Event planners are no strangers to wearing many different hats. Effective planning requires the perfect balance between attention to detail, organization, and communication, and between listening and leading. Executing seamless events means you need to be able to tap that into balance consistently.
We’ve seen one answer on how to do it time and again from event professionals: have a formula.
Having a formula for successful events doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, the simpler, the better. Keeping it big picture helps you not get bogged down in the minutiae from event to event, and focus on the goals that matter to you.
Here are a few steps you can take to get started:
Define your goals
What will make the event successful? What do you want to achieve with this event? What is in the best interest of your clients and guests? This is one of those things that can often go unsaid, especially if you’re running an event similar to past ones.
Articulating these goals, and forcing yourself to ask a few “Why?” questions can lead you to a very focused set of conclusions to put into practice. A good way to do that is to think post-event what information you’ll need to measure its success. Then make sure you A. gather that information and B. do everything you can to move the results toward the kind you want to see.
Streamline your RSVPs
Invitations are guests’ first introduction to your event, and arguably the most important factor in convincing them that your event is worth their time. You have a short amount of time to get a lot of information across, so it’s important to use your first impression wisely and create a great RSVP. Keep it succinct, and use what we call the “wow!” guideline. Is your RSVP conveying the thing about your event that makes a potential guest say “wow!” and want to be part of it? Try reading your RSVP from the perspective of your ideal guest.
Get your head in the game
Nothing can substitute for hard work and good planning, but even the most prepared event planners feel pre-event jitters from time to time. Combat these nerves by actively taking steps to find your calm and clear your head in advance. Get a good night’s sleep, pick out your clothes the night before, and take a moment to meditate or practice breathing before the action happens. Good leaders are good communicators, and it’s hard to communicate well when you’re already running on empty.
Collect your results
It may be tempting to let out a long sigh of relief and move on immediately to thank-yous and follow-ups after an event concludes, but there’s another important step that often gets overlooked: make sure you’re collecting all the data you can from events, and use those to gauge ROI on your event. The more data you collect, the more insights you can use to do even better on your goals for the next event.
Event management software is steadily getting better and better, and not taking advantage of what good event software offers is akin to running a marathon with training weights on. Custom online RSVPs help you deliver those “wow!” invites easily, and track responses synced to your guest list. At the door, a good guest list app gets your attendees in faster and more impressively. Afterwards, all your data is loaded up and organized in one place, ready to help you make the next event a smash hit.
Putting this kind of system in place takes a little bit of extra legwork in the short term, but will yield worthwhile long-term benefits in the form of seamless events. There’s no better time than now to get started!