Events all begin with a vision, but how do you make that vision come to life?
A successful event is grown from many independent pieces becoming connected and working in unison – like a skeleton – by way of a timeline. Have you considered when your timeline should begin? It’s not just the day-of!
Your timeline should also include planning benchmarks, payment deadlines, and, importantly, thoughtful marketing efforts to not only inform your target audience that your event is upcoming, but to entice them so irresistibly that their attendance is practically guaranteed. Your marketing efforts should include the general information of your event including date, time, and location, in addition to a clear picture of what they will experience and why they should be there. These marketing efforts should run periodically up to the event date, with live updates, if possible, during the event and a recap effort to thank everyone for attending and show those who did not what they missed.
The theme of your event should reach all of those independent pieces of your event – like blood through the veins – to give your event life. It is the overarching idea that targets your guests’ senses: the smell and taste of the food, the sound of the entertainment or education, and the look and feel of the environment you have created. For example, a recent event was themed “Big Green Egg.” This event was held on a beautiful, warm summer day in a newly developed community, where a cookout was hosted (using a Big Green Egg, no doubt) and information shared on what life could look like in this new community. Attendees experienced what a summer day living here could be, as marketed.
Marketing efforts are the mouthpiece of your event. Invitations or announcements should go out two weeks prior, at minimum. These can be email blasts, flyers, in-person (contact-free) drop offs, among other options. Remember, your theme should be evident and your information should be obvious. As you have begun to let guests know what to expect, you must ensure the event you produce is reflective of your marketing.
Catering and décor are pivotal in pulling off your event theme. These plans should be secured a minimum of two weeks prior. Regarding catering, HIRE someone! It is worth it. With food playing such an important role in executing your theme, you simply can’t afford disappointing dishes. Be sure to check with your caterer regarding when your final head count is due, and give yourself time to collect that data.
Regarding décor, you guessed it – THINK THEME! Here is where your theme should be most obvious. Having things like high-top tables with color-coordinated linens provides instant décor that is also functional. Then, add other fun items like flags for 4th of July, leis for a luau, or any other items big or small, DIY or purchased, to drive it home.
As your event date draws near, it’s time to stop and think about the little things that will make a huge difference: an outdoor tent in case of excessive heat or projected rain, trash can locations and removal logistics, or an extra set of hands so you’re not having to do it all on your own. Have clear instructions for tasks written out for your help to reference, put them in a binder, and put the binder in a common space. This way, you’re not having to stop your own tasks to answer questions!
Right about now, you might begin to feel a little out of control. Tame those feelings with a list: your packing list. The best of event pros will still rely on a packing list. Take your time and think through your event from top to bottom. The time to gather all of the items you will need to bring with you is throughout the process – not the night before the event! As you make purchases or think of things you’ll need, keep a running list and a packing pile. Do this while your mind is clear and double check it!
The big day has finally arrived! If you’ve put in all the work and preparation, the only think you should worry about today is taking a moment to enjoy your guests and thank them for coming! Being present as a host is very important, for you are the one with the vision, who has secured the presence of your guests, to share that vision and met your goals.
Have some questions or need more information? Maybe you’re ready to hire a pro to execute your next event for you? Contact our team to discuss the details!