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Tips for Planning your Event:


Whether you're planning a Corporate Event, Reunion, Holiday Party, Anniversary, Auction or Retirement Party proper planning is a must. Please use this list as a guideline to help make your event a huge success.

Pre-Planning
Objectives: What do you want to achieve by holding an event.
Audience: Who will be in attendance. Know your audience.
Message of the Event: What do you want to say to your audience.
Budgets: How much money do you want to allocate for the entire event
Dates: Select a primary and secondary date
Location: SG Banquets


Types of Invitations
Phoned: Direct phone call to your guests. Personal.
E-mailed: Invite guests via an email.
Printed, informal
Printed, formal
RSVP return card
RSVP by telephone
Reminder mailing: Send a "save the date" or reminder of an upcoming event


Event Program
Topics: What will be discussed or presented at the event.
Speakers: Will anyone be speaking or lecturing
Speaker contact: Contact and make arrangements for your speakers.
Speaker agreements, resume: Do you need a speaker contract?
Equipment needed: Do you need a projector, whiteboard, PC etc.
Biographies: Information on the speaker
Introductions: How will you introduce your speaker


Registration
Registration form: Will you offer a printed or online form?
Payment Methods: What will you accept; credit cards, checks, cash?
Bank account: Where will you deposit payments? How will you process cards?
Reporting system: How will you keep track of registered guests?
Registration confirmation: Look at using email.


On-site Registration
Pre-registration list
Tables: Will you need a table where your guests will be registered.
Computers, collateral equipment such as printers for badges
Personnel: Who will register your guests
Cash receipts: Will you accept on site payment and will you provide receipts?
Programs: Program schedule for the event.
Name badges: Will you make or provide name badges for your guests
Goodie Bags: Will you have some gifts or swag for your guest?
Ticket sales: Will you sell tickets on site? Payment methods?
Host identification: Who is responsible for the vent with contact info.
Venue signage


Tickets for your Event
Prices: what is the price for each ticket? Any group discounts
Advance sales: Will you sell tickets in advance
Printing: How will you make hard copies of the tickets
Distribution: How will you get tickets to your guests
Sales reports; Reports on ticket sales
Ticket and money control:
Complimentary tickets: Will you give any tickets away?
Press tickets: Does the press need tickets?
Sales at doors: Will you sell tickets at the doors?
Collection at events: Will you ask for donations?


People Logistics
Hospitality: How would you greet your patrons as they arrive
Transportation: How will they get there. Bus, taxi, own car? Will you provide transportation?
Accommodation: Where will your guests stay? Get a list of hotels in the area.
Mementos: Will there be any gifts or takeaways for your guests.


Event Venue Facilities
Number of people: How many people will attend your event
Seating: How would you like the seating arrangement to be?
Table shapes: O, U, V
Menu service needed: What food and drinks will you serve.
Parking: Is there ample parking for all of your guests
Directional signs: Once at the venue how will your guests know where to go
Marquee sign(s): Info about your event displayed on an LED sign outdoors.


Equipment Requirements
Lectern
Podium
Public address system
Microphone(s): Neck, podium, table, floor
Raised platform
Projection screen
Video projector
Flip charts, markers
Extension cords
DVD player and monitor:
Laptop connection to projector


Event Food & Beverage Arrangements
Menu selection: What type of food will you serve at the event
Schedule: When will meals be served
Type of service (buffet, seated)
Tables for 6, 8, 10. Round tables or rectangular
Head table: Will you have a head table
Place cards: Let people know where to sit specifically.
Seating diagrams: Show location of tables and seating group arrangements
Beverages: What beverages will you serve


Publicity & Promotional Considerations
Mailing lists: To whom will you send invitations
Promotional mailings: Promote your event
Posters, flyers
Advertising: How will you let a large number of people know about your event?
Media contact: Who will manage your media events
Media fact sheets: Key item list detailing your event
News releases: Tell the media about your event. This can be free advertising for you if the media publishes it.
Press packets: detailed printed information for the press.
Press room: Do you need a room specifically for the press?
Special phone lines and internet connectivity for media


Event Photography
Stills: Will you take pictures, designate someone or hire a photographer?
Video: Will you videotape the event
Hire photographers for video and stills
Shot list for photographer: What are the key happenings at the event that the photographer needs to capture.


Printed Program
Agenda: Develop an agenda for your event. Will help you execute properly.
Speakers' biographies & photos:
Organization information: Who are you and why are you holding this event.
Lists of officers, committees
Lists of sponsors, contributors
Design and printing: Who will design and print the programs.
Quantity: How many programs will need to be printed?
Distribution: How will you give out the programs to your guests?


Transportation
For any equipment you plan to bring to the venue
Lease or charter vehicles: do you need to rent a truck or van
To and from parking areas: If there is additional offsite parking.
For speakers & special guests: Will you provide transportation for your VIP's?
Between locations: Will you provide transportation from Hotel to Venue?
Signs on vehicles: Signs that indicate the official vehicles
Publish or post schedules: When are buses coming or leaving. When do they stop.


Escorts, Guides, Ushers
For speakers
For special guests
For tours, exhibits, etc.
Aboard shuttles / buses if needed.


Event Decor
Set the theme: How would you like to decorate the venue? What do you want your guests to feel once they enter the venue.
Entrances and exits: Any signage at the entrance or exits
Speaker platform: Will the podium be decorated or have a corporate logo
Head tables: Will you have a head table. How will it be decorated
Dining tables; Table place settings and decor
Hospitality suite: If you have a suite what decor will it have.


Additional Items to Consider
Valet parking
Bad weather planning
Exhibits, displays
Security: Will you need security for the event?
Technicians for equipment: Who will operate the equipment?
Disaster management: What is your plan in case of emergency?
Ambulance on stand-by
Police, traffic control, security


Evaluation of your Event
After the event is finished, take some time to analyze how things went while the details are still fresh in your mind. Take note of what worked well and what needed improvement.
You can even make a request for the event participants to complete a questionnaire so you can get some direct feedback.
Good Luck!