When organising an event, there are a multitude of things to consider. Firstly – Why are you organising an event, what is its purpose, what do you want the event to be and who is it for?
These may seem like obvious questions but you need to be able to have clear aims and objectives for your event before you can plan further. Is this a half day, full day or evening event? Will it last over more than one day – if so, have you considered accommodation – will this be provided or will delegates/attendees have to arrange their own accommodation? Also, depending on the size and scale of the event, as well as considering what resources are available to you, you will want to consider when to hold it. Be sure to consider what other events may be on in the locale on that date, which may put pressure on for example, policing and travel resources. These could include football or other major sporting events, local fairs, other events of a similar type – do your research beforehand to try and avoid a clash.
When organising events, you then consider further your attendees – is this invite-only, is attendance free or is a paid ticket required (and if so, how are you going to manage collecting payment and ticket issue), is your venue space large enough or might it be too big? Will there be a dress code, should they bring anything with them (laptop etc)?
Another aspect of organising an event, which is easy to get very wrong, is catering. If you have used a reliable company in the past, stick with them, otherwise speak to a few different catering companies to check out their services, go and visit them too to find out what kind of people they employ. Their team will reflect either well or badly upon you and poor catering appears to be the one issue that is always complained about, regardless of the success of the rest of the event! Don’t always go for the cheapest catering or menu option – again, consider whom your attendees are. If this is an all-day corporate meeting, you’ll want a decent lunch as well as good refreshments at breaks. If it’s an evening party, then appropriate party food and drinks will be more important.
Another common issue when organising events is signage and communication to reception and porters – particularly in an external hotel or conference space. Its very frustrating when you have travelled to a location, only to be told by reception staff that they haven’t heard of the event you are supposed to be attending and there are no signs anywhere to tell you where to go – as this is when people just want to turn around and go home!