The most essential things in life are often the most understated. They are simple, common events that happen without any true acknowledgment. We sleep every night but don’t think about it.
We eat three times a day and typically don’t go out of our way to appreciate what is placed on the plate in front of us. We spend hours enjoying friends and family with little realized appreciation for these people in our lives.
But when you plan an event – whether it be your wedding, a family reunion, or just another Saturday night at home – you have the opportunity to create something rather amazing that can affect not only yourself but also everyone else involved in some shape or form.
And being able to plan an event is quite simply one of the most rewarding experiences in the world.
How to Plan an Event – A Definitive Guide
Every person who plans an event does so for different reasons. For many, it is because they enjoy creating things, be it food or fabric. Others might love the challenge of organization and coordination. They enjoy conquering seemingly impossible tasks and finishing them successfully.
Still, others do it because they simply like showing off and want to prove that they can create something worthwhile to other people’s eyes (and wallets).
Whatever your motivation, one thing is certain: if you are reading this article right now, there is a part of you that wants to make something happen, probably soon! And I’m here to tell you how easy and fun this process is.
A Step-by-Step Guide to the Process of Planning an Event
Identify what you want
This seems simple but is often more complicated than it sounds. Do you simply want people together in celebration? Do you have a larger goal of teaching someone something new or inspiring them with your talents?
Planning an event can be daunting, but at its core, you are creating an opportunity for people to get together and share some time. So make sure that when considering your purpose, consider why this group of specific individuals is important to you.
Think about how these relationships will grow or develop through shared experience, which leads me to my next point.
What do these people need from one another?
To put it more directly, why do you want these people together? Once you have identified those important to you (and who you believe would benefit from coming together), think about what each person needs from another.
You might find that some of your friends need information, encouragement, or opportunity. Others could use a chance to relax and have fun. Remember that everyone comes into an event with their own unique experience, so guide the event towards giving them the most value possible – one size does not fit all!
Consider your audience
When planning an event, it is always good to consider the different personalities involved. This makes events interesting because everyone brings something different to their lives, even if they are incredibly similar.
Think about whether this group of people is easily stressed out or whether they are more relaxed. It might be better to plan a less formal event with lower expectations if this is the case. Keep in mind that many people can adapt – but don’t expect it from them all!
Set your goals
Once you have identified what you want, who you want to share this experience with, and how those involved might benefit from one another, define some clear goals for yourself as a planner. This doesn’t have to be anything overwhelming, just a few things that will help shape the overall structure of your event.
- I want everyone to leave feeling refreshed and inspired.
- I want this group of friends to learn several new things from one another.
- I want this group to have a lot of fun and laugh together.
These three short but concise statements will help orient your event towards something meaningful and provide a framework to evaluate what you plan next.
Remember: everything in your planning process should be oriented toward giving value, so it is vital that you remain focused on that throughout.
You’ve identified what you want, the audience involved and set some goals for yourself as a planner – now is when the real fun begins. Consider how best to give your friends an experience they will remember long after the event has ended – it’s time for creative solutions!
Try to think about activities or games that encourage interaction between people while still allowing everyone in the group to appreciate their individuality somehow.
This can often be difficult, especially when you want everyone to come together, but it’s essential that at least one person in your group (or more!) feels like they contribute uniquely and significantly.
Plan the logistics of your event
Now is when all those creative ideas should turn into actual plans – well, almost! Start mapping everything out on paper or digitally (use an event management platform for this) so you know exactly what you need for each element of your event.
This will help save time during the process, if nothing else! Consider setting up a budget early on in this stage because not having enough money can change how an event plays out. And even if you do have plenty of cash, knowing how to maintain a healthy budget can help you turn your friends into valuable resources for future events.
Get ready to enjoy the event!
This might seem like an obvious point, but it often gets overlooked: take some time out and enjoy the event! Be mindful of what is going on around you and be grateful that your idea came together so well. You’ve allowed this group to come closer together, learn from one another, have fun – now sit back and appreciate how special that is!
Evaluate your success
It would be best if you reflected on your planning process and the overall outcome of the event itself.
There are three key areas where many people fall short in their goal to plan the perfect event:
- Time & Effort – could I have planned this event faster? Could I have been more efficient?
- Money – did I spend too much or too little on certain aspects of my event?
- Success – how was this for everyone involved? What worked and what didn’t work so well?
You might not plan a perfect event every time, but it is always worth going back and evaluating your success. Even if you feel like something didn’t go as planned, make a note of it because you can use that feedback to improve your future events!
No matter what type of person you are or how many different people are involved in your event, planning an event needn’t be difficult.
All it comes down to is identifying your goals, understanding your audience, and then taking action based on what you’ve learned. These are the three key areas in which most events fall short somehow, so make sure to keep them in mind!
You should have a very successful outcome if you can manage these three things when planning an event with your friends, family, or work colleagues.
Remember: Everything needs to be oriented around value. Giving people opportunities to come together and learn from one another is just about the most valuable thing we can do for each other. And if that’s all you focus on, then you’re bound for success – I guarantee it!