You’ve undoubtedly heard someone whine the phrase “Adulting is hard,” am I right?
Well here’s something even harder: Eventing.
(And yes, I know I just created a verb. I’m calling Merriam-Webster when I’m done here, FYI.)
So yes, eventing, or the fine art of putting on a kick-ass event, can be a challenge. But here are a few simple ideas to kick start your event-planning process.
No whine necessary. (But wine may help. Just sayin’.)
1. Make like a marksman, and zero in on the target.
The best marketing considers a target audience; turns out, the best event also follows the same caveat. Truly think about who you’d like to be at your event — either a group or a list of specific names, even — then use those people as the inspiration for the theme, location, desired outcomes, etc.
2. Examine the events horizon: Do you see a hole? Plug it!
Like — NOW! Plug that hole! Because if you’re planning an event for a community that is anything like northern Nevada, there aren’t many events holes. The important thing is to research local industry associations that have overlapping interests/memberships, and make sure you’re not double-booking. Because double-booking is bad.
3. Location, location, location.
Consider the projected size of your event, and make sure the location can accommodate that number. Also think about where your audience may be located. For example, if the bulk of your party is coming from south Reno, holding the event in Wingfield Springs may not be the best idea. (As a former Wingfield Springs resident, I may or may not be speaking from experience.)
4. Pick a theme, any theme.
Well, not any. If you’re asking people to come in costume or to adhere to a theme, it has to be something that follows this tried-and-true, overly complicated prescription: Not. Hard. As in, make this easy for your audience. While people make have a difficult time comprehending how to even begin to tackle, “Dress in Elizabethan attire reminiscent of the
Shakespearean era,” it’s far simpler to “Wear purple in recognition of Shakespeare’s favorite color.” (And btw, I have no idea if Shakespeare’s favorite color is purple; that’s just an educated guess based on my perception of his royal aura, and also after seeing Shakespeare in Love.)
5. Channel James Taylor and sing these words: “You’ve Got a Friend…”
We all know that times of stress are the times we need to circle our wagons and enact our support network. Well, events = stress. Therefore, don’t be shy. Ask for help! Do you know someone who can help you with theme ideas? A great organizer who can be a “wedding planner” of sorts? Someone who wants to take on the silent auction or food donations? One person, all by him- or herself, does not an entire event make (even though, ironically, most places of business typically place “events” securely into one person’s lap). Divvy up the responsibilities to make it work seamlessly.
6. Ask yourself: WWBD (What Would Bridezilla Do)?
Then do the opposite. No one enjoys an event that is being organized by someone acting like a total psycho. And hey, we know this is difficult. But take a deep breath, step back, perhaps pour yourself a bubble bath (not during work; that’s typically frowned upon), and think about how your reputation is tied to this event. And you want your reputation to be a good one, right? Thought so. Smile, be grateful for any help you receive, and bask in the glory of a job well done!
7. Ask and you shall receive.
I’m talking about feedback, post-event. This one is difficult, because dammit, the event is over, and you’ll likely never want to think about it ever ever EVER again! But you have to consider the following: What worked, what didn’t, what would you change, how would you approach things differently, what feedback did you receive, etc. Make sure to schedule time shortly after the event for a de-brief with your team (you know, the team that helped you implement the event — here’s hoping you had one!). Take copious notes, then file them away the next time you plan an event.
So there you have it — eventing in seven easy-peasy steps. Oh, and one final thing. You can now see that eventing is hard, right? Well, if you’re on the receiving end of the event invitation, do something kind, will ya?
It feels like a dying art — the art of the RSVP. And for event planners, this is the biggest frustration. Facebook may be partially to blame, as many people think “Well, I liked the event on Facebook, so they know I’m coming, right?” WRONG. Follow the procedure and secure your seat. And please, for the love of whatever’s holy, don’t wait until the last minute!
Please and thank you.
(Oh-oh-OH quick shameless plug: Speaking of eventing, have you heard about our Estipona Putt-Putt Classic Tourney? Just $150 gets you and three to five of your friends a fun evening of mini golf at Magic Carpet, pizza and beer. Plus proceeds go to help the homeless in northern Nevada. Want deets or to flippin’ RSVP? Click here! Ok, plug over. We now resume our regularly scheduled blog, already in progress.)
And now, I turn the mic over to you: What are your favorite event-planning tips? Leave a comment on this blog or as a comment on our Facebook page.