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11 top tips for planning an event

1. Communicate the purpose of the event with clear, realistic and measurable objectives.

Everyone associated with the event should understand the vision of what is to be delivered and participants must understand what the benefits of attending are.

2. Research the market – location/dates/audience/speakers

Avoid any conflicts of interest or competing events.

3. Draft a working event schedule

Create a detailed timeline of activities, dates and roles, and distribute this to all stakeholders so everyone knows what should be done when.

4. Create a team, allocate roles and responsibilities, consider external resources.

Don’t try to do everything yourself, seek support, advice and guidance from people you trust to get the job done to the same standards as you.

5. Create a detailed venue brief, visit and explain your event to them – in detail.

The venue’s ability to fully understand your event and provide excellent support on the day is crucial.

6. Create a working costs/income budget

Be clear on what you can and cannot afford, re-visit the budget regularly, make sure the final bill is not going to be a surprise to anyone.

7. Develop a detailed event specification and obtain supplier quotes

Seek out options, ask expert suppliers for innovative ways of delivering more for less.

8. Pay particular attention to the detail of each activity

They don't say 'the devil is in the detail' for nothing. It’s the small detail that catches you out on the day – don’t assume anything.

9. Have a contingency plan and be prepared to work all night if necessary

Work through a range of ‘what if’ scenarios and develop plans to cope for when 'it' happens, whatever 'it' may be.

10. Enjoy the event and celebrate success

It’s serious stuff when you go live, and it can pass by in a flash - so rememeber to enjoy it. Soak it all in as you watch the months of hard work come to life.

11. Evaluate the results against the objectives, produce recommendations

Generate feedback from participants, suppliers, colleagues and the client. Evaluate the results and host a detailed debrief session with the client team.

And finally, BREATHE! It's all over.

You'll be relieved it went by without a hitch (hopefully), you'll be sad its over, and you'll be excited thinking about how long it will be until you can do it all over again!

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