Along with understanding the event objectives, it is also crucial to know the answers to some other important questions.
You will need to know how much money you have to spend on the event; what is the event’s budget? Also, how many people are expected to be attending?
What is the desired duration of the event and what time of day should it begin and end? Indeed it may be an event that continues over several days, you will need to know how many days it will take place over.
So at the outset you need answers to the following:
What is the objective of the event?
How will its success be measured?
What is the budget?
What is the event duration in days?
What is the preferred date of the event?
What are the timings of the event?
How many delegates are expected to attend?
What is the format of the event i.e. will breakout rooms be required and what seating arrangements are preferred?
What is the preferred location/region/city/country
Before the event, you will need to decide how you will promote the event to delegates; do you need to print invitations and build a web page providing additional details. How do delegates RSVP? There are a number of options, post, telephone, email or online form.
Other considerations are the refreshments, catering, speaker and entertainment requirements. It may be up to you to determine these yourself, or there may be expectations already in place. The main thing is to find out in advance so that you know what you are expected to do.
Is this the first event of this kind for your company or is it one that takes place on a regular basis? If it is a regular event it will be helpful to know what has been done before, there will already be a list of contacts that were involved in organising and providing services to the previous events and by speaking with them you will be able to find out how the event usually works.
You should also review previous delegate feedback forms – delegates are usually pretty open about what they liked and disliked! If there is no feedback forms available why not create a quick and easy to fill in questionnaire to determine whether previous events have been successful and well received by delegates and distribute it to as many people that attended as possible.
Also, find out whether the objectives for those events were met. If previous events have not been successful try and find out why and make the necessary changes to your event.
Be Prepared for All Eventualities
Many questions may be answered by the brief you are given when you are first asked to organise the event, but it is important to recognise the questions that have not been answered, such as
Are there international delegates that need accommodation in the UK?
Will there be any disabled delegates or speakers in attendance?
What level of accommodation is appropriate?
How many guest speakers will there be, if any?
How many in house speakers will there be?
Are there to be breakout sessions, if so how many and how many people will they need to accommodate?
All events are different so although there are some generic questions you will need to ask, many will vary for different types of events, the key is to be prepared, consider all possibilities and if you are unsure of how any part of your event will work, including the lead up and post-event period, you need to ask the right person or take the right action to ensure that you are sure. Simply, don’t take the risk of not knowing!
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