More than just gathering a crowd, events are are a wonderful opportunity to build a real community. Events serve as the most direct way to exchange ideas, experiences and opinions. As an event organizer, the task can be daunting. After interacting with a few planners over the past months, our team at We Are Spaces hope that the following guide to hosting a great event would help you out – even if just by a little.
Step 1: Planning
By default, an event is always a team effort. To help reduce the stress of throwing a mind-blowing event, take on a collaborative approach instead. Find partners and sponsors that share the same cause, and delegate the following tasks to key team members – audio, content, welfare, logistics, volunteer management, creative design and attendee promotion. Last but not least, use simple tools such as Google Documents and Calendar to ensure real-time updates. Complement these with a series of meetings mapped backwards from the event date. Overwhelmed? Fret not! Here’s a template for you:
Step 2: Programming
People are naturally curious and social beings. We attend events in hope of meeting new like-minded individuals and share experiences. As a community leader, there is no better way than to talk to people to see what issues and themes they are interested in and want to hear more about. This way, you are ensured that relevant discussions are being surfaced at your event.
Step 3: Promoting
After all the hard work put into planning your event, do leave ample time to promote it! As a tip, start promoting at least one month beforehand. The first basic step is to leverage on your own network – Use your email list, Facebook, Eventbrite, Twitter and blog. Next, have others engaged spread the word too! Engage your venue’s and sponsor’s social media platforms, as well as have volunteers and relevant industry influences promote the event via their social media pages.
Step 4: At the event
Stay cool, organized and have fun! For both small or mid-sized events, things can get messy if not handled well. The day before, ensure that volunteers know their roles well and that the have a final walk-through of reporting duties. Logistics aside, motivate your organizing team, and reiterate the event’s cause. Allow your team members to interact with guests and pump up the atmosphere.
Step 5: After the event
As tiring as the event might be, post-event following up is key. Further strengthen your position in the community with the following:
- Write a follow-up blog post, include an event re-cap in a newsletter, post photos and video
- Follow-up with invited media on how you can help
- Follow-up with invited speakers on their feedback
- And…remember to thank your community! Just like what a fellow local community, Pecha Kucha did after their event