Ten Tips to Host Your Event
Host your event
This is the moment that you have been working towards for weeks, if not months. The perfect team is assembled, there’s a great schedule, and many people are attending.
Now is the time to relax and unwind!
Oops, no. There will be time later. You have to make sure the day lives up to its hype. You want your event to live up to all the planning and organizing.
Now that the day is here let’s look at hosting the event.
Ten things you can do now
These are the 10 steps to take to host a successful event.
Get ready for the event.
You’ll need to set up your venue and be ready to receive guests before anyone arrives. You don’t want to rush to get the last items in order during the event.
Get there early with your team to get the venue ready. Here is a list that may not be exhaustive:
- Place furniture (registration tables and sitting arrangements, etc.)
- Decorate the venue
- Verify that all IT, audio and video equipment is functioning properly
- Get ready to set up the stage, as well as any props that your performers or speakers might require
- Check that the caterers have arrived on time and are ready to begin their preparations.
- Make sure that all refreshments, such as welcome drinks, are available
- Your sponsors can help you set up banners and other materials
- Double-check that your safety and security measures are correct (first aid kits, fire escapes, etc.).
You should ensure that your volunteers are well-informed about their duties and the location.
Take a final tour of the venue just before the performers or guests arrive, so you don’t miss anything.
Your performers/speakers can be accommodated.
If you rely on speakers or performers for your event, ensure that they have someone to welcome them and attend to their needs. They shouldn’t be hungry, thirsty or confused about their role in the event.
Many times, performers will provide a list of equipment and props that they must have. You can go through the list to ensure you have all they may need.
Introduce yourself to them if you haven’t met in person before. Show your appreciation and be available to answer any questions.
A team should be present at the door to assist with registration, scanning tickets, serving drinks, and handing out nametags.
Make sure your QR or barcode scanners are properly set up. You can use an event platform that provides a ticket scanning app ( such as Billetto), but make sure the appropriate members of your team have it installed before you go. You can test the app by running a few scans to make sure everything works as it should.
You can keep track of who has shown up to your event by keeping a printed guest list.
Assist guests in navigation
Are you a frequent visitor to events that ends up requiring you to wander around the venue looking for the entrance? You’ll be able to see how frustrating this can be. Never put your guests in the same situation. You have the chance to make a great first impression, rather than starting badly.
You should ensure that there are enough signs and that the paths are marked. If you have reserved seating at your event, make sure that each row and every seat is clearly marked and easily read. These are some of the most common items that need clear signage.
- Main entrance(s)
- Location of the primary event (either the conference room or the exhibition hall)
- Workshops and breakaway sessions are possible in these rooms
- Food and beverage establishments
- Designated smoking areas (if there are)
- Evacuation plans
- Charging stations for smartphones
At least one volunteer should be responsible for helping guests navigate the venue. You can easily identify them by wearing a uniform or special badges.
It didn’t take so much effort to get everyone here, only for them to become bored and lose interest. You don’t want them to be glued to their phones and checking their watches.
The program should encourage audience participation, whether a conference or speaker-focused event. You might offer a Q&A session after the speaker’s speech and perhaps incorporate interactive quizzes in your presentations.
You can arrange an icebreaker or friendly competition for casual events. You can provide activities for your guests to enjoy while walking around the venue.
It would be best if you also considered virtual participants. Live streaming of your event can be done on Facebook. Or, you could go even techier and use the virtual reality platform to let people “attend” your event remotely.
Inspire social media shares
Social media promotion does not end with the event. You have the opportunity to generate buzz about your event in progress.
Encourage people to use the hashtag #events in their posts on social media or share photos or videos from the event. Ask people to tweet questions to the speaker and attach a hashtag so that you can quickly sort them.
Another option is to set up a photo booth or other designated location where your hashtag and event name are prominently visible. People will promote your event automatically to their friends and followers if they share photos of themselves.
Crowdsourcing great visual material will allow you to market your future events.
Capture the highlights
Your guests may find the simple experience of having a great time more than enough. You, as the organizer, want to keep a record of the day.
It is a smart move to hire a videographer and photographer to capture the highlights of your event. This will not only be a great source of marketing material, but it will also allow you to share tangible information with your guests.
Your speakers will love a recording of your talk, and your live band will not turn down a video of them performing. Volunteers and your team may enjoy reliving the event through photos and videos. They’re often too busy to feel the atmosphere during an event.
People can be excited to see someone with a camera walking around. This may be a way to encourage guests to pose for photos.
You might consider inviting journalists to cover a high-profile event.
Get feedback regularly
This is a great opportunity to get feedback from your guests and performers.
You can gather a lot of information through a survey after the event (we’ll discuss that in the next chapter), but you won’t get better insight into the opinions and feelings of the participants. People are still absorbing the event as it unfolds. These impressions will not fade.
The type of event and the needs of your guests will determine how you conduct this. You might consider formalizing this process and giving out feedback forms in printed form to guests. This could be in exchange for a perk such as a drink or a goodie bag.
You could also choose to socialize with your guests, picking up their thoughts and making small talk. You will understand their emotions and rational arguments by listening firsthand.
Ask your speakers and performers what you could do better. While you may not be capable of meeting their needs, you will be better prepared for the next event.
Keep track of the time.
Most events will have at least some time-sensitive activities or deadlines. Most speakers have a time limit. The DJ may need to be on the stage by exactly 11 PM. You should serve food and beverages at a specific time. So on.
Many venues will also have a deadline to meet to wrap up your event. This means that you don’t want the last parts of your schedule to be completed in a hurry.
Keep track of the time and ensure everyone follows the program. Remind the speakers gently how much time is left to finish their presentations. Check with the ballet dancers to ensure that they are ready for their grand entrance. Assist the guests in getting to the right room before the next performance.
It can be not easy to keep things running on schedule without disrupting the flow of your day. This is why it’s important to have a plan for communicating deadlines and timing with all parties.
- Don’t be the last one to go.
It’s your turn to finish the job and close any remaining tasks.
You can say goodbye to the rest of your guests and welcome them home.
Make sure that speakers and performers are free from grievances. ).
Clean up any sponsorship banners, signage, or other physical equipment with your crew. Unless otherwise stated in your contract, you must leave your venue in the same state when you arrived.
Discuss any financial and practical issues with the catering staff, venue representatives, and other vendors that you have hired.
You should take stock of all items that guests or other participants might have left behind. Also, make sure to check for any missing equipment or props.
After everything is in place, reward your volunteers and team for their hard work. Perhaps you could celebrate the successful completion of your event with a small party. You can arrange for everyone to return home.
You did it! It was possible! It was worth all the planning, administration, stress, and last-minute preparations. Pat yourself on the back.