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Event Planning for Beginners: Five Tips for Getting Started

Planning an event is no small feat, whether you’re catering a business lunch for 20 people or planning a conference for 2,000. But don’t be daunted—by stepping back and breaking down the event planning process into smaller parts, you’ll be able to pull off a stellar event without all the stress.

Read on for five event planning tips to help set you on the right track.

Step 1. Determine your event scope and size.

Before you can get into the nuts and bolts of planning, you need to determine the size and scope of your event.

To get the ball rolling, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many guests will I invite? How many do I expect will show up?
  • What are my event goals and objectives?
  • What type of event will help me meet my goals and objectives? Maybe you were envisioning a day-long conference, but would a working lunch suffice? On the other hand, a half-day meeting might not be enough time to accomplish everything on an ambitious agenda.

Step 2. Set a budget.

Start planning your event with a budget already decided. (Trust us—you don’t want to begin picturing your dream event only to discover it won’t work within your budget.)

Some costs, like venue rentals and food, can quickly eat up funds. But with a little creativity, you can host a great event on any budget. If you can afford a plated dinner with an open bar, great! If not, plan a midday event and stick to hors d’oeuvres, or host a casual potluck.

Keep in mind that unplanned expenses also add up quickly, like chair rentals, clean-up fees, gratuity and other odds and ends. These sample budgets help provide an overview of costs you might incur.

Step 3. Promote your event.

Now that you’ve set the date, it’s time to spread the word!

First thing’s first: Publish your event to your website. With Loxi, it’s easy to create a slick events calendar that you can share directly on your website—all it takes is a quick copy-and-paste to embed your event. No coding skills or technical know-how required.

For events that are open to the public, share the details wide and far on your social media channels. For smaller, more intimate events, reach out to invitees directly via email, phone or snail mail, depending on the level of formality. No matter how you reach out to guests, don’t forget to include these eight things your attendees will want to know.

Step 4. Set yourself up for success on the big day.

Before the day of the event, there are a few other ways to ensure you’ve planned an event that people will love.

Most importantly: Delegate. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find tasks to divide among your colleagues and co-planners to make sure none of the important details fall through the cracks.

You can also keep stress at bay by creating a detailed outline of the day’s timeline, along with a list of important contacts and phone numbers. Share this outline with your team during the days leading up to the event to keep everyone on the same page.

Step 5. Enjoy yourself!

On the day of the event, take a deep breath, and remember to have fun! Try not to sweat the small stuff, and be sure to pat yourself on the back for your organization skills and event-planning prowess.

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