Wow, I can’t believe we’ve already wrapped up the first quarter of 2022 and are moving into Q2! I know in many places around the world, and in Edmonton and surrounding areas, in-person events are starting to resurface and I am so excited to see what the rest of the year holds in the events world! I thought it would be a great time to go over one of the fundamentals of event planning, the 5 stages. Going through these stages is a great way to ensure that you don’t miss out on any important pieces and you plan the right event for the right audience. In today’s blog, I will go through each step, give a few examples when applicable and send you on your way to getting started on planning your next event!
Stage 1: Research
First things first, research. It’s always important to conduct research before diving into an event. Why? Conducting research helps you understand:
What is the event for?
Who do I want to attend the event, or who is the target audience?
What goal am I trying to achieve with this event?
The main question that your research needs to focus on is, ‘What goal am I trying to achieve with this event?’ By setting objectives you will be able to determine what factors you need to research to meet these goals.
An example of this could be: You want to organize an event to raise money for your local animal shelter through a gala. Some of the research you would need to conduct is who would attend, what type of event would you hold, how will you raise money, what is the charitable amount goal, and much more.
Research can be the toughest stage in event planning. Practice using SMART goals to keep your research on track. Not sure what a SMART goal is?
Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to start envisioning your design. What is the event going to look like? Remember to keep your SMART goals in mind throughout each of the steps. But this is where we start getting further into the details. My favorite place to start is choosing a venue. This is a great starting point to build further design details off of. Need help choosing the perfect venue for your upcoming event?
If you’re a regular reader of the Planit Events’ blog, you know that I talk about planning… A LOT. Planning is the fundamental core of your event, so don’t take this stage lightly. Planning includes everything big and everything small, every major and minor detail. In terms of the 5 stages, the planning stage includes finalizing the venue, the budget, and all timelines. Don’t make this stage harder for yourself than it needs to be. Numerous tools on the market are free or paid, to help you during this stage. Looking for some tools?
Planning takes the most amount of time, so if you have the resources to build a team to help, I recommend doing so. Your team can be made up of colleagues, project managers, or professional event planner(s).
Stage 4: Coordinate
Coordinating, this is where you get to see your event come to life! I’ll warn you, this is probably the most stressful stage of them all. This is where things will happen (and trust me, no matter how meticulously you plan, something will always happen) and will test your reactivity, adaptability, and adjustability. But that’s ok! After you’ve been in the events world as long as I have, you become accustomed to adapting plans quickly and having contingency plans in place. Event rental vendor backed out on you? Not a problem, you have another one you can contact. But it’s important to remember that things do happen, but you and your team can handle them. Take a deep breath, evaluate the situation and create a new plan.
Reviewing and evaluating after an event tends to get forgotten about, but this is where you find your key learnings. Ask yourself the following:
What went well with the event?
What did not go well?
Did I meet my objectives? Why or why not?
What would I have done differently?
Did I have the right contingency plans in place?
Did my team coordinate well?
These questions will help you evaluate your event and you can take the key learnings onto your next event to make it even better.
I hope that by shedding some light on the 5 stages of event planning you can move forward confidently with your event. As always, Planit Event Inc. is at your service, whether you need help with the entirety of your event or just one of the stages. Feel free to contact us to learn how we can create the event you are looking to achieve.