In the Event of an Event

Group of Young People at a Party

I was invited to an event recently that I was really excited about. However, much to my dismay, I was only able to last a half hour before I high-tailed it out of there. From a cramped event space to complete confusion about where I was supposed to go, let’s just say this event didn’t live up to all the hype.

We thought we would use this opportunity as a learning experience, and provide a few tips that you should keep in mind when planning and executing an event.

Don’t make false advertisements. If you are going to advertise something in the event invitation itself, then make sure to do it. For example, if attendees come expecting X and see that there is no X, you may wind up with a lot of aggravated people on your hands. Now don’t get me wrong, events can be unpredictable and things can sometimes fall through the cracks. When this happens, make sure you address the issue upfront so attendees aren’t left questioning what went wrong.

Choose the right space. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of an event concept, which can result in the selection of the wrong space. When you are planning your event, make sure you know exactly what you need in a location. How many people are going to be there? Will there be sponsors – if so, where will they exhibit? What about food? Even though you may fall in love with a space, it doesn’t mean it’s the right place for your event. If you are expecting a large number of people, select a location that can comfortably hold that number. Sure it looks great to have a crowd; but from an attendee perspective, being lodged in a cramped space is not enjoyable in the least.

Manage the event. The last thing you want is for there to be mass confusion at your event. You can avoid this by planning ahead. Assign staff members to specific areas like managing check-in and “working the crowd.” Don’t make your guests wait outside in the freezing cold to get in, be smart about the check-in process. Once they are through the door, greet your guests and give them the lay of the land. Point out a few main attractions, let them know where the bathroom is; ask if they have any questions. Just because you check them off the list, doesn’t mean your work is finished.

Identify “media.” If you are going to have the media in attendance – whether it’s a media-only event, or an event that includes both the media and the general public — make sure you have some type of identifier. You can do this with a name badge, wrist band, etc. So whether it’s the event staff or the sponsors, everyone is aware of the media present. Obviously, if you have media at your event, you want them to write about it. If you know which attendees are members of the media, you can make sure they are having a good time, or answer any questions. If there are sponsors present, then this enables them to be aware that anything they say is on the record.

Those are just a handful of things to keep in mind. Have you ever been to an event that went particularly well – or poorly? Do you have a few tips to share?

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