02
Jun
10

Official Opinions: Stitely Tips for Event Planning

Tips for Planning an Event

Here at Stitely Entertainment, we understand the numerous pressures and things to think about when planning an event. In this post, we have a few tips that might help your event run a little more smoothly! These tips and the included checklist can be tailored to any kind of event – just trim off the steps that don’t apply to your event – I’ve included tips that can cover everything from the largest corporate event to the smallest wedding, so not all steps on the checklist may apply to your event.

  • Pre-Event
    • Establish a System for RSVP: Sending out “save the dates” and invitations is only the start. Create a method to manage responses and document who has and has not responded. Following up with invitees is crucial to ensuring you’ve booked an appropriate space, ordered enough food etc.
    • Location, Location, Location: Choose a location that suits the needs of your event – how many people are attending? What is the main function of the event? Be sure you scout out all of the possible locations and make a pros and cons list for each space so you can compare notes later!
    • Understand your Audience: If food is to be served at the event, make sure you have alternatives for vegetarians and vegans; check to make sure guests inform you of any allergies.  If alcohol is to be served, how will you enforce drink limits and ID checking policies? These are things people often forget when planning an event.
    • Create More Than Just an Event – Create an Experience! Choose appropriate decorations for your event and setting, plan out when certain key events are going to happen and choose a fitting soundtrack for the night (our specialty!)
  • During the Event
    • Arrive Early and go Through Your Event Checklist One Last Time: Make sure food and drink services are ready to go, that all media is working properly, that sound equipment for your speakers and/or entertainment is loud enough to be heard through out the space. Be sure to keep a list of contact information for everyone involved so you can contact anyone you need to, including all of your vendors and staff.
    • Keep Time: Try to keep the night on schedule as best you can. Chances are you only have booked the space, speakers or entertainers for a specific time span.  You’ll want to be sure to keep on target so you achieve a well-run event that meets all of your goals and expectations!
    • Have Multiple “Touch Points” for Guests: As a host, make sure you have multiple areas in the event space where you can check in with guests.  Have someone to greet them at the door, a registration or check in station and a place to collect and distribute networking information if your event calls for it
    • Document the Event: Have several cameras available (with charged batteries, of course!) so you can document the event for both your company and for the guests. Being able to capture memories and share them is a great way to show off the success of an event!  If the event allows for it, try to have someone with a camcorder record some clips that will show highlights from the event – it can be a great way to show off the event on your website or social networking channels
    • Be Prepared for Problems or Emergencies: Have a backup plan on hand just in case something doesn’t go as planned or a crisis crops up.  Have back-up copies of multimedia, have volunteers or staff prepared in the case of an emergency and have your contact list close at hand at all times!
  • Post-Event
    • Evaluate the Event/Results: Check any sort of feedback you’ve received from guests and be sure to carefully assess what your successes and failures of the evening were so you can learn from them!
    • Follow up with Your Guests: Write thank you notes to any volunteers, staff, speakers or entertainers.  Also be sure to follow up with guests via email or mail thanking them for a successful evening and including any links to photos from the event or informing the guests of results of the evening (i.e. – if there is a fundraiser, let them know how much money was raised).  The event doesn’t end when you walk out of the building, so make sure you follow through and keep the relationship with your guests continuing!

We’ve also come up with a checklist for you to keep track of what you have done for the event which can be downloaded at this link: Checklist for Special Events

With these tips, your life is sure to be just a little bit easier when planning that big event!  Good luck!

Derek Bundy

Stitely Marketing Intern

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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