Whether it's a conference, workshop, or corporate party, you can't efficiently organize and run an event without having a strong action plan. It's like driving on an unknown road without a map or GPS.
Even if you reach the end destination, the travel experience will be heavy, uncertain, and probably stressful. The same thing happens with planning events. To ensure successful outcomes, you must elaborate a detailed document that will involve all the planning aspects.
As author and entrepreneur Kevin Van der Straeten highlights, "An action plan or event specification is a chronological list of the activities, agreements and tasks relating to your event. Consequently, it is used to show who is responsible for what (and where) at each moment of the preparation phase. A good action plan is essential for good organization and for the all-important delineation of responsibilities. The action plan will help you to see where problems are likely to arise and where a special approach or specific intervention may be necessary."
Not sure what an event management plan should look like? Here"s a list of concepts you must cover when creating one:
Why are you planning the event in the first place? Do you want to promote a brand and gain more customers? Is your intention to reunite professionals that will exchange best practices and knowledge? Do you want to increase the company fidelity of a corporation's employees? Or maybe you want to achieve a high attendance rate and sell as many tickets as possible? By defining the event goals, you’ll be able to set up a viable planning plan that is perfectly aligned with your intentions.
If you want to increase your revenues, you’ll need to build a business plan. How could you transform your event into a more profitable endeavor? By attracting powerful sponsors or selling tickets? Or maybe providing merchandising items or offering a membership subscription? All of these details should go under the business plan concept.
What are the fixed, variable, and unexpected costs? Where do you plan to get the resources needed to run the event? Organizing an event requires financial resources, and that’s why, without a solid budget, you won’t be able to do much.
Before pitching your event to potential sponsors, you must know the added value you can contribute. What sponsors could benefit from financing your event? Do you know how to present these benefits? The “sponsorship” chapter is another essential concept that must go in the event management plan.
When planning an event, you must know your audience. Define your target group and identify the ways you could reach out. Apart from that, set up the ticketing scheme and decide the pricing.
The key element that determines the quality of your event is the pool of speakers you've selected. Have you decided how to execute travel and accommodation arrangements? If not, include this part in the event management plan.
Everything related to the event venue, rooms, space layout, furniture, stage, decorations, location, maps, accessibility, and seating is included here.
From the catering type of service to menus and dietary specifications, you must be careful about every single detail.
Do you plan to live stream the event? What type of microphones do you need? What technical requirements do your speakers have? Make sure to answer these questions and any others in the audiovisual segment of your event management plan.
What colors will identify your event? Do you have an event logo? What visual supports do you plan to produce? What are the deadlines for the printing company? There are so many other details related to the visual identity of your event that it will be helpful to write them down, so you don't forget.
Promoting an event is a responsible task. Depending on your target group and your goals, you must dedicate time and effort to set up a powerful marketing plan.
Team & Human Resources
Do you know who's in charge of what? Did you assign someone to be responsible for each task and planning concept? Do you plan to have volunteers? Make sure to specify all these details.
Set up the deadlines and follow them strictly!
An event management plan can vary from event to event. In some cases, you may need to add or delete different planning concepts. In any case, you'll need a road map to help you keep everything organized and under control. Start planning your event by defining a powerful management plan. Only by having one can you confidently hit the road. Good luck!