They say a successful event is a like an orchestra’s concert. A conductor is required to coordinate everything. Without a plan, everything may seem complicated and daunting. You’ll need to communicate clearly, reign in your budget, and plan for the unexpected in order for everything to run smoothly. This page offers 10 incredible tips to plan and execute a super successful community event.
1. Start with the basics
Before anything else, you want to be very clear about what you want to achieve with the community event you are planning. As the popular truism goes, ‘fail to plan and plan to fail’. Do you want to raise money for a particular community cause? Do you want to bring community members together, or do you wish to promote certain aspects of the community? Answering all these questions well in advance will get you started on the right note.
2. Get a team
After answering the basic questions, the next step towards holding a successful community event is to pull a team together. Getting the right team can make things a whole lot easier. How big the team is will be determined by the scale of your event. If possible, get volunteers on board. Make sure every member of your community event team knows and understands their roles and responsibilities. Have a team leader who can delegate everything and make sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing.
3. Make a list of needs
What are you going to need before and during the event? Are you going to need certain supplies or services? Make a list. Doing this well in advance helps uncover any gaps in your plan. If you want your event to run hitch-free, you want to get everything ready well in advance. Nobody needs the last-minute rush where you try to get important stuff just when it’s about to be needed.
4. Sort your budget
Create a solid budget and be very clear about all the variables. Create room for contingency expenses in your budget. Are you going to be collecting entrance or attendance fees? Be very clear about any income generated from your event. Identify the breakeven point and prepare to find savings if things do not work out as you predicted.
5. Get the message out
Now that you have done most of what needs to be done to prepare for a successful event, it’s time to get the word out there. Think about how you want to reach the various audiences that you are targeting. If you’ll require an upfront commitment, make sure that this information is included in your messaging. Making your communication very clear is very important. So if people will need to buy tickets before or after the events, let them know so.
In addition to getting the word out there, you also need to maximize exposure by marketing your community event. Think what the best strategies to pass the word out to your targets are. Nowadays, a lot of people are on social media and you can use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Blog about it, and have a call to action encouraging people to come. In many cases, having a good location or popular sponsors can help make marketing your event much easier.
6. Make it as inexpensive as possible (or free)
Consider making your event free. Special grants and donations can help make this possible. If not, create a proper budget and remove unnecessary expenses to make your event as inexpensive as possible. When you make your event inexpensive, you make it accessible to more people. This is particularly important if you want your event to bring together as many community members as possible.
7. Keep things simple
Whether you are planning a big community event in the neighborhood park, or a small gathering in your backyard – it is always important to keep everything simple. Make sure to keep the entertainment incidental. The music should not be too loud, and shouldn’t play till late either. Foster conversation during the event by inserting members of your team in the crowd. Encourage everyone to be responsible for themselves and their kids. Think about what it takes to make the event day run smooth for everyone.
8. Don’t panic when things go wrong
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you plan for a successful event. Something somewhere goes wrong. You need to be ready to think outside the box and come up with solutions to problems that may spring up during the course of your community event. Be very organized, plan ahead, and make sure that you arrange everything well in advance. However, if problems show up, remember that problem solving can be fun.
9. Be agile
In this past-faced world, being agile can mean the difference between a successful and a failing community event. The fact that things have always been done in a certain way does not mean you have to follow the same path. Always look for new, better ways of doing things so you can get better results. Be open to trying new strategies to market your event and bring community members on board.
10. Learn and evaluate
As you hold your event, it is also very important to learn and evaluate. Collecting feedback is absolutely important especially if you are looking to hold another event in the near future. Learn what worked and reinforce it, and correct what didn’t work out so great. This way, you’ll realize that you are getting more and more success with every other event.
Planning and running events can be a lot of fun. It’s like picking up the distinct pieces in a jigsaw puzzle and making them fit together. With the tips we have highlighted in this page, you are ready to go right ahead and execute a super-successful community event.