When planning events, it’s easy to focus on big details like entertainment, menu, venue and photography. But “little” details are often pushed aside leaving your guests with a bad taste in their mouths. With a trusted PR partner on your side, you won’t miss those key details. Here are a few things we recommend to our clients interested in hosting an event.
Choose the right date
The first step to planning your event should be choosing a date. Depending on the size of the event, it could take months to plan as venues book quickly. But beyond booking a venue, choosing the right date and time can signal to your guests that you understand and consider their needs. Think of your desired attendees and how they plan their days and use their free time. While that requires some generalizing, it can be critical in attendance. You may realize that a breakfast event on a Wednesday morning would be better suited than a soiree late into a Friday night. Then, scour local event calendars for other events that may be taking place at the same time. This not only shows how traffic and parking (which are important!) might be impacted but also if members of your guest list may already have plans to attend another function.
Manage the guest list early
Managing the guest list and RSVPs can get complicated, but it is worth it. Having your numbers finalized ahead of time ensures you have enough food and beverages, but also a sense of the crowd. If you receive fewer RSVPs than expected, you may need to fill the room with more decor or move to a smaller space. If you have more than accounted for, consider opening more space or adjusting the timing so the event is more of a “drop-in” style.
Other than numbers, managing the list shows who exactly is coming to the event ahead of time, so you can prepare to meet key customers, donors or important guests. It’s essential to know who could potentially show up and be ready to help build upon your relationship with them. A PR pro tip is to create a list of the people of note who will be in attendance so your leadership team can make a point to say “hello.”
Have you ever received an invitation with one arrival time and then a confirmation with a different one? Small mistakes like this are easy to make and can be challenging to correct. Proofread every piece of information with a fine-toothed comb before distributing it to potential attendees. And even better – finalize as many event details as possible and create a cheat sheet with details before publishing anything. This will create one reference point for everyone and can reduce the number of technical missteps in writing.
If you have any written materials like a presentation, speech or event programs, don’t wait until the last minute to craft your messaging! If your big presentation has grammatical errors, your credibility can suffer. If you’re advertising a product at your event, a study by Survey Monkey found 85% of millennials are less likely to buy a product with grammar issues or typos. Don’t let a silly typing error affect your business’s sales after putting effort into planning your event.
With a PR team on your side, little details won’t go unnoticed. Our job is to ensure your event goes smoothly so you can enjoy it. If you’re interested in learning more about Obsidian’s wide scope of services, check out our capabilities page.