This past week I was in charge of putting together a summit with 200 guests and government officials. I sure learned a lot in putting this summit together. The biggest lesson I learned was that when you include “organizing an event” in a proposal or action plan for a client make sure you’re prepared by having gone through the four steps below. If the client approves the proposal or plan you better be ready to deliver.
1. Define Roles
Before you even think of organizing an event for a client you must create an inventory list. The list should include such items like supplies, budget, staff, location, vendors, materials, and time. Really take the time to research each item on the list to make sure you’re fully capable of handling each aspect of the event. Also be realistic on how many people are truly needed to put the event together; remember quality is more important than quantity. Once you know how many people are needed to put on a good event define their roles immediately. Make sure you’ll have someone who oversees all the different tasks to make sure nothing is missed.
If you know you have to organize a big event in February you should start planning about two to three months in advance. You don’t want to be rushed at the last minute. Create a checklist and timeline of how the workload should flow. Give people deadlines to keep them on track.
3. Establish the Goal and Objectives Early On:
To make sure the event is a success clearly define the goal and the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic,and Timely) objectives that will help you achieve the overall goal and strategy. For example, if your goal is to get the message out about the importance of brushing your teeth make sure all the speakers are communicating that message. Also make sure all materials, visuals, presentations convey that message. Keep the message unified and strong. Also if the goal is to get a celebrity start researching ways on how to contact them.
First know how many people plan to attend the event in order to decide what venue to use. The venue is sometimes the most expensive part of an event. Once that’s done make a list of all the vendors you’ll use along with their prices. In the overall budget include the prices of the venue and vendors, printing, and the hours of each employee. Make sure not to miss anything or else it will come out of your pocket.
5. Client Approves
Once you have all the pieces in place–roles have been defined, timeline and deadlines have been established, goal and objectives have been established, and budget has been drafted it’s time for the client to say “yes” or “no”. The better laid out your plan is the better the chances are of the client saying “YES”.
Since you’ve already done a good job thoroughly planning, the implementation part will be a piece of cake. Have weekly meetings to make sure everyone is following through with their tasks, and if you see that someone is not doing anything for a couple weeks just get rid of them. No need to keep bad apples in the group. Preparing an event is a group effort in which everyone needs to work in a team and be supportive.
Don’t promise the world to the client unless you are truly able to successfully execute the plan. Plan, Plan, Plan…be prepared…be prepared…be prepared…..before giving anything to the client. Remember your reputation follows you so do a good job!!!