Your Event Schedule for 2015
This is the time of year that many boards, non-profits, companies and professional membership organizations set up their annual schedule of meetings or events for the coming year. From setting the purpose, attendance list, the time of the meetings, the agenda, finding an appropriate venue, and marketing the event, preparations can be daunting.
If you’ve had or attended events in the past that were not well-attended or were poorly organized, you know how important the planning stage is. So here a few tips on running a successful meeting and why location is imperative to your event’s success.
How to Plan a Successful Event
1. Determine the purpose for the event. In determining the purpose or the end-goal to your event will be imperative with planning your agenda, guest speakers, your invitation list, time and place. Is it to bring awareness to your company or cause? Is it for lead generation? Is it to engage your customers or employees? Is it to teach a valuable skill or inform the public? Is it to sell products and services directly? With a clear purpose in mind, its easier to know how to proceed in every other decision in the planning process?
2. Choose the right time and place. Consider the demographics of your attendees when you select a day, date and time. If they’re working professionals, an early morning or after hours event might be better. If for women or families, mornings or lunchtimes might be best when school is in session. The time of year is also important to consider as summers and around holidays is a busy time for vacations and family time. In the middle of the winter season, January or February, might be difficult as weather can be hard to predict. Think ahead, think about your audience, and be considerate of people’s busy schedules. Also, don’t forget to research local calendars to make sure to avoid any conflicts.
3. Choose the right venue. A quiet, professional space dedicated and reserved exclusively for your group’s event is recommended. If you have your event at a restaurant or multipurpose space (such as a library, or other public facility), there may be distractions and excessive noise from the others using the space at the same time. Make sure you have the Audio Visual equipment you need including a microphone, sound system, PC connectivity for slideshows or videos, projector and wifi. Does the space offer versatility with setup for your particular needs? Is there access to a kitchen for food preparation or to keep drinks/snacks cool? Is there staff on hand to help you set up AV equipment and assist with any other needs?
University Inn Hotel offers an 800 square foot conference room with professional equipment, a variety of setups, an attached kitchenette, that is centrally located in Downtown Lexington KY, with plenty of parking and located on the first floor of their hotel. It offers a quiet, convenient locations with ample staff to support your event. See their website to see various layouts for room setup. Call today to setup your special event or recurring meetings this year at (859) 278-6625.
4. Make your Attendees Comfortable. Plan for breaks if your meeting exceeds two hours, provide drinks, snacks or even a meal, as well as hot brewed coffee throughout. Make sure the temperature and lighting are comfortable, relaxing and not a distraction. Distribute an agenda at the beginning so people are prepared for what is ahead and how long each segment of the meeting will take.
5. Market your event. Define the DRAW, or appeal to what your event provides and include that in all of your marketing efforts, and also offer a door prize or giveaway as an incentive to attend. If you have a great speaker, make sure to advertise their experience, qualifications and bios as well. Put out press release, use social media, email marketing, your website as well as event sites that can help promote your event like Meetup or EventBrite. Make registration easy and offer various forms that include phone, mail in or online registration. And if you have a marketing budget, use local magazines, newspapers, online calendars, radio and tv ads to get the word out.
6. Learn from your Mistakes. You may have mishaps, unexpected tragedies or even unexpected twists and turns, so learn from your mistake and make note of how to improve or avoid them next time example: more staff, better speaker, reduced meeting time, etc. And always have a survey for each attendee at the end of the event so you can ensure your audience got benefit from it of if they have suggestions for next time.
Event Planning is not for the faint of heart, so if you are planning an event, meeting or workshop in the Lexington KY area, call our staff for suggestions on how to make your next event a success!