Every great event starts out as just an idea. The idea then expands into reality if you put all the right pieces together. Consider the following tips when planning a large event, and you’ll be well on your way to a success in the books for your business or organization.

  1. So you have an idea; now what? Write it down!

Talk it over with a few people you trust to give you honest feedback.

  1. Once you are ready to move forward, you will need to build a committee.

You can’t do it all by yourself, so don’t. Building your team can be fun and can also provide you with great ideas and perspectives. Aim for a diverse team of individuals that have a variety of connections in the community. Your committee should also have different strengths that will shine through in different sub committees. Your team should be built as one steering committee broken out into numerous subcommittees. Depending on the type of event, a steering committee could look something like this:

  1. Chair and Co-Chair of the entire event
  2. Marketing
  3. Entertainment
  4. Volunteers
  5. Parking
  6. Vendors
  7. Auction
  8. Decorations
  1. Set a date for the first meeting.

The first meeting with your steering committee should be a brainstorming meeting. Start the meeting by explaining your idea and then open it up for discussion. This will give your committee buy-in and allow for them to get excited about the event. Choose people to be on the committee that have a passion for the reasons behind having the event. Your team should walk away from the first meeting feeling energized and motivated to throw the best event of the year!

  1. Identify and communicate the overall goal. 

As an organizer you will need to put into words why you want to have this event. What are the objectives?

  1. Build a budget to work off of.

And stick to it!

  1. Choose a date, venue and time.

Give yourself plenty of planning time. Typically, four to six months is needed to plan a successful event. Consider what other events are taking place in the community, and be aware of holidays.

  1. Build a timeline for the event along with an organized way of managing the event.

I like to use a binder for each event separated by tabs to organize.

  1. Meet with your committee on a regular basis.

Give them specific tasks and deadlines. This will help drastically in the preparation phases.

  1. Announce the event to the public.

Send a press release to the local media. Use your organization’s social media channels to make announcements and get people excited about the event.

Once the event is over, it’s time to celebrate! But don’t forget these few final tasks to take care of:

  1. Send post-surveys.

Get feedback from event attendees to find out what you can do to make future events better.

  1. Don’t forget the Thank Yous!

Thank your committee as a group and individually. Typically your steering committee is made up of volunteers. Volunteers are a huge asset so treat them well! Also be sure to send Thank Yous to any sponsors and volunteers who contributed to the success of your event.