Tips on running a successful event

Have you ever wondered what the key tips are to running a smooth and successful event? Sam Brown, our Conference and Events Manager, shares her knowledge and key tips to support your event. As you know running an event is never easy, although at times one can look calm on the outside, on the inside you are going through your mental checklist, spinning a hundred plates, and looking forward to a successful ending! Here are some useful pointers to support your event.

Step 1. Write a clear plan!
Write yourself a clear plan of things to do, from the initial organisation, through to post-event follow up. This will help to keep you on track and know that you have done everything needed for a successful event. Planning is essential and there are tools out there to help with this! We use a website called Teamwork which allows you to create a complete event plan, give deadlines and delegate tasks to different members of your team, as well as handy reminders straight to your inbox.

Step 2. Give your event a clear theme/purpose/title
Giving your event a clear purpose will help you to target and attract the right audience as well as aiding you to know what you want to achieve from the event. For example, are you growing your network, selling a product or service, or celebrating an achievement?

Step 3. Communication
Once you’ve got your event purpose and plan, you need to communicate your event clearly. This includes the timings, agenda, who you are expecting to be there, who this event is for and so much more. Make sure all of your event marketing is consistent and that you are sending the same message across all channels. Don’t forget to also keep any staff, speakers, sponsors, or anyone else involved in the loop too. Remember communication is king!

Step 4. Choosing a suitable venue
Getting the right venue is key to your event. Book to see plenty of different places and make a checklist of all the things your venue needs, as well as a list of ‘nice to have’ list. Does it have parking? Catering facilities? Can it scale up or down if needed depending on event numbers? All of these factors will give you room to develop the event effectively.

Step 5. Prepare for the unexpected
Make sure you are prepared for the unexpected. Before you leave for your event are you as up-to-date with everyone involved and everything going on as possible? With events anything can change so suddenly, for example, speakers pulling out the day before or timings overrunning. Make sure you remain calm during these situations and think clearly.

Step 6. Too much is never enough
Make sure to always bring backups. If you place all of your event presentations on one USB and keep it in a particular place, you can be sure it’ll probably go missing by the time you need it. Take several copies of any paperwork needed in case staff ask for copies, or you misplace yours. Don’t think that just because everything is on your laptop, you won’t need paper copies because something as simple as Wi-Fi not working could change everything. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Step 7. Your team
Make sure to have the right support around you. Your events staff all need to be briefed and kept up-to-date on event details so they can handle any situations that arise. Find a communication channel you can all access so you can contact your team quickly during the event.

Step 8. Follow up after
Follow up evaluation – always be thinking about your next event; how can you improve? Get feedback from those who attended the event, it only has to be a quick survey using a tool like Survey Monkey. This will help to develop your next event in the future and also pick up on any negative points, such as if attendees like the food or the event format, is there something else they’d like to see added in the future? Allow them the option to remain anonymous or leave contact details so you can get in touch with them to discuss any issues further. Remember all feedback is useful, the good and the bad!

The tips from Sam are a supportive guide to help you steer your event, so if you would like any further pointers do catch us at a Chambers event and we can always expand on this. 

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