Once your event’s concept, theme & speakers are confirmed you’ll have to focus on what actually happens on D-day.
Format & Venue
First off, you should choose the format of your event in order to find the perfect venue. In the case of CCE’s event, and since it was going to be our big winter event, we decided to have an hybrid conference & networking format. Being a student event, we decided to do it at HEC: the conference part would happen in the school’s 300-seats amphitheater and the networking part in the spacious cafeteria. For MTL+ECOMMERCE which we organize on a monthly basis, we usually have companies host our events which allows us to have a new venue (at a low cost) nearly each time!
Food & Booze
If you plan to have a networking part in your event, you should also think about providing food & booze for your attendees. It really encourages people to stay longer, especially if your event takes place in the evening: they can have a bite, relax & socialize better with a drink. Be careful though, you don’t want to stuff your attendees with a four-courses meal which will make them sleepy and kill the mood. I often recommend offering bite-food like bread & cheese, veggies or petits fours. You could either make or buy those yourself or hire a caterer for the occasion.
For drinks, you don’t want to get your attendees drunk and thus should aim for slightly “tipsy”. Have people have too much to drink and you will decrease the quality of the networking part: you don’t want to turn your professional event into a frat party… I recommend sticking to wine & beer besides non-alcoholic beverages like sodas (don’t forget people doing #SoberFebruary or who don’t drink!). Be aware that you might have to ask for an alcohol permit if you plan on serving booze. In order to set the perfect atmosphere, don’t forget details like napkin/utensils/plates/tablecloth color and texture (ps: aim for plastic for utensils/plates rather than cardboard).
Talking about your event vibe, I always make sure to have a good sound system with an adequate playlist (like this one). It helps people wait until the event begins in the beginning and really sets a mood for the final networking part.
Surround Yourself with Volunteers
You won’t be able to organize big events by yourself. These don’t happen without a reliable and knowledgeable team of volunteers to have your back. Make sure every one of them has a defined role and empower them to take initiative when needed. You can imagine that you’ll most certainly be stressed, rushed and swamped with last-minute tasks during the event.
One the most important part of the logistics is your event budget. No secrets there, build an Excel sheet that you separated in revenue & costs and test different scenarios. Make the math with food, alcohol, venue rental price arrangements and the rest. This will allow you to determine your tickets price point accordingly and anticipate how much money you can make or afford to lose (price was 10$ for this event with the financial help of our sponsors). Here is an exemple the excel sheet I used for CCE HEC’s conference. Duplicate & use it as you please!
You should now have a better idea of what’s important to consider when it comes to event logistics. Each event is unique and has its own challenges, make sure you make the most of it!
==> Continue reading this blog post series with my event growth hacking method & hacks blogpost!