Event Planning: You Need to Have a Plan

Have you ever tried your hand at event planning before? Even the most basic party or get-together (in your mind, at least) can turn into a stressful occasion when you’re in charge of all the details. Now think about putting on a conference or tradeshow for 500 or more of your closest friends.

No matter the size, the key to event planning is having a plan.

The most mundane details can pop up to haunt you onsite if you haven’t tied them down ahead of time. Trust me, I’m as spontaneous and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants as they come, and I’m serious about having a plan for any event I’m putting on. Masking drape color, onsite inventory and task lists, personnel schedules and dress all need to be thought of before the big event.

Dress as in the clothes you’re going to wear? Yes, the last thing you need to worry about while running around onsite is not having appropriate shoes or forgetting formal clothing for that big Awards Dinner. Think about each day or event and what you will be doing in order to avoid wishing you had packed a whole lot differently (or any embarrassing moments).

Don’t assume that you’ll remember anything onsite. If you do, it will be a bonus. If you’re giving a speech, at least have note cards on hand in case you draw a big blank when looking out at the audience.

Another reminder that applies to any event you’re throwing… have any contact information you could possibly need on hand (preferably in your phone). Then you’ll be able to quickly get a hold of your hotel contact, colleague, caterer or sister-in-law when something comes up — or goes down — that you need help with.

Events can be fun to plan and rewarding when done well, especially when you plan to perfection.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend, and a sincere thank you to all who have served, and continue to serve today, to protect what makes America great.

Jaime