“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” —Leonard Bernstein
I’ve gotta say, there’s no better feeling than when an event goes perfectly and all the guests feel glad they participated.
Recently my business partner, Crystal, and I were organizing a big conference. Fortunately, Crystal is a master at creating the perfect event. Her ability to keep on top of all the details is mind-boggling. Working with her is inspiring, and her events are a wonder to behold.
In this post we’ll touch on five key things you can do to make your own event go perfectly, whether it’s a conference, a party for your clients, or an all day retreat for your team. Check it out.
1. Find the Venue That Works for Your Event
One of the things I learned from Crystal is that when you’re looking at venues for your event, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to make your event work for you and your budget. Hotels, restaurants, and meeting facilities will often meet your needs as they want your business, but you have to ask for what you want.
Be clear going into the negotiation on exactly what your budget is. Leave a little wiggle room to negotiate the things that are important. Be willing to move some pieces around so that you are meeting your budget and still getting the space, food, and service you want.
2. Create a System to Track Event Details
Make a Master Spreadsheet that will track all your details for every aspect involved with your event. Use an Excel spreadsheet and create one tab for your registrations or guest list, a second for all that needs to be printed, and a third for any items that are being shipped to the event if it’s in another city. If you’re having speakers, create a file for them with all the information that is pertinent.
Track everything. Rather than storing all the details in your mind or writing things down on random pieces of paper, create lists with all of your “to-do items” in their different categories. That way you can find what you need at any given time.
3. Delegate What You Can
Assign different tasks to your team rather than do everything yourself. Ascertain which duties others in your organization can be responsible for, and add their name to the task with a due date on the spread sheet you created. Hold everyone accountable, and have brief meetings to review where you are and mark off items as they get completed.
When creating invitations, flyers, anything that needs to be printed, have more than one set of eyes on the materials. Review everything and have your work reviewed. You’ll be surprised how many typos get caught this way.
4. Mistakes? Fix Them and Move On
Here’s another thing I learned from Crystal—don’t sweat it when something goes wrong. Let’s face it, mistakes happen. Focus on what you need to do to fix them, and move on.
For a conference we recently put together, we needed a floor plan printed on a huge poster board. We had it designed and printed, and it looked beautiful! Then, just by chance when reviewing our app for the conference, we saw that the date was wrong! We fixed it and had the printer do a rush print job 24 hours before the event. We noted the importance of double-checking all of our work, and moved on. The thing is, stuff happens, so do what you can to problem solve and keep going.
5. Find Your Inner Zen and Have Fun
Things will come up, but you’ll find that if you are calm, centered, and focused on achieving the outcome you want, the solutions will show up. Decide that you will have fun, and you will.
Set your intention for how you want the event to go.
What are you bringing to your event? What experience you want the attendees to have?
Going into our recent conference, I set my intention for connecting, being present in each moment, and coming from a place of Love. That may sound corny, but a conference that comes from love is going to be a great conference.
Your attendees may never know all it took to put on your event, but if you handle the details in advance, it will run smoothly. And even if something comes up, you’ll be well equipped to handle it.
Participants will energetically feel your calm, and your event will go perfectly In the end. It’s all about taking care of all you can in advance and then letting go, being present, and fully engaging in the moment.