Image: people love to recieve a goodie bag at an event. These are the Air France / KLM goodie bags that we supplied
Having managed events for several years, I have a check list that I go by, that I thought I would share with those of you who might not have planned an event before, and might not know where to start.
1. Venue selection. Selecting the right venue is very important, and the first thing you need to do above all else, to ensure you lock in your preferred date and time and can find somewhere within your budget. Keep in mind the following when selecting a venue:
- size. This is very important as you want to ensure your guests will fit in the venue nicely. You dont want to have a small event of only 20 people and have them in a massive room, or on the other hand you dont want to have 100 people turn up and have them squeezing in uncomfortably and unable to move about without bumping into others, if you have only sourced a small room.
- layout. Will you be hosting a cabaret style luncheon with a stage?, or a training sesion so you need a horseshoe style layout?, or maybe your guests will be standing at your event - so you might need high tables for their drinks? Think about how you can make the guests comfortable but at the same time make the layout practical.
- catering capabilities. Will your venue be providing the catering? if so, make sure you get a look at their menu options before locking in the venue. You want to ensure that the food will be a good fit for your guests. If possible, ask the venue if you can sample the food beforehand. Food is a very important aspect and something that you need to ensure you get right. Don't serve your guests cheap, tasteless food, and dont let them go hungry. A few hundred dollars in food is worth it - otherwise my advice is don't even bother to have the event. Food really is a make or break for your brand.
- look. To keep in with your brand image you need to choose a venue that will suit your brand image. If you are a corporate company you would want to hire a high class venue. If you are a funky, new fashion brand, you could do something fun and have it in an unusual place, in a funky or upcoming suburb - something you know that would delight your target market.
- location. Are your target market city workers that you want to get to your event after their working day? ensure you hire a venue in a CBD location so its easy for your target market to get to. Or maybe your target market are university students - think about doing something fun to tie in with their exam or term schedules.
- transport / parking facilities. Think about how your guests can get their and ensure they have a few options - not everyone has a car.
- decorations. Even something as simple as your branded pull up banner at the entrance, some nice candles or flower vases in the middle of the tables, or anything that ties into your brand image and to give the room a bit of personality, is a great idea.
2. Invitation design & send out. At this stage of planning, you will need to know the agenda, so you can include as much info on the invite to entice the right people to turn up. On my invites, I like to clearly outline (in no particular order):
4. Bags for the giveaways. Make sure your event bag is the right size, colour and style for your event, and make sure it's the right thickness for what you will be placing in the bags. If you are planning to put heavy items in the bags, you will need to get re-inforced handle holes and base.
You could make a statement with your giveaway bags by printing a beautiful design on them, having a call to action on the bag, having an unusual shaped bag, or an unusual and stand-out colour bag, to ensure people remember you, or re-use the bag, which will get you more exposure after the event.
5.Catering. As a follow on, and as mentioned previously, food is oneof the most important elements at your event. No matter how interesting your speaker is, no matter how great the venue is, or how exciting your product is that you are launching....much of what you do comes down to the food. People will remember the food at your event and comment on it to others even if they thought the event was great in other ways. Sounds illogical, but thats human nature, and you cannot change it - so please ensure you choose a fabulous caterer for your event, to ensure its ultimate success!
Best of luck with your event! Let us know if you have any tips in the comments section below.
Clara Cassidy, Founder and Marketing Manager of Custom Printed Bags & Boxes, is a marketing professional with years of experience in branding, promotions and events.