People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will not forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou
It is this quote by Maya Angelou, in itself, that planted the seed of event coordination in my heart, where it has since become a passion of mine.
I remember planning my first big event. It was an activity fair for a local elementary school and I was worried that we wouldn’t have a large attendance. At the time, my supervisor told me, “it’s not about the people who aren’t there; it’s about the people who are.” She told me not to worry whether one, or 100, people showed up — that if only one person came, I should make it the best experience for that one person.
We had done all we could to ensure we would execute a successful event; we researched, planned and we promoted. Although we were unsure of how it would turn out, our event was a huge success!
Below are some ideas to keep in mind when planning an event.
- Evaluating your event strategically — your event must coincide with your brand, business goals, objectives and outcomes.
- Securing leadership buy in — identify key sponsors of this event and be prepared to demonstrate your event’s value to them with a business plan.
- Pre-planning and promoting — promote guest speakers through emails and social media, pitch early in advance to ensure media coverage and staff event with experienced PR team members for post-event interviews.
- Making events interactive and memorable — minimize mundane event activities such as the use of PowerPoint and create a stand-out event through unexpected activities.
- Extending the event — hold select interviews and exclusive meet-and-greets to attract PR media and attendees.
- Sharing your event’s results — offer fun and interactive post-event surveys to participants. Send a recap of the event to stakeholders, include survey results and other metrics.
Event coordination isn’t about executing the biggest event, it’s about providing the best experience. At the end of the day, people will not remember what you said, or what you did, but only how they felt leaving the event. Make sure it’s memorable enough for them to share with other people.