Planning a Special Event

Your blueprints for success…

A special event is a one-time event focused on a specific purpose such as a product launch, grand opening, or other significant occasion like a wedding.  Special events may also be created for other targeted purposes such as a tradeshow; corporate awards banquet, or a large convention.

The following steps can be used as a guideline for planning your event:

1. Develop strategies for success

  • Make sure the purpose for the special event is important enough to merit the time and expense needed to properly stage, publicize, and evaluate the event.
  • Carefully match the type of event that is selected to the purpose that it serves.  Do you want to reach out to new users or thank your supporters?
  • Ensure that your staff fully supports the special event.  Select a working committee with broad representation.
  • Start planning at least three months, and in many cases, a year ahead of time.
  • Develop ways to evaluate the event’s success.  Measurable event objectives may include attendance, the amount of money raised, etc.
  • Talk to other event planners who have successfully staged similar event

2. Make a checklist

  • A checklist provides a step-by-step guide to organizing and executing a special event. See sample checklist on next page.

3. Create a budget and stick to it

  • The objective is to provide event planners with a financial blueprint.  The budget should be specific, and include revenue opportunities (sponsorship, ticket sales, donations. concession sales) as well as expenses printing, permits, insurance, speakers, food. supplies, security).

4. Consider logistics

  • With many activities going on simultaneously, there are many details to be checked. Major areas to consider and plan for include: size of space or building used, utility support needed, setup (tables and chairs. tents, portable toilets, parking, signage) coordination, cleanup, emergency plans. transportation, and public services such as police and fire departments.

 >> Check back next week for more information on publicity and evaluating your event! <<


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