If you’ve ever hosted an event, you know how much time, planning and effort is required to ensure success. But sometimes it’s best to take some advice from the pros. To help you do just that, we’ve talked with some of the best event managers in the country and asked them to provide their best event planning tips.
Jill Tate, Corinthian Events (Boston)
“My best event planning tip is to plan, plan and plan a tiny bit more. Write it down to be sure it all makes sense and be humble enough to talk it through with another person and have them poke holes in the plan. We must plan the things that we can control well in advance to maintain the control because in our business there are inevitably many things that you cannot control. A solid, well-thought-out plan will allow you to react appropriately to the things that we are not able to control and adjust and get back on track.
To frost, the cake has at your fingertips all of the emergency procedures, phone numbers and decision-makers responsible in the case of emergency.
The boy-scout motto rings true here…Be Prepared!”
Lisa Censullo, ACCESS (Boston)
“Never get complacent. Always stay on top of things and come up with fresh ideas and new ways to do things.”
Colin Cowie, Colin Cowie Lifestyle (New York)
“When I take on a project I always approach it by programming a space to the seasons: is it spring, summer, winter or fall? Next, is it morning, noon or night? Layer on top of that the 5 senses: what you smell, touch, taste, see and hear to tell a unique story based on the client’s DNA. This allows me to take guests on a meaningful journey with a well thought-out beginning, middle, and end.”
Amy Beth Stern, Eventive (New York)
“The most important thing for creating a successful fundraising event is to ensure the audience has a tangible connection to the charity or cause. We often do this through content and immersive experiences on-site. This can be difficult because of the emotionally charged message some causes come inherently with. We find messaging that is inspiring and actionable and weave it all throughout the event. This results in further donation, and even amplification to a broader audience.”
Jennifer Anderson, Jennifer Anderson Events (Chicago)
“Have a Backup Plan. Best laid plans are only as good as your backup plan.
Assess where you think issues may arise whether it be seating, transportation or weather. Consider your options and have an alternative plan. Step right into the backup plan when things go wrong and you will be the hero planner.”
Anne Fairfield-Sonn, Anne Fairfield-Sonn, quoted by G2 (Chicago)
As you organize the goals, objectives, and build the deliverable timeline, make sure your marketing team and key stakeholders have insight into your planning. Aligning the internal stakeholders from the start can help you develop a branded, unified experience for all the attendees. If it’s a significant event, regularly organize check-ins with the attendees to make sure each of the deliverables from booth design to media promotion is on track.” – Anne Fairfield-Sonn