Meeting and Event Planners Guide

Are you trying to organize an event? Making sure you take care of all the details can be a daunting task, especially if you expect a big turnout. How can you ensure nothing is overlooked? you don’t miss anything?

As the most effective event planners know, taking the time to create a plan is the best way to make sure your meeting goes off without a hitch. For the optimal client experience and the least amount of stress for you, here are the items you need to include on your event planning checklist.

Define Goals and Objectives

Before you make any big decisions, you need to know the ultimate goal of an event:

  • Is it to draw attention to a new product or service?
  • Is it to develop your company’s brand?
  • Is it to cultivate new sales leads?

These objectives can guide you through difficult decisions. Whenever you are confronted with choices, ask yourself: Which option best helps us achieve our goals?

Establish a Budget

The next step is to establish a hypothetical budget. If you are unfamiliar with some of your events’ expenses, such as planning for Catering and meals, Audio-visual equipment rental, researching and selecting your keynote speaker, arranging and hiring entertainment, as well as staffing requirements, make sure to do your research so your estimates are accurate.

It is essential that you create a budget to ensure there are enough funds to cover all necessary expenses. As you make decisions and the plan changes out of necessity, you may have to rethink your fund allotments. However, having an overall view of where the money is being spent can help you redistribute funds effectively.

Build Your Team

It is impossible to organize an entire event by yourself. Luckily, assistance is always available you don’t have to — you can by building a team of professionals who will work together to create a truly great experience. As you search looking for team members, make sure you select have people with expertise in the following:

  • Sponsorships
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Registration
  • Venues and vendors
  • Catering
  • Scheduling
  • Project managing
  • Creative design

Pick Your Venue and Date

Now that you have a plan and team to carry it out, it’s it is time to make some concrete decisions. Deciding on a date and a meeting and event venue should come first, as they can drastically affect your other options and resources.

Experienced meeting planners know that a location should not be judged on size alone. Make sure you also look at the following factors:

  • Transportation options
  • On-site staff
  • Flexibility and variety of meeting facilities, including public spaces
  • Proximity to hotel accommodations and dining options
  • Thematic fit

One of the main concerns during event planning is audience engagement. To get attendees invested, you need to have a solid promotional campaign, a well-organized program, and effective tech tools. The following event planning checklist can help you meet these goals.

Develop Event Branding

You’re probably familiar with the idea of branding — in fact, your organization likely invests a great deal into it. While this is important in a larger marketing context, it’s not enough when you’re hosting a large gathering. Attendees want to know what your meeting is about, what the atmosphere will be like, and what values it supports. Branding is essential to communicate this information to those interested in attending. As you develop your event branding, make sure you cover each of these areas:

  • On-site signage and décor
  • Logo and typography
  • Theme
  • Event name

Plan Your Program

Your program’s purpose determines what you’ll offer guests, so it’s crucial to create a solid agenda before you start pinning down details. Is this an educational meeting, a get-together with celebratory elements, or a gathering to facilitate networking? The answer will determine the following:

  • What kind of entertainment, if any, is offered
  • Who is invited as guest speakers
  • What kind of food and beverages are served

Make sure that whatever you decide, you keep your event planners in the loop. They have extensive industry knowledge and connections that can help you save time and money.

Identify and Select Tech Tools

Technology can either help or hinder your efforts depending on how well-prepared you are. Technical difficulties can kill enthusiasm as guests get impatient and may paint organizers as unprofessional. No matter what tech tools you decide to use, test them prior to the event, and make sure they’re being handled by someone qualified.

Create a Marketing and Promotional Plan

As you develop marketing for your event, make sure you take into account the many strategies available:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Online advertisements
  • Public relations

Determine How Your Event Will Be Evaluated

How can you tell if your meeting was a success? This depends on your goals, which you should determine beforehand:

  • X number of attendees
  • X number of app downloads
  • X number of visits to the event website

These goals will steer you toward the data you should evaluate, such as social media engagements, website data, and ticket purchases.

Choose MassMutual Center for Your Event

MassMutual Center has the flexibility you need for your meeting location. With over 100,000 square feet available, you are sure to find the perfect space. For more information, give us a call at (413) 787-6610 or contact us online.