It goes without saying, but planning an event can be a daunting task. With so much to think about it may be easy to become overwhelmed if you don’t have a good strategy. With plenty of event planning experience, at Sedgebrook Hall we can help you with a smooth process whereby each task fits easily into place. Planning and taking time for your mental health are the key aspects which will be addressed. Both can have a massive effect on yourself and your event. Managed correctly, you can enjoy a straightforward planning process and an event which is a great success. To make it easier for you, follow our event planning template.
The event planning process
To begin any form of planning you need to create a rough plan. This can be on excel or even the notes section of your phone. Get down the bare bones of your event and you can build it up from there. If you’re working as part of a team, an initial meeting where you go over this plan is vital. Ensure everyone has access to the planning notes so everyone is on the same page. During the meeting, have the minutes recorded and then create a full guide afterwards. This should be far more comprehensive, with all tasks recorded.
Delegation is a key part of event planning so don’t be afraid to organise your team. Different people will have different skill sets, so utilise these when delivering tasks. Look at your team’s previous experience. Have they been involved in a similar event beforehand? Are they experts in marketing and can be in charge of this aspect? Work out everyone’s strengths and they can use these to the advantage of the event. There is a variety of Management Tools On The Market which you can utilise.
Event planning checklist template
A rough idea of an event planning checklist would look something like this:
- What is the reason for the event (be it a conference, party or meeting)?
- What do you want to achieve?
- How will you achieve this?
- How much can we invest in this event?
- How much ROI do we need?
- Will we have sponsors/donations for the event?
Date and tickets?
- When will be the best date to maximise turnout?
- How much will the tickets be
- How will we promote our event and sell said tickets? What type of publicity will you use?
- How long will registration be open?
- What sort of venue will be best to compliment the branding of the event
- Is the location accessible
- How much space/capacity will we need
- Will we provide catering/is it appropriate for the event?
- If so, to what extent?
- Will this be included in the ticket price?
- How many tables will you need?
- How many speakers?
- What is our budget for this?
- How will we contact them (social media is ideal for this)?
- How to strike a balance between experienced candidates and fresh up-and-coming speakers?
- Would anyone in our team in our business like to speak?
- Are there any other activities to include?
- How are we going to market this event?
- How to utilise videos/social media/blog posts to advertise?
- Once the event is over, how will we follow it up (be prepared to review your event to ensure the next one is even better)?
- Think about your event and which aspects are the most important
- If the worst-case scenario happened, how could this be resolved
- What measures could I put in place that act as a safety net?
Having alternative options is not only important for your event, but for your peace of mind. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong, someone drops out last minute or a vendor becomes unavailable, having that Plan B is vital. It means that whatever happens, you’ve already accommodated for it. You’ve really thought of every eventuality, therefore the event can be a success even if everything doesn’t go exactly to plan. Keeping track of the items above in a spreadsheet or folder can really help and making sure you follow the event planning template should keep everything on track and in your mind.
How to make the event planning process smoother
Stress relief in the planning process
The primary way to ensure that planning is a stress-free process is to look after your mental health. Planning a big event can be daunting and understandably create some tension. Stress, when properly managed, can be a great way to motivate and get the job gets done. However, too much of it can be unhealthy and will inevitably affect the success of your event. Understand the importance of downtime and remember you deserve to relax too. Build up stress release techniques and experiment with what works for you. Confide in your team and encourage communication and sharing. You’ll feel more at ease with a great support network around you.
Time management is vital when planning a big event. If you cannot master this, you will inevitably feel stressed as everything feels rushed or out of control. Learn to manage your time properly so you can complete tasks and feel accomplished in the lead up to the event. Deadlines for achievements throughout the planning process is a great way to spread your time evenly and limit how long you spend on each item. Sometimes, if you have too much time to do a particular thing, you make the process longer and more complicated, wasting time in the long run.
Set up accurate time scales for each aspect of planning and limit yourself so it must be completed. These smaller accomplishments throughout, such as finalising speakers or catering, give you that sense of achievement and a confidence boost for the next step. It also allows you to visualise things in bite-sized chunks instead of a giant unmanageable task. Once you’ve put all the work into hosting a fantastic event, don’t forget that you deserve to enjoy it. The feeling of a plan coming together is fantastic so take some time to be involved in the event so you can get the full effect of your hard work.
Book an experienced event venue
At Sedgebrook Hall in Northampton, we have plenty of experience in all things event. From planning to execution, our team can draw upon a wealth of knowledge and help you make your event or celebration the best it can be. With intimate knowledge of our space, we have the tools to maximise your success. As well as 22 flexible event spaces to hire, we can provide catering, comfortable accommodation and ample onsite parking. Our original manor house is the perfect backdrop for any event and our team can cater to your needs throughout. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team today for more information. Don’t forget to use our event planning template to make the process easier for you!