Author Mhairi McFarlane famously said:
“Do nothing, and nothing happens. Life is about decisions. You either make them or they’re made for you, but you can’t avoid them.”
And so it is with events. In today’s instalment of the Daily Q&A challenge, we’ll be taking a close look at the process of planning events, and how to make the event planning cycle work for you.
If you go by the colourful illustration of the event planning cycle above, put together by leading ticketing platform provider, Eventbrite, the event planning cycle involves four stages: Planning, Promotion, At-Event and Post Event.
Planning, does exactly like it sounds. It’s where the goals, the Why? of the event is hammered out into a series of tasks and activities, from venue walkthroughs to nailing down that budget. Promotion is actually another name for community building. As is increasingly the case with events promoted on social media, community building happens naturally as word gets out about the event, and conversations begin to form around it online.
As covered in a recent post, there is nearly as much social conversation before an event happens (40%) than actually takes place as it unfolds (42%). Promotion is closely followed by At-Event in the planning cycle, it’s where all the planning bears fruit in a well-attended event by an engaged audience.
Post-Event involves the evaluation of all the preceding steps in the event planning cycle and is the foundation for building on lessons learnt at future events.
Now, how do I use all these steps to plan events more effectively?
Here come three tips.
1. Don’t plan another event, plan an opportunity to nurture a community
The planning and promotion stages of the event planning cycle are side by side because they dovetail very neatly into each another. Consider approaching planning an event like nurturing a community of like-minded individuals and the promotional opportunities become apparent. Suddenly it is less about email newsletter blasts, and more about highlighting star contributors to the community.
2. Promote the event like it is already taking place
To make the most of the pre-event buzz, determine to begin conversations as soon as possible on social media. Dedicate resource to identifying influencers who have a vested interest in the success of the event, and amplify any promotional messages they create.
3. Evaluate the event whilst it’s happening, if you can
Post-event evaluation is a tried and tested method for finding out what worked and what didn’t. However, did you know you can also invite feedback using social media before the event
ends? Try it, it could form the basis of future evaluation strategies.
And there you have it, three simple tips for making the event planning cycle work for you.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask? Perhaps you’d like to know more?
Seeking questions from event planners
We’ve built an interactive platform for asking and answering questions in real-time at assenty.com. It’s free to post and vote for questions, and incredibly easy to use, simply log in with Twitter, visit the relevant question board and post your question in seconds flat. And, because questions can be rewarded, the ‘asker’ could nab Gold, Silver or Bronze question award, something to tweet about!
Assenty makes it easy to track questions and their answers; by using a question board hosted on the platform, each question is permanently linked to its answers, and the hashtag automatically added whenever a question, or the question board is shared on social media.
How to add your question:
1. Log in with Twitter or sign up for a free account on Assenty.
2. Visit the Using the Event Planning Cycle question board
3. Post your question.
Here’s an example from the question board, embedded into this blog post:
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Image credit: Activate Events