Great Meeting U
7 Steps to a Successful Event (For First-Timers)
If you're new to producing an event, you may be shocked at how much work and effort is involved. Try not to worry — as with most things, if you take it one step at a time, your odds of success are vastly improved!
The first step is to be clear exactly why you're holding the meeting or event. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to educate your attendees, or entertain them? (Or both?) Are you looking to change their behavior (such as increasing sales) or celebrate an achievement (such as meeting quotas)? It's very difficult to plan an event if you don't know why you're doing it!
Once you're clear what your objective is, you need to be sure that you know who your audience is. Describe your average attendee. How many non-average attendees will you have, and do you need to accommodate them as well?
Next you need to create one of your two budgets. Let's start with your monetary budget. You need to estimate your major expenses, and group your "minor" expenses so that they can be estimated too. (Pennies can quickly become dollars!) Be sure that you can cover all your expenses long before you actually start spending money!
The other budget is equally important (but sometimes forgotten) — you need a "time budget". Just like you did for your monetary expenses, estimate how much time every pre-event activity is going to take. And then create a timeline so that you can be certain that you've got the time to actually do everything that needs to be done.
A vital step is to promote your event! It doesn't do you any good to put on a spectacular event if no one knows about it. So determine how you're going to promote your event (and be sure to include both your time and monetary expenses in your budgets).
By this point, you're ready to actually conduct your event. If you've done all the planning and preparation, you might be able to sit back and watch everything happen. But like many other things in life, the unexpected can happen... and you need to be ready to fix problems and improvise solutions quickly.
Once your event is finished, you're not done (yet). You need to evaluate what happened — both your successes and the things you'll be sure to do differently next time.
For many planners, the first meeting or event is the most difficult. So congratulate yourself on your achievement, and start planning your next successful event!