Producing a successful event is challenging but can also be exciting and empowering. If you’re the event coordinator, you must anticipate guests’ needs before they know they have them. That means hosting a purposeful event that begins on time, stays within budget, makes your audience feel warm and welcome, and is so enjoyable that guests lose track of time and never want to leave.
That’s a tall order, but after 4 decades in the event production industry, we’ve learned a thing or two. So we’d like to share some of our best secrets to help you produce a successful event that will wow your guests.
Establish a Clear Purpose
Why am I hosting this event? Answer that question before you do anything. The purpose of your event dictates everything that follows.
Say, for example, that your goal is to strengthen employee relationships and build collaborative skills. A company picnic featuring team-building exercises like volleyball, softball, tug of war, and other activities might be appropriate. Yet that same framework would be wildly inappropriate for an event intended to draw attention to a new product or pay tribute to foundation donors, for example.
In short, always begin by considering your audience and establishing a clear purpose.
Know Your Audience
Purpose and audience are two sides of the same coin. You cannot produce a successful event if you do not have a purpose, and you cannot establish a clear purpose without knowing your audience.
Define your target audience, and gather information about their demographics, behavior, motivations, and expectations. This information will guide you in choosing the appropriate venue, entertainment, food, and more.
Start Planning Immediately
Whether your event is scheduled in six weeks or six months, start planning now. If there’s one rule to producing a successful event, that’s it.
In our experience, planning large events with more than 500 attendees takes at least four months, and six months of planning is an ideal timeframe. Smaller events take less time to plan, but leave yourself at least a month to prepare. Why? Even small events have many moving parts. The earlier you lock in each element, the more options you have—and the less you’ll have to scramble as the event approaches.
Set the Budget Early
You may have grand visions of your event, but if that vision does not align with your budget, you will not get very far. Your budget dictates nearly every event element, from the invitations, food, and music to the location, drinks, lighting, and entertainment. By setting the budget early, you’ll have a clear focus and eliminate wasting time on things that may be out of your budget.
Choose the Right Venue
The venue can make or break your event, so start shopping early. If you’re hosting a local event, look for a venue that is a reasonable distance from most attendees’ homes. If your event requires guests to travel, try booking a venue near the airport or at least close to hotels and transportation.
Also, consider venue capacity, food and beverage minimums, and parking. Most importantly, get everything in writing and, if possible, negotiate flexible contract terms that allow you to postpone or cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances.
These are just a few of the many steps it takes to produce a successful event. Want to leave the planning to the experts? No problem! Eliminate the guesswork with CSP Worldwide. We can produce a successful event tailored to your budget and event goals.
CSP Worldwide: Your Event Planning Solution
At the heart of CSP is a world-class team of the most creative and passionate people you will meet. Our team members are experts in their craft, from our pre-production teams, onsite producers, and performers, to our behind-the-scenes technicians, editors, and staff.
Over the last four decades, we’ve planned every event imaginable. Let us use our experience to make your event the most memorable one yet. Contact us today!