Event Planning Tips
The events industry and the public relations industry overlap all frequently. When a PR practitioner proposes a campaign idea, it can fall on them to see it through, and sometimes this includes event planning. While I am far from being an expert in event planning, I have planned a few events in the past and am working on a few right now. So, I thought I’d share a few things I have learned through my experience and in my Foundations of Event and Entertainment Management class.
1. Know your audience.
As PR students, I am sure this has been drilled into your heads already. Knowing your audience impacts every aspect of your event including what activities you will have, the venue you choose, the food available, and the way you get the word out about your event. For example, if your audience for an event are college students, you can promote the event via social media channels since that is where most college students get information. If you are planning a canned food drive, a grocery store may be the best location for the event because your audience is people with food to give.
2. Communicate with your stakeholders.
Another aspect of PR that overlaps with event planning are stakeholders. As all PR people know, there are always stakeholders. Stakeholders include everyone from those volunteering at your event to the residents near the venue you will be hosting your event. Communicate with your volunteers, the people funding the event, the attendees, and everyone else who could be impacted. For essential stakeholders, this communication makes the event run smoothly.
3. Run through everything.
In PR, it is our job to think of every single scenario and how it could turn bad for our organization. The same applies to events. You have to think of every detail of every second of the event and the best way to spot problems is to run through everything. Just like when organizations run through a crisis communication plan, event planners have to run through their event.
4. Have back-up plans
Never have just one plan. For example, plan for the scenario that your location is no longer available. Plan for the possibility that you might have limited volunteers. Plan for what to do if you have technical issues. One example of this is when the pandemic hit. Event planners had to create plans for in-person events that were now virtual. The idea goes hand-in-hand with the concept that you must be flexible.
This blog post was written by Chloe Maher, Director of Community Service.