Running an event: the planning checklist

Happy people with of crystal glasses


It’s easy these days to get caught up in the idea that client marketing is centered around digital and print collateral, but don’t underestimate the power of face-to-face marketing opportunities. For example, you could consider running a small event such as a conference for local businesses or specialist seminars for selected clients.

Here is a check list for planning a memorable event which will provide your firm with a fantastic marketing opportunity:

  1. Establish the business purpose of your event. Many people will enjoy an excuse to drink champagne and nibble on canapés, but there needs to be a clear commercial purpose for holding an event – even if it’s just for networking. Maybe there are some new changes to taxes you can share with key clients. Think about what they need to know and what you can do to help them.
  2. Your target audience. You need to establish who you are targeting and who you would like to attend your event. Once you are clear on this, the other elements such as format, content, prices and location will fall into place.
  3. Develop a finance plan. You’ll need to estimate the numbers and know for sure how you’re going to pay for the event. You could fund by sponsorship, ticket sales, internal marketing budgets – or a combination of these.
  4. Create your plan. This should include venue, content and refreshments and listing them will ensure you don’t miss any of the important details. You’ll also need to think about who is responsible for each element of the budget, the marketing before the event and the follow up.
  5. Keep an eye on industry events. Be careful around scheduling – you don’t want it to clash with a similar or local events and to lose some of your target audience.
  6. Know your limitations and remain flexible. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do and make sure you schedule your planning appropriately. If you would like to organise something for next week and you haven’t even begun the planning process yet, then keep it small (unless you are prepared to hire an event planning firm who may work wonders for you in a matter of days)!

A check list is just the first part of your plan. It’s all about the marketing and we’ll be returning to this subject soon.


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