Planning an event of any scale is no easy task, much less when the world is still slowly coming out of a global pandemic. This article divides the overflowing to-do list into three different phases and compiles a list of best practices Ooligan Press employs with our own events. Here are some tips to keep in mind and help plan your next launch event!

Phase 1

  • Determine the event’s date, time, and activities
  • Calculate the budget for your event and divide accordingly
  • Reserve the venue
    • Analyze your estimated attendance numbers to determine a “Goldilocks” venue that will fit your guests just right!
    • Confirm venue requirements or limitations—how much parking is there? Is it ADA accessible?
  • Create social media pages promoting your event and use them
  • Brainstorm the “activities” at the event
    • For a launch party, start a conversation with the author!
    • This part of your event should be between forty-five minutes to an hour.
    • Remember to add extra time before and after the activity for your guests to mingle!
  • Contact potential vendors and get quotes
  • Determine giveaway(s), which not every event needs
    • Make sure you order at least a month in advance.
  • If you’re selling something, what are the options for people to pay? Do you have a cash box or card swipe?

Phase 2

  • Determine event staff
    • If your event staff will be volunteer-based, focus on making it appealing and fun, rather than a “work” thing.
    • Don’t forget to send an initial email to not only touch base with them well in advance, but thank them too!
  • Coordinate with vendors/departments
    • Is there a social media manager who needs to directly set up the pages?
    • Are there graphic designers to assist in physical marketing?
  • Communicate with your venue
    • Will the event be exclusive access or open to the public as well?
    • Does the venue have A/V equipment (if needed)? If so, will they set it up?
    • Is there Wi-Fi available? Find out the password in advance.
    • Any other policies the venue might have?
  • Establish a supply list—here are some to get you started!
    • Books, the new release and other titles that fit well
    • Book stands
    • Tabling materials such as posters, banners, raffle tickets, and anything else you might need to display it
    • Clipboard, paper, pens
    • Any A/V supplies not supplied by the venue, like a projector or laptop adapter

Phase 3

  • Confirm event details
    • Touch base with your author, venue, panelists, staff, and anyone else to confirm responsibility and conjure excitement.
  • Follow through with your marketing initiatives
    • Are social media pages up and active?
    • If flyers were printed, how were they distributed?
  • Create a “Day-Of” document
    • This serves as a ready-made sheet of any information someone might need to successfully run your event!
    • Include contact information, event schedule, and staff list.
    • Assign duties to your volunteers! Create task lists for set up, clean up, and the stations for during your event.
    • Get specific—adding exact times can not only ensure accountability for your volunteers, but helps to keep you on track as well.
  • Have fun! You and your team have done so much work towards this event, you deserve to enjoy it too!

Overall, planning an entire event can be a lot of work, but it can also be one of the best experiences. The world of events is constantly changing, but for now, Ooligan Press has you covered.

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