In order to hold a successful social event you need a thorough and well-thought out plan. So, what is the secret behind creating a successful event plan?
To find out, read our 5 step guide for planning a successful social event.
Define your goals
Firstly, you need to think about what your goals and objectives are for your event. Your goals could be:
- Increasing social media mentions/follows/reposts during the event
- Increasing sales
- Gaining brand awareness
- Or meeting new people
Your goals and objectives will help you in creating the rest of your plan. You are now ready to start creating your initial ideas.
At this preliminary stage of your planning, just general ideas are fine. You’re going to want to think about:
You need a rough time frame, e.g. in 2 months, during the Christmas period etc…
How many people do you want to attend, 100? 1000? Are they going to be people from the local area or from across the country?
- Type of event
Are you trying to sell a product or service? Or do you want to perform something you’ve been working on? Is it a staff conference or party?
Where does it make sense for your event to take place? Do you want to hold a local event? Or, do you want to hold it in the biggest city near to you? Start to create a list of ideas.
Create your budget
Now you’ve got your preliminary ideas jotted down, it’s time to create the all important budget. You can check out our full list of top tips for creating a budget here but here is a shortened version to give you a starting point here:
A detailed, organised, and comprehensive event budget will help you allocate your funds intelligently as well as provide the necessary data to calculate accurate event ROI.
- Set specific event goals. Your goals will dictate the scope of the event which will oftentimes decide the budget.
- Do your research. Look at historical data, consult with your peers and colleagues, and speak to different vendors.
- Map it all out. Your event budget will need to cover a venue, marketing, food, staff, tables, chairs, event technology, lighting, swag and potentially lots more. Make a detailed map of your needs and make sure to regularly update it so you keep track of what you’re spending.
- Prepare for the worst. Disasters can happen and costs can suddenly appear as if out of nowhere . Have a back-up plan and a back-up reserve of funds planned for just these situations.
With your budget in mind it’s time to secure a venue and date. Choosing your venue and date for your event are two major decisions that will shape the rest of your event plan.
Research your venue
Start researching venues as early as possible. The event marketplace is crowded, so finding a time when there will be venue availability is important. To help give you a starting point, here is a list we’ve created of some event and art centres in and around Brighton. Different venues will offer different packages, some will include music and food and others won’t. Shop around to find good deals and the best value for money.
Create a schedule for your social event
Next you need a rough schedule for your event. Contact and confirm with any sponsors, exhibitors, performers and speakers which you would like to be at your event and plan the event around those. You don’t have to stick rigidly to your schedule on the day, it should feel like it’s flowing naturally but it’s still important to make sure things are running on time so you don’t run out of time for any of the items on your event program.
Develop your event branding
Once you’ve got everything booked in, it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and develop the branding for your event. This might look like hiring an art director to design what your whole event’s branding will look like or it could be as simple as you personally using a program such as Canva to build your own branding style. Check out this helpful guide on how to create a brand kit on Canva.
Next you’re going to need to look at the marketing of your event. Here 10 ways you can market your event:
- Create an event on Facebook and promote it on your business page
- Use Facebook ads or instagram picture boosts to promote the event – putting money behind your promotion of the event is always going to help you reach more people
- If it’s a repeat event, share photos of attendees having fun at last year’s event. You could even post a videos with some of the highlights from similar previous events
- Create an event hashtag – this way everyone interested in your event will be able to find like-minded people
- If you’re charging for tickets, you could host a contest or giveaway for free entry
- Again if you are charging for entry you could offer a discount. For example, the first 5 people to book get their tickets 50% off. Or a free gift for the first 10 people to book etc..
- Create infographics that will interest your audience and make them excited for what the event has to offer
- Create individual posts or images of guest speakers/performers. You could even feature relevant quotes from guest speakers that will be at your event
- Post all about the event on your instagram stories. This could include behind-the-scenes images showing event preparations, polls for your followers to engage with, a countdown until the event and lots, lots more.
- All graphics and imagery that you create for your event should be shareable and social-media-ready