Event Planning

This post is brought to you by the awesome Jennifer Munyer of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

As summer approaches we are all busy planning events. Whether you are planning a summer BBQ with friends and family or you are planning your next big work conference, here are a few things to consider in the planning process.

1. It doesn’t matter how many years pass since we were in junior high…everybody still wants to feel included. Make sure everybody has somebody to talk to. If you see someone standing by themselves, introduce them to somebody else, find creative ways to help people make connections.
2. Hungry people are not happy people. Have good food and make sure you have the right food for your audience. To this day, it still astonishes me that the most heavily evaluated part of my agenda is often over the food but it’s true. Know your audience. If they tend to be healthy folks, don’t order something fried. If you have a room full of men….you may order something different then if it’s a room full of women. Put some thought into it and accommodate whenever possible.
3. Over-communicate the details and be organized. Make sure folks know where they are going and what they can expect….ahead of time. Think about how many emails you get every day. Communicate early on and again as the event gets closer. People don’t just want to know the address. If needed, they want to know where to park, how much time to allow, what meeting room they are going to, what level that room might be on , what to wear, who else is going to be there, etc. If your attendees are contacting you prior to the event with questions, you probably didn’t do your job.
4. Customer Service – while it’s all but disappeared in some places unfortunately, it is what can set you apart from others. Welcome your guests with a good attitude and a smile on your face, accommodate those special requests, do whatever you can to make your attendee’s experience positive.
5. And finally, start on time and end on time. It’s a rule we all live by here at the Minnesota Chamber and a very important one. If you make your attendee late for their kid’s soccer game….ouch. Remember, not every question needs to be answered. It’s okay to leave people wanting just a little more.