Top Tips for Planning a Successful Event

After the senior team stand-off at the Lib Dem conference and the big manifesto pledges of the Labour conference, the political conference season will come to an end next week with the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. There’s a big agenda to plough through, with speeches galore and a sacrosanct two hour lunch break on each of the full day sessions. The whole thing will be precision timed, stage managed to perfection and incorporate sufficient opportunities for the golden media moments that form part of any political conference.

Party conferences are well-oiled machines, fuelled by years of experience and the knowledge that the media is clearly focused on every nuance of gesture and expression. For many companies hosting an event - albeit on a smaller scale - the same level of experience does not apply. However, even without the added pressure of live TV broadcasts and banks of reporters, the need to ensure that all runs smoothly still applies.

From exhibitions, to seminars to conferences on a grand scale, events take creative thinking, extensive planning and some serious attention to detail.  All too often, companies book their events well in advance and only get round to planning them at the last minute, leaving them with something that lacks cohesion and creativity, fails to truly leverage the opportunity to engage and leaves the team involved feeling exhausted and disappointed.

Here are our top tips for getting your event right:

  • Think carefully about the venue – is it easy to get to for all your proposed delegates, does it reflect your brand and serve your purpose well?
  • Consider a theme that will tie elements of your event together and make it more memorable for delegates
  • Understand your guest list and use that knowledge to your advantage when planning location, time of year, time of day, speakers, activities, food etc
  • Delegate! If you can outsource some elements of the planning and logistics you’ll find it’s money well spent. For example, hiring a couple of hostesses to welcome guests onto your stand and find the right person for them to talk to can help maximise the value of your senior team at an exhibition
  • Be honest about why you’re having the event – if you don’t understand the purpose how can you measure its success?…..and if it doesn’t really have a purpose why are you doing it?