision your event. If you and/or your team are the ones designing the affair, your vision is the blueprint. Keep envisioning all the moving parts of your day to foresee needs you might be overlooking (i.e. a parking lot attendant or a linen service).
5. Follow Through | Once the big day has arrived, be sure to carry through with your plan to the fullest extent you can. Keep your goals in mind, and complete your vision! With that said, you must also be willing to bend when complications arise. Just keep the end goal in mind and make the wisest decisions when those things happen.
Of course, planning an event strategically is much easier when you have years of event planning under your belt. Just take our word for it and follow these steps for a successful, strategically planned event. If you need help, you can always hire an event planner to oversee some or all of your important affair.