Plan Ahead Events Blog

It’s an understatement to say that the overhead cost of hosting an event is cost prohibitive.  Nevertheless, the high cost can be somewhat mitigated without sacrificing on the quality of the event, or at least not to an extent that would be noticeable to the attendees.

With a little smart budgeting, you can scale back on needless expenses.

Negotiate the Rental Price of the Facility

Venue rental will be the most expensive overhead cost. Even renting out a high school gymnasium for a single weekend can easily run in the five digit range. Speak with the head of the facility to see if they’re willing to budge on the rental price. Also be willing to scout out other venues for a price comparison.

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So, you’ve got a big event coming up, and you don’t know quite how to get everything accomplished.

Once you made the decision to hire a professional, though, how do you know who to choose? Are they truly experienced? How can you tell beforehand, so you don’t end up learning that during the event the hard way?

Here are 10 questions you should ask your event planner before you hire them to find out…

  1.  What types events do you handle the most?

If you have a corporate event you need help with, the last thing you want to do is hire someone who spends most of their time planning weddings. Be sure the event planning professional you choose has had experience in the type of event you are putting on.

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So you’re going to put on an event and everything is going to go smoothly, right? Wrong.

Like so many things in life, Murphy’s Law has a firm grip on most events. This old adage, “Anything that can go wrong, will”, is so strong that if you’re not preparing for it, you’re really not prepared.

While Murphy’s Law, almost by definition, is not completely avoidable, there are some things you can do to reduce its potential impact:

  • Conduct a risk assessment. And do it early in the planning process. Outline the big and small things that could derail your event and develop a plan to mitigate them. As part of this process, don’t be afraid to clearly outline “plan B” (and if necessary, plans C and D).
  • Get everything in writing. Chances are your event involves hundreds, if not thousands, of details. And often these details are flying at you from all sorts of different sources, including presenters, vendors, attendees and others. Be certain to get any requests — from presenters’ audio/visual needs to vendor agreements — in writing. Organize them in a notebook or file folder by category so you can reference them when making your pre-event checklist, or in the case of a dispute.
  • Create an emergency kit. “Always be prepared” may be the Scout’s motto, but good event planners understand its importance, too. An “in case of emergency” kit with all the little items that you might need if (and when) Murphy’s law kicks in is a must. Pens, pencils, extension cords, multi-tool, paper, pushpins, flashlights, tape (gaffer’s, duct, Scotch), electronics chargers, thumb drives… you get the picture. The best way to not have a problem is to prepare for the problem.

To help every event planner in their quest to create the perfect event, we’ve put together an e-book that we would love to share: “10 Big Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Event (and how to avoid them).” Contact us and let us know if you’d like a copy!

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You may have a famous speaker for your keynote address, a long attendee list, and an impressive venue. But in the days leading up to your event, it is always useful to make a contingency plan for a few possibly disastrous scenarios.

Assumptions are your greatest enemy. Most likely, you are dealing with a venue manager, a caterer (or Banquet Manager), an audio-visual provider, and maybe a band or temporary staffing agency. Following up with vendors and ensuring that any modifications you have made after submitting the original plan have been executed is truly important.

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You may have a famous speaker for your keynote address, a long attendee list, and an impressive venue. But in the days leading up to your event, it is always useful to make a contingency plan for a few possibly disastrous scenarios.

Assumptions are your greatest enemy. Most likely, you are dealing with a venue manager, a caterer (or Banquet Manager), an audio-visual provider, and maybe a band or temporary staffing agency. Following up with vendors and ensuring that any modifications you have made after submitting the original plan have been executed is truly important.

Read More