Ah, summertime. The days are long, the temperature beckons us outside, and everyone’s temperament is even. All of these are conducive to BBQs, picnics, concerts – events.
At A-Train, we consider ourselves masters of evention. For many of our clients, events are for fundraising or networking – business related. But in our private, civilian lives we are equally as insightful about throwing a memorable event. Here are some principles to consider when hosting an event. They were developed for business, but can easily be reinterpreted for personal events.
What’s the purpose?
I hope this seems obvious, but nonetheless must be mentioned: Your event should have a clearly defined purpose. And unless you are in your 20s and throwing a kegger, “getting drunk” is not purpose enough. Fundraising, celebrating, networking, bon voyage – these are legitimate purposes. Surely, socializing is purpose enough, but events with a more direct purpose will elicit a better response.
What’s the goal?
If the purpose is the reason for holding the event, the goal is what determines whether it is a success or not. It is more specific than the purpose, with measurable results. Fundraising or attendance goals are more easily measurable, but social events can have more abstract, interesting goals: create the feeling of a Caribbean bar, roast a pig, make so-and-so feel special, etc. Whatever the goal, just be sure to have one.
Who will be there?
In marketing, we call this the “audience,” and it may be best to consider it this way. Every event is a kind of performance. When considering who will be there, consider who will best help meet the goal. Usually this is someone who identifies with the purpose.
What is your story?
This principle pertains primarily to organized events, not social events. You want your audience to identify with who you are, so you must know who you are and be able to readily, clearly tell your story.
What will the experience be like?
Every event should be an experience. Consider what people will hear, see, taste and feel while they are there. The experience really is what the party is about; it’s what people will remember. The experience should stand out above all others. Strive to be the best.
How do you get the word out?
If you’re throwing a backyard party, posters and newspaper ads are likely not appropriate. Consider what avenues – Evite, Facebook, printed invites, personal calls, etc. – are best for letting people know about your event.
What are the details?
Even the smallest event should have a rough timeline of activities. Every event needs to be planned, and the best way to do that is consider all the details and map out a plan. Budget, menu, entertainment, timeline, seating – events are all in the details.
What did you learn?
Be sure to capture information for the next event, what went well and what didn’t. For organized events, this includes information from those attending. Otherwise, the next event will be like starting over.
One major principle for events, one we want to leave you with, is do not skimp. Every event has a budget, and you must work within the budget. But your event should be tailored to that budget. Don’t try to throw a dinner on a cocktail hour budget. Even events with the smallest budgets can offer an experience.