If it is your first time planning an event, you are probably terrified that it might not work out as planned. A little advance planning can help ease your mind and make your event successful. Planning and communication are key. Whether it is your class reunion or a black tie fundraiser, you want to be organized well in advance so that you don’t let anything fall through the cracks.
There are a number of good online registration tools out there. For single events, we love WhenNow. For multiple events, we suggest Active Calendar. Both tools have tons of built in features that allow easy registration and communication options to help spread the word and capture pertinent data needed for your event. The PDF is dead. No one wants to print and fill out a form, find a checkbook and a stamp or God Forbid, provide their credit card manually. Online registration is fast, easy and shareable.
It is still the most popular and trustworthy social media outlet out there, so why not take advantage of it! Just be sure to include a registration link to make it sticky! Who cares if someone is interested in my event? I want to know that they are coming for sure!
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Identify people with the most social followers and the biggest rolodex to rally around your cause. Sharing the responsible takes the burden off of you and lets you focus on the event itself. Whether it is the Homecoming Queen who helps you promote the reunion or the bank CEO that helps get people to your fundraiser…gather a posse to help with the legwork.
Depending on your event, why not tie in with another organization and offer to promote each other’s events. If the car show is in April and the Bridal Show is in September, work together to promote both events. It helps both organizations gather momentum and build their email database, driving toward present and future success.
Whether you are using a ticket for the event or a guest list, organization is key. Ideally a QR coded unique ticket will allow for fast registration that will automatically “check-in” the guest. Others prefer a guest list. Sort it alphabetically and if there are a large number of guests, create separate check in lines (A to F, G to L, etc.). If you want to make name tags, it can easily be done from an Excel spreadsheet using Microsoft Word. Check out the instructions here.
Just say “thank you”. Feedback is always key for ongoing events and you want to pro-actively ask for it. An email may be sufficient, or utilize a tool like Survey Monkey to ask people about the event. Keep them engaged and let them know you care. Also, if they are unhappy, you want to preemptively keep them away from Social Media!
The bottom line is that if you have a plan and follow it, everyone will enjoy your event. It may be your first, but it surely won’t be your last.