Community events are a great opportunity to raise awareness for a cause, bring the community together, and encourage others to let loose and experience another aspect of their town or city. However, if you’re the one planning the event down to the smallest of details, it can seem like a stressful task to complete. Before you go into full panic mode, take a breath and realize that planning events doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s how to make planning your next community event simple and more enjoyable.
Get Your Documents In Order
Talk to someone in your local government or someone who has planned events in your area before. Compile a list of permits and documents you’ll need and get those squared away early in case they take a while to file and get approved.
Establish the Basics
Choose a name for the event, a location, time, date, cost of the event, number of people you expect to attend, social media strategy, and advertising strategy. Set a clear budget to ensure your event stays successful and on track to benefit the community instead of not being able to deliver on your promises.
Create a Vendor List
To cover some of the costs of the event and to build hype, have local vendors apply for a position at your event. They will also advertise to create more excitement about the event and hopefully encourage more people to come. If you’re hiring vendors, such as caterers, be sure to double-check their availability and cost.
Sometimes it takes a village. Put out a call early on for volunteers to help at various stages of the event. Create a list of those who have agreed to help so you can easily call upon them on the day of the event. Once the day arrives, make sure everyone has a specific task to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
Make Several Lists
Did all of the vendors show up? Where should they go? Which group of volunteers should be helping with setup or at the end of the day? There are an endless number of questions you could be asked, so make sure to be prepared with to-do lists, checklists, and everything in between to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Makes lists early on so you can add as you make plans.
Planning an event takes time. Many vendors need to be booked weeks or months in advance. So, if you want the best of the best your budget can afford, make sure you book everything early. If something falls through, you’ll have enough time to find a replacement without panicking.
Something unforeseen will undoubtedly happen the day of your event. Arrive at least one hour early so you can tackle any obstacles right away before they become a much more complicated problem.
Enjoy the Event
You’ve spent so much time and effort planning your event. While you still have lots of responsibilities throughout the day, make sure you take the time to enjoy what you’ve created. Afterall, that’s the whole point!
Follow Up With Everyone Involved
The hard part is over, but there’s still a lot you can do. Make an announcement thanking everyone who came and made the event a success. Email or mail out thank you notes to your volunteers, vendors, and anyone else who helped you throughout the day. You can also send out a survey to participants to find out what worked, what didn’t, and how the event could be improved to make your next one more successful.