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A Foolproof Guide to Planning an Awesome Event (Part 1 of 3)

Part 1: All about the Brainstorming

Event planning is an ever-changing realm, attempted by many and perfected by few. With plenty of experience here at HighRock Studios, we have planned our fair share of events. We know the task of hosting an event can be daunting, but our advice is sure to have your event ready and perfected in no time.

This 3-step process lays out the best plan to hosting a successful event through our tried and true event planning experience. Beginning with debatably the most important step, brainstorming ideas allows us to develop deeper and organize faster. Brainstorming not only gives us a set plan, but also the ability to think outside of the box.

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Know your audience. Who is your audience? What’s their age group? What are they interested in? Might there be some generational age gap between you and them that you may need to redesign your strategy? You have to know your audience and keep in mind what they will want to attend. Your idea might be killer, but let’s face it, if your audience is family oriented, an all-night Halloween event with kegs and violent horror movies probably won’t be very popular.

Your audience should be the center of your attention. Keeping them in mind when planning every aspect of your event will ensure they will enjoy it and tell others about how much fun they had – and keep them coming back for more.

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Planning a date. Always, always, always check a community calendar before planning your event! You do not want to have the venue booked and staff scheduled only to discover that your event is the same day as a popular community festival. A good place to look for an updated calendar of events is your local Chamber of Commerce website and newspaper calendars found in print and online.

When figuring out a date for an event, take into consideration planning something around or on holidays, for example. Create a family-friendly event people will want to go to that aren’t focused on partying, but instead having fun together as a family. That way kids stay entertained while the parents also get to have a little fun.

Using your resources. When brainstorming ideas, it pays off to experience other events in the area. It gives you a sense of what you can do with your budget, how a venue can be used, and different layouts a venue has to offer. Other events can be a helpful guide to what you want your event to be like – or what you hope to avoid.

Become friends with other event coordinators. It will be a valuable connection to have when trying to plan an event that you have never done before or if you are in a new space. Other event coordinators may also offer helpful tips concerning the small details rather than big picture views of an event (but they’re beneficial for that too).

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A common struggle event planners see is how to draw in older and younger crowds to the same event. Typically, these two crowds do not like the same taste in music, event times, theme, venue, or event. So how do you bring these two groups together? Make it something fun, like an event people can dressed up for! Maybe not everyone will come dressed to match the theme, but most people relish the chance to dress outside of their norm. Year after year, more people will want to come and more will dress according to the theme. This draws in people not based off age, but rather on what they like and who they want to be for the night.

Bringing in sponsors. Lastly, turn a fun, feel-good event into something that businesses will want to sponsor next time. An example would be to keep events free and family-friendly so you will always have an audience that will want to attend. The event may cost you the first year you host it, but a good event will make you a profit for years to come. Hosting an event must be good from year one, even if you do not profit from it. There is a small chance of your event becoming an annual thing if you do not host it right the first time.

Brainstorming plays a huge role into the success of an event. Without it, an event can be an unorganized, downright disaster. More importantly, great events find ways of drawing a community together and becoming a yearly happening.

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Now that you know how to plan effectively and brainstorm to the fullest potential, be sure to look at part two to learn how to keep within budget while still hosting a rockin’ event and our guidance on out of the box promotions.

Read Part 2