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Event Planning 101 | Autograph Events

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Planning an event can be daunting, even a small meeting or conference can feel like a long list of jobs that need doing and a weight on your job list.

We have some great tips for you to help alleviate some of that pressure and guide you through the planning and delivery of your event.

What is the message you want the delegates to take away with them, and make sure your venue search takes that into account. For instance if you are looking at reducing budgets you need your venue to not be too showy or impressive even if it fitted in your budget

  • Venue is key – it sets the tone for the whole event. Important things to consider are location, the space available for the event itself, supporting space, the staff and service (this is what people usually remember the most)

  • Site Visits - are always great idea - seeing the venue you have shortlisted in the flesh enables you to take the delegate journey from start to finish and ensure your event works onsite. It also gives you a chance to talk with the onsite team about the most important parts of your event. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the lowest standard of bedrooms or check out the toilet facilities.

Budget – Don’t feel you can’t negotiate or push back on the first rates offered. Similarly, contract terms and conditions can sometimes be flexible if they don’t fit with your business’s payment schedule or terms of buying.

Sustainability – carbon reduction – can you use public transport to reach it, what proven practices are in place to reduce carbon and waste, over catering etc

  • You want your delegates to have a great lasting impression of the day and be motivated to act on the messages. Make sure your programme and speakers are fully aligned with the overall message and key takeaways that you want to deliver. Importantly they need to be tailored to your audience too; you may need to convey messages to different groups in alternate ways. Your goals both short & long term should be easily identifiable to the audience so that they can transfer these into their day to day, post event. Delivery and delegate engagement is important. Long sessions with no interaction make for disengaged delegates. Opportunities to be involved with their colleagues and the speakers is key – Q&A sessions, interactive Apps, ice breaker activities and exhibition walk rounds help to imbed core content. A change in behaviours or business growth will show successes as time goes on.

  • Make sure your delegates/guests have everything they need prior to leaving home – travel details, parking (if there is any/paid), what they need to bring. Ensure the Postcode for the venue is detailed to the guests – sometimes it isn’t the same as on google!

  • Detail, detail detail - keep your notes as detailed as possible so should something happen to you – illness, last minute emergency etc your colleague can pick them up and run the event in your absence.

Pick the right suppliers – work with suppliers you trust, cost is always a factor but reputation is also important. Knowing your suppliers are going to turn up on time and deliver exactly what was agreed takes a lot of stress out of the event day. If there are areas of the event that aren’t in your skill set, having reliable and experienced suppliers takes the stress off your shoulders. This could be anything from AV and production support to enough pairs of hands to register your delegates!

Last but not least…

Don’t hesitate to call in the professional... Especially if you feel you cannot give the event your full attention. Don’t feel like you are losing control - the team can be an extra pair of hands and make sure the event runs smoothly, allowing you to enjoy the success of all of your hard work. Having a support team on your side means that you can enjoy the fun parts and relieve your pressure.

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