HOW-TO Guide for Event Planning


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Public Relations Event Management Guide for BEGINNERS

Published in: Self Improvement

HOW-TO Guide for Event Planning

  1. 1. Event Planning “HOW-TO” Guide!<br /> Whether you are planning a graduation party, a family reunion, a field trip, a concert, a fund raiser, a house party, a luncheon, a picnic, or a wedding, it is my hope that this guide will assist you as a beginner in event planning! -Jasmine D. Stewart 5/6/2010<br />
  2. 2. Event Planning “HOW-TO” Guide<br />The tips and guidelines in this Power Point were things I learned from the Public Relations Event Management course at GA Southern University!<br />Professor: Mrs. Urkovia Andrews <br />[]<br />Text: Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide (2nd edition) by Judy Allen<br />
  3. 3. PHASE ONE: “Plan, prepare, then be prepared for the unexpected!”<br />In the beginning stages of planning an event, it is important to know the five design principles:<br />1. ELEMENTS [All the parts that make up the event]<br />2. ESSENTIALS [The must-haves!]<br />3. ENVIRONMENT [The venue & style of location]<br />4. ENERGY [The mood you want to create]<br />5. EMOTION [Feelings you want to inspire from event]<br />
  4. 4. PHASE ONE (Continued)<br />The first thing you should do is utilize the “DRIVE” acronym, which Allen described in her book.<br />D – Define company/event objectives<br />R – Research and develop your event vision<br />I – Innovate and create a customized event experience<br />V – Visualize your event step by step<br />E – Execute with detailed precision and timing<br />Write down every detail and idea you come up with!<br />
  5. 5. PHASE TWO: Time & Money<br />…After all, “Time IS Money!”<br />Come up with a projected budget adding in all preliminary costs. Present it to your client (if you have one) for approval and adjustments. But first, here’s how to create your budget…<br />
  6. 6. PHASE TWO: Time & Money<br />There are two parts to a budget: expenses and income<br />For the EXPENSES, you will need to record costs for the site, printed materials, décor, food, ad space, entertainment, security personnel, party favors, clean-up, etc. So be sure to write down everything your event needs!<br />
  7. 7. PHASE TWO: Time & Money<br />For the INCOME, write down the amounts of money that will be coming in prior to the actual day of the event, including but not limited to monies from selling of advanced tickets, donations, & payments from vendors.<br />
  8. 8. PHASE TWO: Time & Money<br />The next step is to write up an event schedule starting with what needs to be done now in preparation and then adding what leads up to the actual event! Begin with what will happen months before the event, then lead into weeks prior, then focus on the day before, day of, and day after.<br />
  9. 9. PHASE THREE: You’re Invited!<br />Now is the time to start considering your guests. Ask yourself the following questions:<br />How many people do I want to be there? How many can I afford? Who do I especially want at the event? How will my guests be transported to and from the event? What will they have to entertain them upon arrival prior to the event beginning? What is the theme? What will they eat?<br />
  10. 10. PHASE THREE: You’re Invited!<br />After analyzing your projected guest list and details, get catering set up, secure a venue, hire entertainment, get invitations printed, begin advertising, and make your purchases.<br />
  11. 11. PHASE FOUR: Prepare<br />The number one thing to remember about event planning is to expect the unexpected! No matter how much you plan and prepare ahead of time, something is bound to happen that can not be controlled. But don’t worry. More than 9 times out of 10, this happens at every event.<br />
  12. 12. PHASE FOUR: Prepare<br />Consider major holidays, school breaks, and sports/community events when you choose your event date<br />Book entertainment as ahead of time as possible<br />If you will have an outdoor event, consider weather conditions, lighting, electricity sources, restrooms, and seating/tents.<br />
  13. 13. PHASE FOUR: (Continued)<br />If you want animals at your event, consider clean-up, safety for the animals, safety for the guests, animal odor, animal-feeding, and any permits you may need to have prior to.<br />If your event involves alcoholic beverages, you will also need to have permission from the appropriate authorities. Also consider security.<br />
  14. 14. PHASE FOUR: (Continued)<br />Depending on the size of your event (costs of event and number of expected guests) you will need to have hired a certain amount of staff for your event planning committee. A helpful list of duties that come with event planning are:<br />Project director, personnel supervisor, accountant, art director, public relations practitioner, program administrator, caterer, salesperson, … this is a never-ending list. You can never have too many people on hand to help at a large event – including volunteers.<br />
  15. 15. PHASE FIVE: FOOD<br />If your event includes food, this phase is vital to your event planning regimen!<br />Decide what set-up you want: buffet, reception, action station, cafeteria style, family style, or preset.<br />Consider what layout of seating you’d like to have in relation to the set-up you choose for food.<br />Get table décor that is attractive but not too large that guests can’t easily see each other across the table.<br />Consider clean-up after the food session is complete! <br />
  16. 16. PHASE FIVE: FOOD<br />If your event is going to be outdoors, consider a back-up plan location in case it should rain or be too cold, too hot, or too windy.<br />Consider the possibility of vegetarians at your event and include item(s) on the menu to cater to their diet.<br />Have a balanced menu and a wide variety of food types!<br />
  17. 17. Strengths & Weaknesses<br />Some strengths of event planning are that you have the opportunity to control almost all of the event flow. As long as you plan as ahead of time as possible and practice good communication and spend budget monies wisely, your event should go as planned.<br />A weakness in event planning is that some things are just out of our control. For instance, the last event I was involved in was scheduled very far in advance for a southern art/music festival on Saturday in April. However, it was not until the event date was already secure that we discovered that there were three other very major events taking place in the area that day as well.<br />There will always be ups and downs in event planning. Just do the very best you can with what you have.<br />
  18. 18. (How many event staff members should I have???)<br />The answer to this depends on two things:<br />[1] The size of the event considering the venue, theme, budget, and # of guests<br />[2] The amount of time you have to get everything done in time for the event<br />Once you create your budget and timeline as well as the design of the event, write up a list of duties and then assign them. This will give you a good idea.<br />
  19. 19. Dealing with success/failures<br />It may be difficult for one who worked very hard and for a very long time to deal with a failed event. However, take each mistake made and use it as a lesson learned. For instance, if guest # was low, plan next time to have a bigger marketing campaign and/or spend more of the budget on advertising. Or if the guests did not enjoy the caterer, of course you’d know not to hire or recommend that company again.<br />
  20. 20. Dealing with success/failure<br />On the other hand, if your event is a success, thank everyone who was involved including sponsors, guests, staff members, and more. Be sure to thank everyone regardless of event outcome but especially if there was a great turn-out!<br />
  21. 21. Dealing with success/failure<br />If your event did not succeed and it receives bad buzz via word of mouth and/or negative publicity, don’t worry. As I stated before, use errors as lessons learned for next time. Take criticism as constructive criticism, even if it was intended to harm your reputation.<br />Do NOT bad-mouth people or companies! This is bad practice and unethical!<br />
  22. 22. **QUOTES TO REMEMBER**<br />“Get it in writing!” (Have formal contracts for catering, photographer, venue, permits, etc. if you have an event that requires them)<br />“Communication is key!” (Keep communication up with event staff, guests, and affiliates)<br />“Never assume anything!” (Beware of assuming that something will happen or that someone has been informed of something. ALWAYS make sure!) <br />