What are the steps of the event planning process?

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Answered by: Michael, An Expert in the Event Planning 101 Category
There are several steps involved in order to make your next event a roaring success. First, it is important to brainstorm and plan for all of the event logistics. The date, location, time, and potential vendors are all important considerations. After you've decided on these logistical considerations, you next want to contact the proposed location to ensure that it is available on your chosen date and time. Next, you want to contact the appropriate vendors for your event. Will you need catering? novelties? rental equipment?

Many colleges and universities have an event planning organization on campus and this organization will likely be able to provide references for local vendors. After contacting the vendors, you will need to enter into a contract in order to lock in your event. These steps are best accomplished 4-6 weeks prior to your event. By completing these steps early, you give yourself time to double-check all of the details of your event. These are just a few of the basic steps involved in the pre-event phase of professional event planning.

In order to track your progress, I recommend the use of Gantt charts to keep you on schedule. Communication with your vendors, staff, volunteers and customers is also extremely important. I recommend publicizing your event in both print and digital media. Print media can involve traditional direct mail or posters/handbills. Digital media is where you and your staff can get extremely creative. This media can be published on your organization's website and social media in order to spread the word about your event as wide as possible. In order to have a successful event you must spread the word and properly publicize your event.

Finally, after the event it is crucially important that you evaluate your event with a critical eye. Did your event hit its target market? Did you accomplish the specified goals of the event? These are all important questions that must be asked in the post-event assessment. Without the post-event assessment it will be impossible for your organization to improve its future events. These assessments should have both quantitative and qualitative aspects, including but not limited to: attendance figures, costs, revenues, descriptions/evaluations of any volunteers who staffed the event, overall perceptions of the event and a frank discussion of what went well and what did not. These post-event assessments should be saved and referenced in the future when planning similar events.

These steps have been used in order to implement over 300 separate events over the past three years. The beauty of establishing an event planning process is that the process can be used for events of any size with only very minor tweaking. This process has been successfully used to plan small novelty events to medium-sized lectures to large-scale block parties and concerts. I am happy to elaborate and create unique planning materials for your specific event. By following this process, you will place yourself in an excellent position to host a very successful event. I look forward to corresponding with you and working with you on your specific project(s).

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