My friend and colleague Lisa Scheppelmann is an event planner extraordinaire and I asked her to step in and write a blog this week about what you might want to consider when planning your next event, whether it is business or social. I have her onboard to plan a celebration next year and the reason I recommend Lisa is she has it all! Not only resourcefulness, excellent attention to detail and the chops to manage an event before during and after, BUT, she is also very creative and good at coming up with lots of memorable things without breaking the bank. I have attended more than one event Lisa has been in charge of and I can tell you, you won’t be disappointed!
5 Tips for a Successful Event
As a business owner, there are many reasons why you might choose to have an event. It could be a thank you to your V.I.P. clients, to market to potential clients, to network with new and existing clients, or to connect with likeminded business people that may be good strategic partners. Whatever your reason for hosting an event, you want to leave a good impression on your guests and spend as much time connecting with them as possible. Planning an event, no matter how big or small, can be overwhelming. Here are 5 tips to help your event go more smoothly and get you the results you want!
5. Throw money at it
Choose ONE part of your event that will make it unforgettable and put approximately 20% of your budget resources towards it. Unless you have an unlimited budget (and then the whole affair can be over the top), find the one aspect that will help it to be memorable and spend a good chunk of your budget on that.
I recommend that the part you splurge on will have your guests talking about it for days. For instance, a well-stocked Bloody Mary bar, a professional dancer in costume giving group dance lessons, or a Vision Board workshop where everyone takes home what they’ve created.
4. Smile for the camera
If you have it in the budget to hire a professional photographer for the event, you should. The photographer can capture all the fun happening at your event and you can upload the images to your Facebook page a few days later to remind everyone how much they enjoyed themselves.
With a photographer and any vendor you work with, negotiate the price. It’s always worth asking for a discount or telling a vendor you have a strict budget. If you don’t ask, you won’t know!
Hint: If your event is on a weekday (even Friday) many photographers will give you a great discount on their services. Also, make sure you will have the digital rights to the photos.
3. Be Prepared
– Pack an emergency kit: Your phone charger, extra pens, tape, paper, nametags, paperclips, water and an energy bar.
– Timeline: Put 2-3 copies of your “Day of Event Timeline” on your clipboard; your timeline should:
- Begin 2 hours before your first guest arrives
- Include each important “happening” at the event
- Cell phone numbers of key people participating
- End 2 hours after your last guest leaves
– Solicit volunteers: Ask your trusted colleagues who will be at the event to help with a specific task or tasks during the event. You can’t be everywhere at once.
2. Don’t run out of toilet paper!
No matter where you are hosting your event, make sure the restrooms are guest ready. Extra toilet paper, a plunger, and hand soap are top of the list. In addition, position a basket in plain sight that holds an emergency kit: feminine hygiene products, individual stain remover wipes, safety pins and Band-Aids. A separate basket with tins of breath mints placed near the restrooms is nice too.
Hint: You can buy mini tins of breath mints with your logo or company info on them for about $1 each.
1. Hire me
Okay, so you don’t have to actually hire me (although that would be lovely), but you should strongly consider hiring someone to help you plan and manage the event. If event planning is not your strength, hire someone to help make your vision a reality.
If you prefer to do the event planning yourself, I strongly urge you to hire a day-of-event coordinator to manage the actual event. Let someone else rush around with a clipboard, making sure everything looks great and replacing the toilet paper so that you are left with plenty of time to build relationships and connect with your guests.
Want to make your next event memorable? Call Lisa for a complimentary consultation. When you hire Lisa to help with your event, mention the Biz Diva and receive a 10% discount off of event planning services (offer valid through 3/1/16).
Lisa Scheppelmann, Event Planner, is a lover of tiny details and big ideas that help make any event a success. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-328-1684.