When it comes to organizing a great event, it's all about timing and preparation. So when it all gets a bit hard, remember; you are creating memories for your visitors, guests and partners. So let's get it on and ride the momentum.

Step it up: 10 steps to your top event!

There are a hundreds of checklists and how-tos on organising an event.
Here is what I have learned while staging my first pitch event.

  1. Create an involving event teaser video. Just like my Pitch & Win video.

  2. Devise a platform for your event on your website.

  3. Find a hashtag (for Instagram, FB etc.), that helps you to build an event community. For example
    #madtech18.

  4. Contact members from your community in advance, to share your event postings

  5. Make communication easy with your core event team. I’m using a separate slack channel for my Pitch & Win event.

  6. Constant heads up: Have someone posting on your social media channels about what’s happening during your event.

  7. Establish a live stream on Instagram and/or Facebook.

  8. Hand out branded giveaways on the event, like I do with my Nina stickers.

  9. The goal is that visitors walk away with a smile on their faces. Create good memories with your event.

  10. Know that, no matter how thoroughly you are preparing, something unexpected will happen. Take a chill pill and then grab the bull by the horns. You can do it!

A warm invitation is key. 

1. Prior to the event

Want to make the crowd go wild? Let’s get started! Step by step, you will succeed – if you think of these crucial points from the start.

  • Choose the setup
    Do you need speakers? Is it a low key get-together or a huge pool party? Depending on the
    answer to that, you’ll have a whole different approach in terms of partners, invites, advertisements
    and, of course: budget.
     
  • Define your budget & program
    Draft a rough program and estimate the prices. This helps you mentally go through the event.  
    Make sure to reserve approx. 10% for unexpected expenses.
     
  • Book the venue
    Check what venues could suit for your event. Prior to booking it, go see them for
    yourself in person.
     
  • Who are your partners
    This is closely connected to the event itself in terms of location, program,
    speakers. Contact possible partners, present your event idea and book them.  
     
  • Reach & Invite your audience
    You already have your target audience in mind from the first moment you start planning
    your event. Think about how and where to reach your target group. Make a list and
    consider the following channels to advertise your event.
  1. Social Media channels

  2. Make a short event video

  3. Post a blog about the event

  4. Submit your event to information platforms. For example Startupticker or Startup Digest

  5. Include the event announcement in your newsletter

  6. Ask friends & partners to help advertise the event (they kind of act like testimonials or influencer)

  7. Send out a “save the date” prior to the event

  8. create a memorable hashtag

Always put yourself in the target audience’s shoes; why would they take notice and action to come to your event?

Spread the word! 

2. Logistics

  • Insurance & Licenses
    If you think you need it, get informed. That’s all I can say ;-) – it really depends on the type of event you are hosting. And I do not want to recommend any particular providers.
     
  • Script
    Take a moment to mentally stroll through the event in a visitor’s shoes. Write down each step for yourself, for to share it with partners in a script (who, what, when). Do this for all major parts such as guests, catering, keynote speakers etc. It’s the perfect way to detect what you haven’t thought about, yet.
     
  • Specials
    Is there any “wow factor” that you can bring to the event? This could be anything, from a special act to a
  • special guest speaker, a special cocktail menu, a theme, a cake, a game,
    fireworks - really, anything. Remember: You are hosting an event to let the audience
    experience not only the topic but your company, your product – your soul. Take this
    opportunity to make it special.
  • Timing
  1. Think well ahead! This is key and stands for everything around planning an event.
  2. Plan far in advance.

  3. Incorporate spare time in your schedule.

  4. As the event organiser, prepare yourself to be the first one to come and the last
    one to leave the event venue.

  • Event Crew
    This list is not complete but it gives you an idea on what parties to remember when
    setting up your event:
  1. Hosts

  2. “Tätschmeister” (master of ceremonies) - someone who’s calling the shots and
    keeps the overview on the event day

  3. Catering staff

  4. Staff to clean up after the event

  5. Technical Staff (for sound, light, microphones, beamer, wires and ports)

  6. Parking staff

  7. Photographer

  8. Special Guest(s)

And remember: happy crew members do a better job than unhappy ones.

  • Crew Members
    Make sure they all get something to drink, eat and can have short breaks during the event. For the
    very big and posh ones, it might be advisable to hire an event agency. Find out the right ones by their previous work!
     
  • Contact List
    Save all event contacts on your mobile. When someone doesn’t show up as agreed,
    you need to be able to call them directly.
     
  • Registration List
    Control registration, be responsive when guests contact you with questions and have a complete list of all RSVPs on the event day at hand.
     
  • Briefing
  1. Check-in with all parties
    1 week prior to the event, call every partner to check-in. See if there are any open questions or tasks left and bring them up to speed regarding the program and execution. Like this, you avoid any surprises on the event day itself.

  2. Internal Staff
    Don’t forget to brief helpers and event members internally as well.

  3. Timing
    Make sure to time your staff - also, incorporate any fails in your planning. Your rather have staff standing around for 20 minutes prior to the first guest arriving than being surprised by an early bird.

A round of applause for a good event. (pic: winsummit2018 by Rayana Gasparotto)

3. During the event

  • Set-up
    Be there well in advance and make sure venue people expect you. Connect with the staff and set everything up that is on your tasklist. For example, the banner outside the building, welcome screen in the hallway, registration counter, visitors badges, stickers etc. And don’t forget the selfie for Insta and Twitter. Hashtag!
     
  • Timing
    Check if partners and helpers arrive on time and know what to do. If not, call them to find out what’s going on. Startups are famous to get in by the last second, remind them friendly, e.g. by whatsapp.
     
  • Troubleshooting
    You are a startup, you are used to fixing problems – so go ahead & keep cool. If you need any instant help: chat with me.

4. After the event

  • Debriefing
    Even if it sometimes sucks – take the time for reviews, especially the bad ones. Otherwise, you will make the same mistakes again next time. Consult with key persons from the event and discuss how it went down.
     
  • Social media follow-up
    People love to see themselves in social media. Post and tag as many faces you can get in front of your camera. They will like, share and follow you. Quick win! ;-)
    ​​​​​​
  • Be nice & say THX
    Send thank you e-mails, social media posts and/or photos to staff, partners & visitors who made your event a success.

That’s it for now. You have further questions? Then, chat with me!

Digital Hugs,
Nina