Events Made Easy: The Quintessential Checklist for Planning a Successful Event

April 3, 2018

Frank Zink

Frank is vice president of sales at Dyventive. A self-professed nerd with a passion for solving complex business goals using technology, Frank has more than 15 years of experience in strategic business development within the meetings and events industry.  

Each year companies spend valuable resources on meetings and events – not because they are a nice add on, but because they are a proven, successful business tool.  A well planned, well executed event can invigorate a corporation and dazzle attendees.  But just because something didn’t go wrong, it doesn’t mean everything went right.  As event planners we need to stop accepting "no catastrophic failures" as a measure of success.

These seven points of focus can help ensure you produce a successful event each and every time.

1. Define Goals and Know Your Audience

Here are just some things to consider.  What are the business goals of your meeting?  What does the audience want to achieve? What do your stakeholders (or sponsors) want to gain? How will you use technology to achieve your event goals?

2. Allocate Time to Find the Best Venue

Things to remember – capacity limits, break out space, catering space.  Can the venue accommodate your internet access needs and the needs or your attendees?  Does the space easily accommodate your AV, staging and acoustic needs?  Can the venue accommodate your set-up needs or will you need custom furniture or staging?

3. Budget Management

Is your budget fixed?  Can you secure sponsors to offset costs?  Do you put language in your venue contracts that allow you to bring in outside provides for things like AV, photography and security without additional fees?  Is your event date flexible?  You may be able to save money, and book the ideal venue, during a downtime or off-season.  Consider partnering with nationwide service providers who get to know your meetings to make cost savings recommendations regardless of venue. 

4. Program Planning

By working with a vendor to accommodate registration needs, to developing a detailed design of events from invitation to post-event follow-up email, you can minimize cost over-runs by minimizing last minute changes.  Don’t forget to brainstorm the possible catastrophes for each element – what could go wrong at each step along the way and what contingencies would you put in place?  Remember to estimate costs for each contingency.

5. Have a Marketing Plan

Consider the impact of your event beyond those in the room.  Do you need to create a website for the event?  How do you get your event listed on industry and trade journal calendars? How do you leverage social media influencers and hashtags to increase reach?  How can attendees amplify your message?

6. Measure, Measure, Measure

The event is over and the hard work may be finished, but did it pay off?  Measure media performance, website traffic, engagement on social media, and more.  Collect data, poll attendees.  Take the time to review the event’s successes and opportunities for improvement.

7. And finally....don’t forget the Emergency Tool Kit!

From duct tape, to safety pins, to breath mints – sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference.

At Dyventive we specialize in unique meeting and event technology solutions.  Through our work with some of the world’s leading corporate meeting planners we have seen it all.  These are just some tips from our comprehensive event checklist.  View the complete list at https://www.dyventive.com/events-made-easy-quintessential-checklist-planning-successful-event/ or download it for use again and again.    

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Partner Voices

As event professionals, our job is to host people and while we can’t prepare for everything, it’s essential to develop an emergency plan that can be adapted to any situation. In Boston, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s (MCCA) Public Safety Team at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center, have taken their experiences to develop a comprehensive crisis management training program, starting with crisis communications.