PLAN YOUR EVENT TO SUCCESS – By Asif Zaidi

event planning

Select a Suitable Date:

Selecting a suitable date is a major decision in planning your event. This goes a long way in ensuring the success of your event. When will the highest number of invitees be able to attend? What else is going on at the same time that might impact your event? Look at your targeted audience, the people who will make up your guest list? Beware of any event in the city that you may be competing with in inviting the same people.

Keep Holidays in Focus:

Are there any holidays, like Halloween, for instance, that might interfere? If you expect people to turn out in families, then a school night is not a good timing. Also a timing closer to exams will not be conducive for children to attend. In the evenings immediately after festivities, such as Christmas or New Year, people are generally tired and not keen to attend more functions. If you are planning your event in the peak season, then any good venue will need to be booked more than a year in advance. Watch out for rains or snowstorms forecasts.

Organising an event during school breaks, especially in March, is a bad idea. Many people could probably be away. Long weekends are also bad for hosting your events. Many guests may have chosen to extend their time off and it will reduce the attendance at your event. People avidly await long weekends and generally make plans well in advance. The evening of the first working day after a long weekend is also a bad time because people may need to rest or catch up on certain things after a long weekend away. Watch out for sports events. A clash with the NHL final, for example, can be detrimental to the attendance at your event.

Suitable Time of the Week / Day:

The day of the week and the time of the day also play an important role in the success of your event. You have to know, for instance, where your participants will be coming from. If they are coming directly from the office, then an early dinner or cocktail reception is better than an affair that starts late in the evening. Friday evenings are a bad idea for any official affair. A Friday lunch should also end before the participants’ minds become preoccupied with the weekend traffic they are likely to encounter on their way back. For corporate, midweek and for galas, a Saturday evening are the best for achieving the highest attendance. For a black tie event during the week, allow your guests enough time to go home and change to turn up at your event.

Make Your Checklist:

  • Develop a checklist, with target dates and the person responsible for each item, and continue to update it along with the costs and the payments made.
  • Organizing a successful event requires careful planning and an attention to details. Check periodically to make sure that things are on target.
  • As soon as you have finalized the plans, create a team to organize the event as envisaged.
  • The target dates for various steps involved must be adhered to.
  • Be mindful of all the deadlines. For example, deadlines for confirming the final number of guests or of hotel bookings.
  • Create a function sheet enumerating each step of the way, from start to end, along with complete contact details of all players involved.
  • As you prepare function sheets you will get to know how many people you will need for each task. The function sheets are information guides that inform your suppliers of the details in which you want your event to be organized.
  • Each player has to know what their role is and when to chip in. Make it absolutely clear with your contractors and staff that what you have asked for is what you expect to see on the day of the event.
  • Have everything finalized the day before the set-up starts so that your team has time to cope with any last minute challenges.

The Event Day:

  • Let the contractors know who, from your team, will be supervising what on the day of the event and the time they will be arriving.
  • The overall visual effect is important. That is how the people will see it and the camera will capture it.
  • The next important thing is the ambience created for the guests present. Be mindful of fine details such as temperature, sound volume, and the amount of lighting.

Good luck!

(For help with your event please write to us at info@meadowvalepartyrentals.com)

Asif Zaidi

The author of the book “The Stuff of Life,” Asif is a proven business leader, a business leadership advisor, and an entrepreneur. He works with top executives, teams, and organizations as a strategy leader and has deep expertise in facilitating strategic thinking in organizations. He is a strategic thinker with sharp business acumen and global experience. A corporate and investment banker, he was a Managing Director and fulfilled several country and regional CEO assignments with Citibank in various regions. He has also led and served on various boards and business, community, and educational forums. Asif is a powerful communicator, a key-note speaker, and has taught at an elite Business School. He also has a widely read personal blog www.masrif.net.

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