8 Summer Event Planning Do's and Don'ts
Summer days are around the corner and it’s a time of excitement. People are anxious to get outside, get together with friends and partake in the events they love! But with many of the new opportunities, this time of the year can introduce a whole new set of challenges, leaving even the most skilled event organizers questioning whether they’re truly prepared. Whether you’re planning an event for the first time, or organizing your 10th annual summer event, we’ve put together a handy list of things to think about as you prepare for the coming summer months!
Create a hashtag for your event. Hashtags are words that have the hash symbol (“#”) attached to them and are typically used at the end of a social media post. Example: I’m attending the Santa Monica Wine Tasting Festival #chianti #SMWF
Hashtags pull conversations together on social media, making it easy for people to find photos and other attendee interactions with your event. The best hashtags are unique, short, memorable and related to what you’re doing. Be sure it’s character limit friendly, easy to spell and easy to remember. For more information on best practices for hashtags,
Share the inside scoop on social. Excite your audience with fun “behind-the-scenes” content of your team setting up the venue, taking video of a big shipment that just came in, or even a picture of you picking up your guest speaker from the airport. Being active on social media in the days leading up to your event will increase the likelihood of your guests being engaged before, during and after your event. And, it's a great way to help spread the word about your hashtag before guests arrive!
Reward early birds with discounts. Summer months are busy!
Early bird pricing is a great way to engage your attendees and lock them in early. It’s helpful to have an early headcount and a stream of funds early on to help you order supplies and prepare effectively. Be sure to notify and encourage your guests to purchase tickets before the price increases.
Plan for a sell-out crowd. Long lines, overflowing trashcans and slow service are hallmarks of an understaffed event. Plan for a sell-out crowd and staff accordingly. Provide your team with as much information possible so they can work independently and find solutions to problems on their own. Make sure to inform your vendors on the event schedule, protocol, and keep them abreast on any what-if scenarios.
Don’t collect RSVPs via email. Collecting RSVPs via email is a messy process. It’s difficult to keep track of responses, and attendees will often wait until the very last minute to reply - if they bother to reply at all! By using an
online registration system instead, you can create a mobile-friendly registration page that attracts potential attendees using any device. Plus, all your attendee information is stored in one convenient, easy-to-access place that allows you to quickly view and modify a full guest list at any time, from anywhere.
Don’t forget health and safety. Allocate time to carry out a full assessment of all potential hazards. These include obstacles and tripping hazards, fire safety issues and anything else that could potentially cause harm. Last but not least, remember to get any necessary noise ordinances, liquor permits, and other permits for your event.
Don’t hand out paper registration forms. It’s time to go green! Instead of leaving a stack of paper registration forms at an info desk, direct your potential event goers to a dedicated webpage.
Web-based registration lets you ask attendees additional questions, accept electronic payments and run reports about your registrants. Access the information from anywhere with an internet connection - your phone, tablet or desktop.
Don’t forget signage. There’s nothing worse than leaving your attendees wondering where to go after they’ve parked - especially when it’s a hot summer day! Signage can easily become an afterthought in the midst of all your planning duties, but it’s vitally important to having a successful summer event. The bigger, clearer, and more frequent the signs, the better - and this extends to your event registration page as well. By sharing crucial details such as directions or parking fees on your
event page prior to your event, guests will know what to expect when they arrive - cutting down on huge amounts of stress for both you and them!
Need help with your online event registration? Events.com is an online event management platform. From organizing a summer kickoff party to managing a complex youth camp, our simple-yet-sophisticated suite of tools provides you with everything you need to manage, market, and monetize your event.