23 October 2023
2024 is just around the corner, and absolutely everybody in events are well underway with planning for next year. For me this includes retreats, a ski trip and awards – lovely and varied!
Let me let you into a little secret – the earlier you plan your event, often the better the event is!! That’s not to say that I can’t whip up some last-minute magic – I totally can! – but time is so key for making your event everything you want it to be, and more. Of course, those spanners can get thrown in the works no matter how organised you are, but if you can get the fundamentals booked in, the last-minute issues can be handled better. In comparison, if the whole event is organised on the back foot, this can often lead to making do rather than getting exactly what you envisaged which can be frustrating.
Venues are top priority here as the good ones get booked quickly, so even if you are unsure of the details of the event but know the overarching theme and budget, I always advise getting the venue locked in as early as you can. This allows you to have the pick of the crop and investigate which venue meets your needs the best. It also allows you time to talk to the venue at length and be crystal clear on what you are getting for your money, negotiate where necessary, ensure there are no hidden surprises, and you get the best rates rather than just blind panic booking!
This is something I am doing with the ski trip I am running next year. I am calling on international colleagues and friends for guidance and support to assist me to fully understand the market, budgets and options which are available. This is so enjoyable as I have the time to invest in it and to make sure I have the best options.
With the date and venue secured, this ensures the rest of the event can flow. You can tell your guests and speakers the date well in advance which can help with their attendance and availability, often ensuring your A-list can attend. It can also give people something to look forward to which can be especially pertinent for employees for them to know they are valued and boost morale.
As I mentioned, I am organising a couple of awards dinners for next year. An awards event has many layers as those nominated are hugely invested in attending as are the presenters, sponsors and judges, so people often do all they can to attend an awards ceremony as they just don’t know whose name will be in the winners’ envelopes! But on the flip side, because there will be such an expectant audience, the venue and details such as location, food, drink and added entertainment have to be spot on so, for me, I secure the venue very early doors.
Planning in good time really is key so if you have an event you are planning for next year, I urge you to get going as soon as possible It’s never too early! And, of course, if you need a professional helping hand – whether it be the initial venue finding or the complete event management – then please get in touch.