A Basic Event Checklist
It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning a convention event, or a wedding celebration, there’s some serious preparation that needs to be done. Follow this list to make sure you’ve thought of all the big items well in advance.
Hire a Vendor: Have a vendor host your event. They can handle the logistical hassles that will bog down your organization, items such as venue, transportation, food and beverage, invitations and audio/visual. By outsourcing these, you are free to focus on your audience, your message, and your presence.
Audience and Messaging: Decide on messaging and audience first. Who are you trying to reach, and what are you trying to tell them? Be as specific as you can, and remember that events such as conventions or tradeshows are crowded places. Crowded with people. And crowded with competitors. Plan carefully because this will guide everything else.
Choose a Speaker: Do this early and get them locked in. Then, decide how your organization’s own personnel will participate. Will they be front-and-center or in the background?
Know your Competition: The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars on an event, only to learn you are in the same time slot as a big concert or a major speech. It may not be possible to know everything that’s going on. But do your best.
Pitch the Media: Is your event something that could garner some coverage in a trade journal or other publication? If so, create a media plan. But be realistic. The conventions are one giant media opportunity, and reporters are fully booked themselves.
Take Action: Consider what action your audience can take while they are with you. You’ll have people in a room, energized on your topic, for at least an hour. How can you put that to use? Can you get them to sign a petition or a pledge? Take a survey? Give video testimonials? Getting your audience activated can increase the return on investment.
Develop Assets: You are putting a lot into this event. Make sure you get something out. Get your staff active on social media. Have them shoot photos. If you have a speaker, pay to have the speech filmed by a professional crew. This allows you to extend the utility of your convention work beyond the week-long conventions.
Respect Schedules: Conventions are busy places and people are fully booked. Make sure that your audience can attend your event without problems. Consider transportation and timing. Make it as easy as it can be. Sometimes just giving someone a lift at a convention or event means they’ll remember you warmly forever.