Planning a flawless event requires an enormous amount of organization as many different elements — from the RSVP list to the catering — must come together seamlessly. In the public relations industry, events are planned with the ultimate goal of obtaining media coverage, which means yet another element is added to an already complicated undertaking.
At ECPR, we recommend utilizing the following tips to plan and execute a successful event:
Start planning. Arrive early. There is no such thing as starting to plan an event too early. As you plan, keep a binder with all pertinent information (vendor contracts, RSVP lists, floor plans, etc.) and make sure to bring it to the event. The day of, arrive earlier than you think you should. This will allow extra time for handling any issues that may come up and prevent you from feeling rushed and stressed.
Think like a guest. Think like the media. Think through questions guests or the media might have in advance, and answer them beforehand. Is the venue clearly marked and easy to find? Where do you park? In particular, for members of the media who are covering the event, the easier you make it for them, the happier they’ll be. If you identify interviews and visual opportunities for the media in advance, it will help things run more smoothly and they may be more likely to attend future events you pitch them.
Be prepared for anything. At an event that requires many different elements coming together at the same time to be successful, a lot can go wrong. Try to think through those potential disasters in advance, and know how you would respond to them. Do you have the phone numbers of anyone you might need to contact saved on your phone? Do you have extra copies of those press materials? Most importantly, if something does not go as planned, stay calm! If you’ve come prepared, there isn’t any problem that won’t have a solution.
Account Executive, Elizabeth Christian Public Relations