Event planning can be hectic and frustrating even to seasoned planners. You have to get the right venue, market the event, rent exhibition equipment, and look for vendors. There’s so much to do in a limited time and you feel like you’re about to go crazy. That doesn’t have to be the case every time you have an event to plan. The trick is keeping the event organized. Read on to find tech tips that will keep your event on track.
List Everything You Need
With a target audience in mind, you need to make a list of everything you need for the event. Start with the location, transportation, vendors, lighting, tools, and equipment. Create a word document or a spreadsheet to record the items you need. As the planning progresses, you can check off what you have achieved. Having a list keeps you focused on the tasks ahead and in line with the planning timeline.
Use Planning Software
What is the purpose of holding your event? Do you want to create awareness? Are you raising funds? The objective of the event will guide you on significant decisions. You should organize your team as well, to ensure you achieve your goals. Having a platform to plan and manage the whole event comes in handy. With event planning tech tools, you can create a list of tasks and follow up on them as you go. You can generate daily reports on the progress of the planning to avoid a last-minute rush.
Create a Budget
During the initial planning stages, you cast a wide net, but then narrow it down to what is achievable. Therefore, you need to define your budget and break down costs to account for everything. Using spreadsheets makes it easier to track your spending against the set budget and make the necessary adjustments. Without a budget, your expenditures could spiral out of control. You may even have to look for other sources of funds to cover some expenses.
Pick a Reliable Venue
Some locations can increase your stress levels. For example, venues that are empty, and you have to do everything from scratch. You want a site with seating arrangements, good fabrics and lighting. If they have onsite catering, that can be a plus. Moreover, you should consider the technology benefits of the location. Do they have Wi-Fi and technical support? A venue with onsite IT makes planning and coordinating smooth. You can communicate with your team quickly. Besides, the collection of data will be less stressful.
Properly Manage Contracts
You need a system to manage the contracts you create and receive from vendors. You should also take time to read the fine print before accepting an agreement. Insist on a commitment to the event and set clear rules for vendors to follow. Before you include them in your planner, ensure they will not back out at the last minute.
Market the Event Online
For an event to be successful, you need to draw a crowd. Luckily, you no longer need to print flyers and advertise on newspapers. However, you now need to market your event online. The most effective marketing strategy is the use of multiple channels to reach a broad audience. You can target social media through posts and advertisements. Having a website for the event can also get the message to the intended audience. Email campaigns are sure to increase attendance, especially if you personalize the message to suit your target audience. Make use of software integration to manage your marketing efforts. It will help you track the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
To cover expenses, most events rely on ticket sales. While you may get sponsors, most of the money will likely be from ticket sales. Therefore, if you are considering advanced tickets, you need a way to manage sales and track incoming cash. Ensure your tickets are sold online for the audience to access them with minimal effort. Also, consider using technology to manage ticketing and registration. With software integration, you can promote, sell, and collect funds quickly.
Automate Team Communications
Apart from marketing and ticketing, you can also automate communications within your team to ensure efficiency. Effective communication makes it easy to deal with last-minute changes and unforeseen circumstances. Technology can combine large amounts of data and generate accurate reports. Therefore, you will not need to include reporting on your to-do lists. You will also stay organized.
Every day new technologies are introduced to the market. By employing them in your event planning, operations can run more smoothly and efficiently for the best possible event.
Ryan Farquharson is the Co-founder and CEO at ExpoCart which is the one stop shop marketplace for products and services for exhibitions and events. Through our intuitive platform, we make it easy to companies to hire and purchase everything they need for their exhibitions in just a few simple clicks for venues across the UK.