Anyone who has ever had to organize a large-scale corporate celebration knows that event planning is a lot like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. The guests are the audience, and the secret to a great launch, fundraiser, or promotional party is making everything seem effortlessly magical. For a few hours, attendees need to be spirited away from their daily routine. The coordinator or planner needs to hold their attention, keep them entertained, and most of all, leave a lasting impression. If making all this happen sounds like a supernatural feat, fear not! These three magic words will help keep guests spellbound with the brand at the forefront of their minds, both during the festivities and long after the last champagne cork has popped.
Step one in successful event planning? Knowing what must be accomplished and using that goal as a scaffold for all other plans. Keeping the target audience in mind, as well as having a good idea of what they should take away from the event, will ideally influence all other decisions, from the chosen venue to the type of food served. Hosting a promo aimed at families with small children? Best not to start at seven in the evening. If the intent is to raise money for an organization during the course of the evening, then it’s vital that the scheduled entertainment includes time for a direct call to action and that guests are provided with the opportunity to donate (preferably in a fun, relaxed manner). Hot dogs probably aren’t appropriate for a medical benefit, but would be great for an outdoor celebration with a laid-back atmosphere. Without a doubt, determining purpose should be an event planner’s number one priority.
Once the purpose has been determined, the concept should emerge organically‚ along with many of the finer details, such as what kind of music to play and whether a dress code will be necessary. Abracadabra! The hardest part of event planning is over. However, making sure the target market knows about the party can prove difficult. It’s tempting to assume that social media will do all the work and that the monotonous task of clicking “invite” repeatedly on Facebook will suffice. However, in an increasingly competitive digital environment, it takes a little more than that to ensure the best possible turnout. The venue may have staff on hand to help with a publicity strategy, including sending out information to their networks and contacts. Mostly, it’s essential to remember to cover all bases (print, radio, and Internet) and that above all, the most powerful ingredient in a potion for marketing success is people. Word of mouth still reigns, so finding ways to get folks talking can make the difference between a flop and a fiesta.
This may seem obvious, but finding the right people for the job can make or break an event. There’s nothing worse than watching a carefully orchestrated soiree dissolve into chaos because the DJ is late, the chicken is undercooked, and the bathrooms haven’t been cleaned. Studies have shown that customers are more likely to tell their friends about bad experiences, and nobody wants their guests to go home equating their brand with salmonella and poor sanitation. Carefully reviewing and selecting the people who will help bring the vision to life is an essential part of event planning. At Bridgewater Manor, clients are provided with an extensive list of vendors to help them find the lovely assistants to pull off their hat trick.
Though it may seem overwhelming at first, throwing a memorable party or corporate fundraiser can be as easy as waving a magic wand. Just remember these three powerful words and any audience is guaranteed to walk away enchanted.