In the day of social media and the super highway, live interactions; people to people, eye to eye, belly to belly, is still the #1 way to connect, and I think, the most fun.

A live event, whether it’s an intimate dinner party to socialize with friends, a customer appreciation get-together to treat your clients like VIP’s or an extravagant wedding affair, there is nothing like making those you love, and do business with, feel special in a meaningful way than hosting an event.

Now, if you’re like me, holding an event sounds like a wonderful idea, I do many on an annual basis. It’s important to touch people in many different ways. Humans need touch. The challenge for me is time, which gets to the real question, who can help you with the endeavour?

My go to Event Planner, is Shamica Sweat, owner of Shamica and Co. located in Dallas, Texas. Last year she helped me with my Beauty Brains and Business event. It was a completely different experience with her professional expertise. This year the event is on May 4th in Frisco, Texas. With Certified Planner, Shamica Sweat’s help, it will be the Entrepreneur Event of the Year!!

If you want your event to sizzle, leaving your attendees raving, use the following 10 basic rules to ensure your event is a huge success:

1. Purpose and Format of the Event: The very first step is to identify the goal and objective behind your event. Are you trying to create awareness, convey knowledge to the audience or raise donations for a cause? Setting appropriate goals will help your team to achieve them. The format of the event depends on the concept, timing and duration, catering, sound, role of the team members and location.

2. Organize a Team: For an event to be successful, it requires a dedicated team to handle every aspect of the event. Consider to identify one event manager as well as individuals to handle publicity, venue management, entertainment, sound arrangements, sponsors, volunteer management etc. This will create accountability and will prevent mismanagement.

3. Set a Date: Give yourself enough time, around 4-6 months. Avoid religious or statutory holidays, school holidays (winter break, summer break). Check the dates with the speakers, VIP guests etc… Book your venue immediately as soon as you finalize the date. Your event needs to have a date and location mentioned before you begin with promotion. This needs to be completed as early as possible.

4. Branding your event: If you want your event to be successful, you need to choose a compelling theme to set you apart from your competition. You need to have an exceptional theme and you need to pay major attention to the name as it is a key factor to grab attention, especially on social media. Create a tagline that describes in short about your event. Then design a logo. Branding is important!

5. Have a Master Plan: This plan should revolve around the major aspects of the events including:

  • Venue and Catering Management
  • Entertainment/Activities
  • Promotion/Advertising (On-line and Offline; social media; event calendar; print media etc)
  • Volunteer Management
  • Speakers/VIP, Guests/Presenters (identifying, confirming & management)
  • Sponsor Management
  • Registrations (Online sign-up, payment options and tracking etc)

While planning for your event, specify when permits or insurance policies needs to be submitted, when registrations end etc…

6. Pay Attention to the service: Be friendly to the participants, try to solve their problems or answer their questions and meet their expectations. At last, people typically remember how they were treated and the atmosphere more than the lecture that was being delivered. The experience is what memories are made of. Pay attention to the details.

7. Final Check 24 hours before the Event: Make sure you have informed your participants about the location of the event, invited the important people, prepared the audios, videos and printed materials. Draft a checklist for checking the preparation on the day of the event; whether everything is properly functional, everything is in place and being accomplished on time. Let each team member and volunteer have a copy of this checklist along with a contact number for communication with one another in case of emergency.

8. Create an Advertising/Publicity Plan: This is important for people to reach your door. This usually starts with initial notice or a page on your website, note in your newsletter or an email, and further includes offline publicity, media relations, social media, etc…

9. Plan Budget: This includes the estimate of all the items mentioned in the Master Plan. Remember to include the accommodation or travelling costs of the speakers, VIP’s, guests, along with all other expenses.

10. Event Evaluation: How will you find out if your event was a success? Do you measure by the number of the registrations or the amount collected in registrations or donations? When you identify the goals and the objectives in the initial time of your event planning, you should consider how you will determine your success. If your event includes some sort of tracking, you need to put some processes in place to identify the same.

Whatever event you organize, be optimistic; don’t be afraid to face challenges, keep a Plan B in hand and your event will be a success!

Listen to Shamica Sweat as she shares her best kept secrets on how to pull off an amazing event.

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