These are possibly the most dreaded two words in a communications professional’s vernacular. In the past, I have avoided even uttering the phrase in fear that some sort of Beetlejuice-like magic would cause a client’s event to appear on my calendar.
But, why do we feel like pulling our hair out when it comes to event planning?
The simple answer – because they are a lot of work. The logistics can be difficult, the details can be overwhelming, and planning can be time consuming.
But events are also vitally important. A successfully executed event can attract media attention to your cause, help build meaningful relationships with your organization’s stakeholders AND distribute your company’s message in a direct and powerful way. From grand openings to client appreciation events to press conferences, events give you the opportunity to position your company in exactly the right manner.
Remember three tips on how to make your event a success AND eliminate hair loss.
1. Know your purpose. This seems obvious but… Take the time to ask “why?” Why are we having this event? What is the message we want to convey? What’s the purpose? Then make sure that the proposed event (and its details) will actually serve this purpose. Because sometimes you just don’t need a $10,000 fireworks display to announce the grand opening of your scrapbook store.
2. Get organized. Sometimes the details of planning a fundraising gala or awards banquet can make you feel like you are sinking in the swamp of sadness. You want to know how to get out of that swamp? Get organized. Create timelines, to-do lists, contact sheets, calendars and budgets. The more outlets you have to arrange the details – the better.
3. Stay organized. Oh, you created a budget but never looked at it again? You developed a strategic timeline and then decided you’ll just get everything done the week before? You just fell victim to one of the classic blunders – the most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” but only slightly less well-known is this: DON’T DEVELOP A PLAN AND NOT STICK TO IT. Stay organized.
Events should not be feared, communications professionals. They should be celebrated.
Erika Huffman is a well-rounded strategic communications professional. With experience in industries including construction, law and the arts, she provides excellent council to a variety of clients. Erika is an expert in helping clients with social media strategy, event coordination and community relations.