Event Guide

15 Event Planning Tips for Engaging Events

February 27, 2024
5 Mins
Get in Touch

See how Eventify can help you.

Request a Demo

A robust event plan is necessary if you want to engage your attendees and host a successful event. Unfortunately, event planning can be a hassle if you’re not sure where to start.

But don’t you worry because we have curated 15 event planning tips to help you create a robust event plan so that you can host an engaging and successful event.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • 10 Event Planning Tips for Successful Events
  • 5 Virtual Event Planning Tips to Increase Engagement
  • Pro Event Planning Tips

15 Event Planning Tips to Host Successful Events

Before you start planning for your next event, take note of the following event planning tips that will help you host a successful event:

Start Planning Early

There’s a lot that goes into a full-fledged event. You need to plan event programs, correspond with speakers, book a venue, rent equipment, and take care of a bazillion other things.

Starting early gives you enough time to tackle everything carefully without missing important details. It saves you from the last-minute frenzy that event organizers often face.

It’s never too early to start planning for an event, but if you want a ballpark figure, 6 months is often considered the sweet spot among event planners. Having said that, you might need more time depending on the nature and size of your event.

Understand the Purpose of Your Event to Set SMART Goals

There are many reasons to organize an event. You need to know yours.

Do you want to establish authority and become the thought leader in your industry? Maybe you want to increase brand awareness and build trust. Or maybe you want your event to achieve a combination of these.

Regardless, once you understand the motivation behind organizing your event, planning becomes much easier. Having a clear objective provides context for making the right decisions and the motivation to follow through.

Once you have that context and purpose in mind, you must set SMART event goals. By SMART goals, we mean Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals.

Setting SMART goals for your event offers numerous benefits. SMART goals increase the chances of a successful event by offering clarity and helping you focus your energies and resources on a specific goal.

Pro Event Planning Tip: Consider data collected from previous events, such as attendee turnaround and feedback, to set clear, achievable goals.

Create Attendee Persona

Identify your audience early on. The best method to do that is to create an attendee persona.

An attendee persona is a representation of your ideal attendee. It helps define your attendees, their characteristics, likes, dislikes, and what they want from the event.

Having a clear picture of your potential event attendees helps you plan an event that caters to their needs and desires. An effective attendee persona informs important event decisions, including event topics, key speakers, marketing campaigns, etc.

For example, if you want C-level executives to attend your event, select a venue that impresses them. You often find these people in 5-star venues, so keep that in mind when designing your venue.

When creating an attendee persona, don't rely solely on research. The best, most reliable method to know what your potential event attendees want is to simply ask them.

Create detailed questionnaires with questions like, “What topics would you like to discuss in the event?” “Do you prefer a virtual or a hybrid setting?” “What speakers would you like to see in the event?”

Then, send these questionnaires to attendees from previous events and potential attendees that fit your attendee persona and ask for their suggestions. And plan your event according to the feedback from your questionnaire.

Plan the Big Day With Care

One of the trickiest parts of planning an event is planning the actual day of the event. Many questions pop up in the event planner's mind, which can be difficult to answer.

Lucky for you, we’ve got a solution. If you’ve followed our event planning tips so far, you know:

  • What you want to achieve from this event (your SMART goals)
  • What your target audience wants (results from the audience feedback)

Use these two sources as guides in your decision-making process. For example, when deciding on the format of your event, list down all possible event formats, and for each, ask yourself the following:

  • Does it help achieve our goals?
  • Does it engage the audience?

If the answer to both these questions is in the affirmative, go ahead with it.

Obviously, other stakeholders (including sponsors, vendors, etc.) and budget constraints might also affect your decision-making process, so make sure to account for those as well.

But even if you have to make certain compromises, always consider your goals and the audience feedback, and you’ll end up with the right decision.

Pro Event Planning Tip: Include plenty of breaks between sessions to help your audience relax and network with other attendees. You should also include games or ice-breaking sessions to improve attendee engagement.

Create an Event Budget

An effective event budget helps reduce unnecessary expenditures, identify and maximize income sources, and calculate event ROI.

But it can be tricky, considering all the moving parts event planners need to consider when creating an event budget.

So, how does one go about budgeting for an event?

  • Estimate how much you can spend on your event by considering sponsors and outside funding.
  • List your event ‘must-haves,’ such as venue rental, A/V equipment, catering, marketing, and staffing.
  • Gather data from previous events (if any) and similar events by other organizations to help with your own budget.
  • Get quotes from multiple vendors, caterers, etc., to get the best possible rates.
  • Keep your stakeholders in the loop while estimating the event budget to avoid surprises.
  • Add mid-level and low-level items (e.g., decor, event speakers, marketing collateral, etc.) to your budget.
  • Set aside 15% to 20% of your event budget as a contingency fund to handle unexpected expenses.
  • Once the event is over, analyze your budget by comparing estimated costs with actual expenditures. This will help you budget for future events.

Pro Event Planning Tip: Try to budget for an event as early as possible to get more options to negotiate the best deal possible.

Create & Follow a Checklist

With so much going on in your mind, it’s only natural to forget a few things. And before you know it, everything seems all over the place.

Following a checklist will ensure you’re not forgetting anything, help you track your progress, and ensure everything is being done in a timely manner.

Have a checklist from the start. Include the most important steps first, such as assembling a team, creating a schedule, and meeting vendors. Update the checklist as more tasks come to mind during the event planning process.

Effectively Promote Your Event

The success of your event is based on the attendance of your targeted audience. But how will they show up on the day of the event if they’re not even aware of it? That is where an effective event promotion strategy comes in.

An effective event promotion strategy uses a multi-channel approach, including email marketing, an event website, social media campaigns, and ads. However, most event planners have a limited marketing budget, so they must pick and choose the channels they’ll utilize.

In such cases, it’s best to go for channels your target audience frequents. For example, if you want to target C-level executives, you should market on LinkedIn.

A great event promotion tip is to start marketing campaigns a couple of months before the event. This will build anticipation for the event and also give potential attendees enough time to adjust their schedules to block out time for it.

However, during the days leading up to the event, send event reminders through emails and other channels. Include the exact time, date, and other necessary information about the event.

Ensure Excellent Photography

Hire a professional photographer (and videographer) to cover your event to ensure:

  1. Attendees have memorable moments captured by a professional, which they will share on their social media handles with your event hashtags, demonstrating your event’s success.
  2. You have a lot of professional-grade images and videos of your event that you can use in post-event marketing materials and campaigns.

You can go a step further and hire a photographer to cover the event planning process so that you can use these photographs and videos while promoting your event or pitching sponsors.

Prepare for Unexpected Events

Things seldom go as planned, so there’s a high chance something might go wrong on the day of the event. It could be as little as A/V equipment going out of order or as major as a vendor backing off at the last moment.

To ensure your event runs smoothly, identify and prepare for potential failures and common issues that occur during an event.

A major vendor bailed at the last minute? You should have at least three backup vendors. Are you facing issues with the equipment? Have a technician on standby to fix the issues as soon as possible and have backup equipment just in case. A key speaker couldn’t make it to the event? You should be prepared to adjust the event agenda accordingly.

Post Event Tips

Don’t just plan for the event, but also plan everything you need to do after the event is done and dusted. Here are a few post-event tips:

  • Have a post-event cleanup plan.
  • Create feedback forms to collect feedback from attendees, sponsors, vendors, etc., to identify shortcomings and areas of improvement to ensure the success of future events.
  • Plan a strategy to store and organize data that you’ll be bombarded with data before, during, and after the event that you’ll gather from onsite check-in kiosks, feedback surveys, registration forms, and other sources.
  • Use the collected data to gain valuable insights and plan future events. You can share these insights with event stakeholders, who’ll be impressed when the numbers speak for themselves.

5 Virtual Event Planning Tips to Increase Engagement

Virtual events account for a significant portion of the event industry and have their fair share of opportunities and challenges. The following virtual event planning tips will help you host an engaging virtual event by leveraging its opportunities and overcoming the challenges:

Select the Right Virtual Platform for Your Event

You should look for a reliable platform that fits your unique event requirements. Give top priority to online platforms that offer features like interactive chat, live streaming, networking opportunities, and interactive tools.

Many event platforms offer free demos, which you should leverage to ensure that the platform satisfies all of your technical requirements. This guarantees a smooth experience for you and your audience. Check Eventify!

Facilitate Speaker and Presenter Preparedness

Give your speaker and presenters all the information they require well in advance, regardless of whether they are experienced or beginners. Check if they have proper home equipment for the event, such as a ring light and a good microphone. It is also essential to ensure they are comfortable using the streaming conference software.

Presenters who will pre-record their speeches for the event need appropriate recording software and other essentials such as a good microphone and appropriate lighting. As an event planner, it is your job to ensure all that and facilitate them throughout the process. Moreover, to guarantee a flawless event, request their recording in advance for testing.

Perform Test Runs

A pre-event rehearsal is a great way to ensure everything’s in its place on the big day and to identify any issues and shortcomings well in advance

Test the registration process, both online and on-site. By logging in and moving around the platform, you can imitate the viewpoint of a virtual attendee and identify and resolve any problems they may face during the actual event.

Also, see if you have everything set up for the live segments, including all speaker presentations. This proactive testing strategy aids in identifying and resolving any potential problems, saving you from solving last-minute issues on the event day.

Pay Attention to Feedback

It's crucial to get feedback from attendees after your event. Fortunately, with virtual events, you can also get real-time feedback during the event.

Review real-time attendee registration and engagement reports and see which parts of the events are getting better engagement and which parts are not being well received. This way, you can make adjustments on the spot according to the feedback and improve attendee engagement by skipping the boring parts of the event.

Detailed post-event reports from the event management and planning software can also prove to be a guiding manual for future events. 

Make the Event Engaging

Attendee engagement can be challenging during virtual and hybrid events. But with a well-thought-out event plan, you can ensure high engagement.

You can encourage audience participation through the use of interactive elements like lively chat interactions, engaging polls, and flexible Q&A sessions.

To further increase engagement, you can create online social hubs, hold gatherings for meaningful connections, or create forums to stimulate discussion.

These exciting features will captivate your audience and make your virtual event memorable and engaging.

Ready to Plan Your Next Event?

Event planning provides a significant advantage by improving resource management. When you create and follow an event budget, you can effectively manage event spending. With careful planning, you can also maximize the effective use of resources and reduce waste.

Now, if you’ve read all the way through, I’m sure you’re beaming with ideas for planning your next event and motivated to take action.

But before you get ahead of yourself, remember that planning an event is a team effort. That means what works for you might not work for someone else. So, it’s essential to create a process that works for all parties and promotes effective communication and transparency.

If you realize during event planning that the process isn’t working, always be ready to adjust the process to ensure maximum efficiency.

And last but not least, always remember that event planning is fun if you allow it to be. So don’t forget to enjoy the process and create lasting memories.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding event planning, feel free to reach out and we’ll be sure to assist you right away!

About the Author
I'm a Growth Hacker at Eventify, Inc. for four years and was with Teksmobile since 2014. Formerly a technical writer and corporate communications manager, I now focus on maximizing event organizers' ROIs through custom solutions. My role involves collaborating with professionals to drive growth for the Eventify platform.

Love the Smell Of Events Every Morning Like Us?

We're Totally Obsessed To Make Your Event Succeed!

Please Fill Out The Form To Request A Demo & Let us Convince You Why You Must Switch To Eventify!

* PS: Nobody can match our pricing :-)
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Similar posts

The latest insights and trends from the world of event marketing and event technology.