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Event Planning – Getting Started

Starting the Planning  

So you’ve just been tasked by the MD or boss of marketing to organise a company event – so where do you start?

Obviously you’ll need to start by asking all the usual questions such as who, what, when and where, but have you thought to ask why and how – that is, why are we having the event and how will we measure the events’ success. It’s the answers to these crucial questions that provide the real meat in commencing the planning of an event as they provide the real clues in understanding what’s most important in developing a successful event concept.

Sure there are many events that don’t require this degree of insight but when planning an event with a clear and hopefully measurable objective to meet you’ll need to adopt a much more strategic approach. In essence you’ll need to write a detailed brief and then use the brief as the basis to develop a creative event concept that effectively sets the blueprint for commencing the planning phase.

Unfortunately all too often the event planning process starts with finding and selecting a suitable venue – a process largely based purely on meeting the functional event requirements of date, time, location, size and capacity. Or even worse, and we’ve all experienced this one; the boss tells you to book a specific venue without reason other than his/her own taste or previous experience. The result is all too often a venue that puts limitations on what’s possible and stifles the subsequent creative concept development process.

So here’s the point – how do you know what venue will be suitable until you have developed a comprehensive event concept?

We can already hear many of you arguing that until you have found a venue you can’t develop a concept that will work in that venue. Well that’s obvious and you are right – the reality is that’s how it goes most of the time and there have been occasions where the unique characteristics of the chosen venue have actually driven a creative direction that may not have been realized otherwise.

However in most instances the best ideas come from a completely blue sky or blank sheet approach – where the creative process starts without imposed restrictions that a given venue will present. If you don’t agree here’s a simple case in point: You are tasked with planning a cocktail party to launch a new product. The marketing department has spent hundred of thousands of dollars developing new product videos to show at the event. And you’ve booked a venue with low ceilings and no rigging points – there will be no fancy lighting and you are limited to using floor mounted plasma screens that won’t be visible over the standing audiences’ heads. Or just as bad, the venue you have booked has another event in there that day so you’ve only got 1-hour to set-up and rehearse your event.

 So here’s a handy tip. Get the event details and hopefully an idea of what’s crucial to the events’ success, and then before you even think about booking a venue contact Instinct Events. As part of the initial concepting stage we’ll suggest the most suitable venues and quite likely include one or two you’ve never come across or would never have thought about. Always remember when you want your events to be amazing you’ll need an experienced and creative event partner in the trenches with you – that’s us!