Planning an event whether big or small can result in a lot of pressure. There are so many details to remember and plan for like ordering food, choosing engaging activities, organizing vendors, ordering promotional and event schwag, and of course managing guest invitations and communication. Many of the customers that come to us to order custom shirts are doing so because they are planning an event. So here is a list of helpful ideas to assist and inspire you in your event planning journey.
Use event management software like Odoo – There is a free and premium version. For free event management software, Odoo offers robust functionality and is suitable for conferences, festivals, charity, and exhibition events. Users are able to sell tickets online and even customize ticket prices. Of course there is a fee to process payments. If you’re willing to spend a little money, Planning Pod includes a ton of incredible planning and management options. You’ll find a to-do’s manager that helps keep track of event tasks and even offers templated lists, plus floorplans, seating charts, lists, itineraries, time tracking, and even a custom event website! Pretty impressive for $9.99 a month if you’re planning a single event!
Compare and choose the best local caterer with Thumbtack – This website guides you through a series of questions to determine which caterers in their database would be the best to help with your specific needs. Once you define your requirements, a list of possible matches will reach out to you. Its then up to you to continue discussions with the candidates you are most interested in. Depending on how long the caterer has been offering their services on Thumbtack, reviews for previous work may be available to help you make your decision.
Choosing engaging activities for your event will of course greatly depend upon the type of event you’re organizing. If you’re not sure exactly what will interest your event attendees, you can always consider introducing some experimental that will at least give your guests something to talk about. If you’re looking to incentivize social buzz, Photoboxx gives guests a reason to talk about your event. In exchange for a social post with your event’s designated hashtag, attendees get an instant download of the picture they posted, plus you can brand the pics with your logo or any image you want to include on the print out.
Schwag Bag – You are reading a blog about event planning on DesignAShirt.com so of course we’re going to say that custom t-shirts are the best possible schwag to offer your event attendees. But you don’t have to limit party goodies to t-shirts. Promotional items can be related to the purpose, the theme, or even the location of your event. Consider alternative products like stickers, branded toys like Frisbees or water guns, and immediately useful items such as reusable water bottles. Even though they are not featured on our website, we can source and deliver thousands of personalized promotional items. Remember to order any custom items well in advance of your event to avoid additional costs for expedited orders.
If you need tables and chairs, depending on the type of event, you may be able to borrow from your local school or church. If renting is in order, it’s important to examine the rented items upon arrival and review the paperwork closely so you don’t incur additional fees.
If you find yourself shorthanded on warm bodies to get the party set up, consider posting a notice at the local university or community college. In exchange for their help, they can attend the party and hey, free food and drinks!
If you’re artistically challenged, check out Canva to make professional looking designs and documents. Canva’s entire platform is built around its user’s ability to make beautiful, shareable designs for the web and print with zero design capabilities. However experiences graphic designers will also appreciate the flexibility in pinch.
Promoting your event on the usual social channels is expected. A Facebook event requires a snappy and descriptive name with a thorough description. Remember to use a great looking photo at the recommended dimensions of 1920×1080 pixels or 16:9 aspect ratio. Never underestimate the power of proper tagging so Facebook can recommend your event to those with similar interests.
If you do have sponsors, you can co-host the event on Facebook and hopefully your sponsor will co-promote the event as well with a boost or at least pin the event to the top of their business page.
Instagram is invaluable if your event is targeted towards a younger crowd. With this channel again, the visual element is key to the success of the promotion. Since Instagram doesn’t support links in the post descriptions, be sure to include a link to your event website in your profile and consider making up an event specific hashtag to spice it up.
Also consider industry specific channels that may allow for event announcement, particularly if you’re selling tickets. If you have sponsors for your event, ask them to co-promote the event on their social channels and newsletters.