Essential Event Management

13 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning a Staff Event

Organising a staff summit event, conference or social event can be a daunting task if you’ve got a large team, but with effective planning, you can ensure that everything runs smoothly. There are some essential questions to ask yourself, as an event organiser, before you start planning to ensure that you have everything in order.  

Here are 13 questions to ask yourself when planning an event. 

1. What is the purpose of the event? 

Before you start planning an event, you need to ask yourself: why you are organising it? What is the purpose of the event? Are you communicating important news, or delivering group training or is this more of a social occasion? Knowing the purpose of the event will help you determine the location, the event programme and the budget. 

This might seem like a simple step, but it’s one of the most important things to consider, before you plan your event. If you know the why - it’s much easier to plan the how!

2. What is the budget?

Yup, we’re talking money! Budget is a crucial factor when organising an event. Determining the accurate budget you have to work with and allocate it appropriately will show you the possibilities of what you have to work with. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, so ensure that you include all the expenses, such as venue rental, catering, entertainment, and other important things like communications and any sort of signage. 

3. What is the timeline?

Working with a timeline is a must for event planning. Again - this may seem like an obvious thing to state, but working within budget, on time are some things that often get demoted in priority. Determine when the event will take place and work backwards to plan all the necessary activities leading up to the event. Always make sure you have a buffer too - often things take longer than anticipated!

4. What is the venue?

The venue is another critical factor when organising a staff event. You need to choose a venue that is suitable for the event and the people that will be there. Do you want your team travelling a long way from their usual workplace? Have you factored in mileage expenses? Do you have enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably? Have you thought about amenities? Importantly, is there parking available? These are all the things that your staff will be thinking through when they think about this event, so make sure you’ve got all bases covered. 

5. What are the logistics?

Logistics include everything from transportation, parking, and security to audio-visual equipment and catering. You need to ensure that everything is in place and that there are no hitches. If you’re not comfortable with the technical side of things, don’t let that put you off. You will need AV equipment for everyone to be able to see and hear things clearly, especially if you’re having any sort of presentation. This is a really important part of making your event accessible to everyone. Speak to us about our services and how we can assist your event needs. 

6. Do you need a theme?

Having a theme for the event can make it more memorable and exciting. It doesn't have to make the event cringy, it can make it more inclusive! Choose a theme that is relevant to the purpose of the event and who will be coming. You won’t always need a theme, and sometimes it can feel like you’re trying to shoe-horn it in. However, themes can be a great way to build excitement and encourage team comradery! 

7. Who are the speakers and performers?

If your event involves speakers or performers, you need to choose them carefully. Ensure that they are relevant to the purpose of the event and the target audience, and that they’re people that your team will be looking forward to hearing from. Build momentum and excitement among your team by sharing stories about your speakers and get them to do a promo video sharing how excited they are to be with you

8. What is the registration process?

If the event requires registration, you need to have a simple and efficient registration process. Consider using online registration methods to make it easier for attendees, especially if you’re short of physical space or event helpers. EEM offers registration support for events, as well as attendee management. Find out more about our services here. 

9. What is the contingency plan?

You might not want to hear it but everyone needs a contingency plan in case something goes wrong! Consider factors such as bad weather, power outage, or cancellation by a speaker or performer. What’s your backup plan? If something happens on the day that requires you to change the plan, think about how much lead-time your staff need to have before changing to plan B.

10. What is the feedback mechanism?

Feedback is essential to improve future events. Consider having a feedback mechanism in place to collect feedback from attendees and stakeholders then and there. A staff-wide email the day after the event will also be really helpful, but do make sure you gather people’s thoughts and feedback on the day too. You may want to consider using the feedback and including a wider-range of staff in your planning process for the next event. 

11. What is the post-event plan?

After the event, think about a post-event plan. Consider factors such as cleaning up, paying vendors, and following up with attendees. This is all the non-glamourous stuff that still needs to happen, even after everyone has left. Make sure all loose ends are tied up, ready for planning your next event. 

12. What are the legal requirements?

You need to ensure that you have met all the legal requirements, such as obtaining permits and licences. This will depend on the kind of event you’re planning, but make sure you’ve done your research and that you are aware of the requirements on you. 

13. Who is responsible for what?

Finally, you need to have a clear division of responsibilities. Determine who is responsible for each aspect of the event and ensure that everyone knows their role. If you’ve got a smaller team, you may not want to go as far as making lanyards for the team, but giving clear instructions and directions for the day will be important for a smooth running event. 

In conclusion, organising an event requires proper planning, and asking yourself these 13 questions will help ensure that everything runs smoothly. Remember to stay organised, communicate effectively, and be flexible in case of any unexpected changes. But most importantly - have fun! 

If you’re planning an event and need support - trust the experts.

With over 40 years of event management experience, Essential Event Management are a team of highly skilled event specialists. We’ve helped to create conferences, tours, festivals, product launches, summits and fundraisers. We’re versatile and creative with an eye for detail - everything you need for excellence in event management.


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