Planning and precision key for successful events

Sales incentives meetings, board meetings, trade shows, educational conferences, plenary sessions, product launches, grand openings, consumer shows, fundraisers….

Special events play an important part in an organization’s overall public relations strategy. The outcome is a reflection on the corporate image, and a successful event is the result of precision, organization and attention to detail.

Shannon Reeder, account executive for client events at S&A Cherokee, says a good starting point for any event is a backwards timeline. “I use an eight-week planning period as the default for most projects, which can be scalable depending on the size and scope of the event,” she says.

Working backwards from the date of the event, Shannon recommends plotting the following deadlines on a master calendar:

  • Site selection finalized and contract negotiated
  • Speakers secured
  • Entertainment booked
  • Vendors contracted
  • Applications for applicable permits submitted
  • Marketing and advertising in place
  • Onsite artwork designed and printed
  • Food and beverage needs finalized
  • Onsite details finalized and confirmed with all parties
  • Event execution
  • Post-event evaluation and surveys

While taking a bird’s eye view of the work needed to produce an event can become overwhelming, putting hard deadlines on paper breaks the details down into more manageable tasks.

Another key element to a successful event is organization, and list-making is a great way to get organized. Make sure your list contains action items, which will prioritize the workflow. Continuously updating the function’s needs in list form helps the planner to maintain a sharp focus from initial planning through execution.

Finally, clear communication with all involved parties is essential for success. From support staff to vendors, to back-of-the-house staff to attendees, many elements must seamlessly converge for an impactful outcome. The event planner is responsible for delegating information to all the players and ensuring everyone is ready to play his or her part.

To discover how S&A Cherokee can help with your event-planning needs, contact us for a free consultation at (919) 674-6020.

Author: Glenn Gillen, APR
Glenn Gillen is our Senior Account Manager.

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