From booking your venue to considering if you require catering, an AV company, a band or something more unusual such as a fire eater to welcome your guests, organising an event can be a big task, especially if it's your first event.
To help take some of the stress away, we've put together ten top tips to help you organise a successful first event:
1. Have back up dates in mind. This is especially important if you are restricted to a certain location. Or be prepared to be flexible with location of your dates are set. Venues and other suppliers can get booked up on some dates several years ahead.
2. Have a realistic idea of numbers. Even if you won't have your final numbers until a lot nearer the time, you will need a good at the time of booking and be prepared to change rooms or space within a venue or incur additional charges if your numbers drastically increase or decrease after booking.
3. How long do you need the event space for? All day, just the morning, several days? How long do you need for set-up if you have AV or a stage?
4. What catering is required? Once point 3 is decided, you will then need to decide what food will need to be provided. Arrival refreshments, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea?
5. What kind of set- up do you require? Theatre style, boardroom, caberet? Do you need any AV equipment and will it be front or rear projection? Do you need additional break out rooms for workshops? All of this could determine the room you will need to be in and set-up times.
6. Where are your delegates travelling from? Do they need accommodation, public transport links, car parking?
7. What additonal services do you need? And what does the venue provide? Toilets, catering, entertainment, AV?
8. Consider your budget. Can you get everything on your wish list for your budget? Where can you compromise?
9. Obtain several quote when possible. Make sure you check cancellation policies, bad weather policy and all other terms and conditions for all suppliers involved in the event. Consider event insurance for big events.
10. Book as soon as possible. It may be tempting to leave it as late as possible so you know exact numbers or may get a good deal but you will more than likely have limited options available.