Helping event planners, organizers and marketers make their events even more awesom-er.

The Novices’ Guide to Event Management: Part Three

Hey there, folks! We are moving on to part three of our novices’ guide to event management. So far, we’ve covered what an event management portfolio should include and how to organize it so you’re putting your best foot forward. Today, we’re moving on and looking at how to use that portfolio to break into the event management industry. The goal: landing yourself a sweet gig as an event planner.

First, you do need to decide whether you want to be an independent event planner or join an already-established organization as their resident event manager. If you’re going to jump into the deep end and run your own operation, basically starting up, marketing and managing your own business, get ready to work your tail off!

We’ll start with the simpler of the two – working for someone else. How can you get yourself into an event management career without having to start up your own business? What exactly is involved?

If you choose this route your search is more clear-cut; you’ll be applying for jobs such as meeting coordinator, community administrator or event manager. Many different types of corporate entities require an event staff dedicated to running their meeting and community outreach efforts.

Tip: […]

The Anatomy of Running a Charity Event

There are great reasons for many types of organizations to hold charity events such as fundraising drives and raffles. Not only is it great for one’s brand image, everyone involved – including you – gets to feel good for making a positive impact in the world. However, there are a few things about managing a charity event that make it different from a run-of-the-mill meet-up or conference. You might end up having to do a bit of extra work.

In order to make sure things go smoothly, you’ve got a few tasks ahead of you in addition to typical event management duties such as marketing and venue booking.

Find a Cause You Believe In

Before you do anything else, I want you to stop and think for a moment about something you feel is genuinely wrong with the world. Perhaps you’ve lost loved ones to a debilitating disease such as cancer, muscular dystrophy, or HIV. Maybe you’re genuinely unhappy with the impoverished state of the third world, or the abysmal state of children’s education in the United States.

Whatever your cause, it has to be something you genuinely believe in. If you can’t think of something, ask your staff and co-workers. Someone’s bound to […]

Five Cost-Cutting Methods for Stretching Your Event Budget

Budgeting is probably the most difficult task for every event management professional – particularly if you find yourself coming up short. If tight, it can be incredibly tempting to cut corners, but that’s not an advisable course of action. Skimping on features is a surefire way to ruin an event, and it’s not the way to solve your event budget constraints.

So…how can you save money? Get creative, there’s ways to cut down on an event’s overhead without causing quality to suffer too much. Here are a few cost-saving event management techniques that won’t completely water-down your event in the process.

Seek Out Sponsors

First and foremost, check around the industry in which you’re running the event for sponsorship. There’s a good chance you’ll find a company or organization that values a marketing opportunity with your attendees, look to industry leaders. A win-win deal provides a sponsor something they value in exchange for them covering a nice chunk of your costs.

Tip: a company may value an audience with your attendees, the chance to speak with them directly. If the company or organization truly provides value you may consider offering one of your speaking slots. 

Spend Less On Guest Speakers

Ask yourself – do you really […]

Five Health Tips For Event Planners On The Go

As an event planner, you’re probably used to doing several hundred things at once while running on little more than fumes. Ignoring the demands of your body in order to focus on keeping the show running is probably old hat to you. On some level, you’re aware that what you do probably isn’t the best course of action if you want to stay healthy…but you’ve so much to do, you don’t really bother thinking too much about it.

You probably should.

For one, it’s been proven time and again that your mental well-being is tied directly to how well you care for your body. A physically healthy individual will be more alert, less irritable, more able and generally just better off overall. On the other hand, someone who neglects their health will likely see them self become sluggish, unfocused, and easily agitated; to say nothing of the detriments you might start to see as you age.

In short, if you ignore your health enough, your performance as an event manager will suffer along with your personal life. So…basically, what I’m saying here is slow down. Take it easy. Start following these five health tips before you work yourself into an early grave.

Don’t Overdose […]

Four Ways to Market your Event on a Shoestring Budget

Planning an event can be stressful, but if attendance is strong you will look back and realize it was well worth the time and effort.

Here is the big question: how are you going to attract a large number of attendees without blowing through your event’s marketing budget?

You may believe that successfully marketing a large event has to cost an arm and a leg; nothing could be further from the truth. There are steps you can take to spread the word on a shoestring budget – or simply make your large budget go that much further!

Here are four marketing initiatives that don’t need to cost a lot of money:

1. Engage Press

Make a list of both local and industry-related press outlets whose readers may care about your event or topic. Publications are also always searching for content and press want to provide their audience valuable information. In simple language and short format, share with a publication why they should run your story.

Hint: don’t assume you’re too late! Publications often have space to fill and scramble for a story at the last minute.

Purchasing advertising space may not be ideal, but it is often times the best way to get in touch with your […]

Three Potential Event Disasters To Plan For

With so many details associated with planning an event, it is possible to overlook the fact that some sort of disaster may occur. While disaster may be unlikely, you must be prepared for the unforeseen. Some things are out of anyone’s control, but it’s your responsibility to have an action plan.

Below are three potential (and somewhat common) event disasters you should plan for:

1. Medical emergency.

The more people you have at your event the higher the likelihood you will face some sort of medical emergency. Aside from choosing a safe facility and not engaging guests in dangerous activities, limiting risk is about having a solid response plan.

Limiting risk includes having solid emergency response plans

What will you do if an attendee faints or has a heart attack? How about if somebody trips and falls?

You should fully understand your event venues internal emergency response capabilities.  Larger venues have trained staff and highly detailed procedures, while a smaller venue may only have a basic first aid kit. Depending on the size of the event, preparedness could be anything from having local emergency authorities on speed dial to having medical staff present.

2. A fight amongst those in attendance.

Would you expect this to happen at a […]

How to Tell if an Event Venue is Bad News

As any event planner knows, choosing the venue in which an event is hosted may well be the most vital step in the planning process. After all, your chosen venue impacts everything about your event save for the content: how many people can attend, what sort of amenities you can host, and even the general mood of your conference. Now, there’s a good chance you’ve already got the sort of venue you’re going to need for your event clear in your mind. That’s good, because that isn’t going to be our focus today.

We’re not going to work out how you can select the right venue for your event. Instead, we’re going to be taking a look at how you can avoid settling on the wrong venue. How can you tell if a venue and its owner are bad news? What warning signs should send you running the other direction?

Let’s get started.

It Doesn’t Provide WiFi

This might seem like a relatively minor fault, but it should be a deal-breaker for any event planner worth their salt. The simple truth is that, in this day and age, it’s effectively impossible to run a proper event without a stable, powerful wireless Internet connection. If […]

The Novices’ Guide to Event Management: Part Two

Last week, we took a look at the components every novice event management professional should focus on to help build a strong portfolio. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at how you should format a business portfolio, fitting those component pieces together to best catch the eye of prospective clients. More importantly, we look at the language and presentation of your portfolio that will best ensure perspective clients hire you.  Not surprisingly, presentation plays a huge role in every aspect of an event professionals’ career.

Putting together your event management portfolio for the first time can be an intimidating process. It’s all too easy to get discouraged, particularly if you don’t have too many experiences to include. Ignore this; you need to start somewhere.

First, outline the natural progression of your professional story:

  • Who you are (brief professional bio)
  • What services do you offer (professional capabilities)
  • What you have done (professional affirmation)

You’ve got the first one down. Write a paragraph about yourself, your company, and your personal take on your sector of the industry. Then ask yourself what a potential client may take away if they only read that paragraph. Is there something memorable and of value to a potential client?

Remember, a portfolio […]

Easy Steps to “Mapping” the Perfect Conference Layout

There’s a very good reason so many event planners tend to become control freaks. The amount of organization necessary to keep an event running on track makes such traits more or less necessary. If you’re an event planner, there’s a good chance you obsess over just about everything from keynote content to transportation needs to budget constraints right down to your event’s layout.

That last one’s pretty important, by the way.

“Mapping” of your conference layout design has a significant impact on how attendees will experience the event – and how much they’ll enjoy it.

Now, most modern event planning software simplifies the process of working out a conference’s layout and timing, but the job isn’t done for you. You’re still going to need to figure out the specifics of your event in order to map it out – and that means you need to know exactly what you want to occur and when.

To start the mapping process, visualize your event. The first step is to determine who is attending your event and in what capacity are they attending. You have guests, speakers, vendors, caterers, interns, etc… These are your subgroups and their itineraries and needs will vary a great deal. What are […]

Five Event Planning Tasks to Delegate to Others

When it comes to the event planning process, it is easy to shutdown due to “brain overload.” In other words, there is so much on your plate that you don’t know what to do now, what to do later, and what to skip over altogether.

If you are the micromanager type, this is not the time to remain stuck in your ways. Instead, it’s time to delegate some of your tasks to others. It may be difficult to relinquish control, but remember this: you are still running the show, but you’re just not doing everything on your own.

Here are five tasks you should consider delegating to others:

1. Communication with vendors.

Are you hiring a catering company? Do you need a security team? Make a list of the services you need, rough out the parameters and core questions per each type of service provider. Then have a team member compile a list of local vendor options and make initial contact with each one. Your assistant should be able to gather enough information so you can decide how to move forward.

Remember: once you choose vendors there will be tons of communication back and forth. Make sure you assign one person on your team as […]

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