We've been warned by many that a summer fundraiser is very risky, so Hannah and I have taken every opportunity to make this event the best it can be. I have quickly found out that event planning isn't all fun and games. It takes a lot of planning and strategic thinking and a lot of phone calls, text messages, emails, and Facebook messages between Hannah and I.
Since this is the first time I've planned a large event, all the lessons I have learned are fresh in my mind, so I thought I'd share some tips with you. By no means am I an expert event planner, but these are some the things that helped me as a beginner event planner.
1) If working with a partner, pick a partner you can work with openly and honestly. My partner and I have been very up front with letting each other know that if some thing is bothering us, we can fee free to express that without offending the other person.
2) Create a proposal plan. Even if it's not printed on glossy paper and bound at the print shop, this will help you immensely. Having a hard copy of your overall plan and vision can help you when you're in the trenches of planning the event. Plus, the proposal is an excellent portfolio piece. It shows that you came up with ideas and concepts, and put them into action.
3) Create a critical path. A critical path is a fancy term for the list of everything you have to do. Don't feel the need to leave anything off the list because you think "oh I'll remember to do that." This is what the list is for. Using Excel is a great idea since the columns will keep everything organized. If you're working with a partner using Google docs is really helpful. By using Google docs, the critical path is always up to date, no matter who completed the task.
4) Pick a theme. Branding an event is often easier when you have a theme for people to recognize.
5) Choose a venue. There's a lot to choosing the correct venue. Consider your budget and the target audience you are targeting for your event. Often venues will allow you to have the space for free if you negotiate as you are bringing in business to the venue with your event.
These are the first few things that my partner and I did to plan our event. I hope it helps for anyone looking at how to take the first bite out of a large project such as planning a fundraising event. There were about 62 different items on our critical path, so stay tuned for more. The event that made this blog post possible is almost here, it's tomorrow! Check out the wonderful poster designed by Hannah for more details:
Electric Circus-BRIGHT+TIGHT: July 21, 2011Join us for our first fundraiser for the 2012 Creative Communications Media Awards! Wear your best BRIGHT+TIGHT/90s outfits
July 21, 2011
1792 Pembina Hwy.
Doors open at 9
You can buy tickets online here: http://www.diyobo.com/ca/mb/winnipeg/socials/electric-circus-bright-and-tight
or at the door (if not sold out)
Find us on Facebook: Electric Circus - BRIGHT+TIGHT
Hashtag for event: #CCMA12