An event can certainly just have the aim of being an enjoyable party for yourself, your employees, your customers, your suppliers or even your competitors. It is perfectly fine to hold an event with the mind-set of "having fun". But, if you're going to spend a lot of money on a party, why not make it into something that can also have an effect on your profits? With an event, you have the opportunity to do more than just entertain yourself and others. You also have the chance to contribute to the company's development.
Also, there are a lot of risks in arranging an event with no plan or goal. An unwanted effect may be that some of the target groups feel overlooked or neglected. It may also give a confusing impression and, in the worst case, result in a bad event that may negatively affect your brand.
Everything is much easier and more effective if you take the time to plan properly and target one of the target groups, instead of shooting from the hip with all guns blazing. The event can then be better planned and steered in a direction to obtain the long-term effects desired. And good planning is essential for any event.
You must start planning early if you want to succeed. Don't trust the colleague who says "it always works out in the end". This is not the case in the event world. An event that ends in confusion can have very unpleasant effects in the long term. How good does it feel to be responsible for an event where the food runs out before half the gang have had anything to eat? Or to realise that the promised speaker was never booked and will not be turning up? The gossip that can easily arise about your business after a bad event can be very difficult to erase. Particularly nowadays, when gossip is spread faster than ever via social media.
How far in advance do you think that you need to notify your attendees about the coming event? Do you think a month beforehand is sufficient? Surely, three months should be more than enough? No, you need more time than that if you want to feel safe and secure in arranging your event. You should get your invitations out six months before the event. Even if you don't need to send any formal invitations, you should at least make the event known to your target group. Do something that means they have a chance to write it in their diary and book the date. But, forward planning is mainly done for your own sake.
By early planning, you will have plenty of opportunity to think through the aim and the goal of your event. You will have time to think about what it is you want to communicate and what messages you want to convey. This is a thought process that may need to take time, and there are probably others in the project who also need time to cultivate their thoughts. If all employees have the time and opportunity to give their opinion and have an influence on things, you have a better chance of getting everyone on board. The process will be better and lead to everyone feeling involved. There are more advantages than that to forward planning. If you get started six months in advance, you can be sure to be able to book the hotel rooms, premises, food or travel that may be needed. You will have a wider range of choice. Also, does anyone enjoy having their heart in their mouth just before the guests arrive, no matter what type of social occasion they are hosting?
Timing is important - does it clash with something else? Consider "the event calendar" for where your company operates. When do your competitors usually hold their events? Is there any point in having yours at the same time as them? Or, could it be better to hold the event a week before theirs? Is it really necessary to have an event just before Christmas, when all the others also have Christmas get-togethers? Why should we have the kick off straight after summer?
Also, consider if the event might be better suited to a different time of year. Perhaps there may be a point in having the event in conjunction with another occurrence related to your business. Could it be the launch of your new product or the start of the new working year? There are many factors to take into account in order to avoid the risk of a failed event. The event may collide with other happenings that occupy your customers' interest. If you have a furniture company, you perhaps shouldn't choose to arrange your event during the same week as the Stockholm Furniture Fair. Or is that possibly just what you should do?
Feel free to think outside the box when planning your event, and take all weird ideas seriously, both your own and your colleagues'. You can make notes, or keep some form of log where you write down everything that happens when planning your event. It can be for everything from sudden thoughts to important dates. These notes and ideas can come in handy when you get stuck on some aspect of the work. Read more about our event tool here and try it free!