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!
- 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?
- 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
- 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.