28 November 2017 Posted By : Administrator

10 Tips for Planning a Smashing Holiday Community Event

The holidays are all about having parties and spending time with those you love. A great party comes with careful planning and a solid understanding of how to market your event. When your event is at the community level, you face particular challenges. You will deal with massive numbers and often limited funding.

You don’t want to be the event planner that fails to show your community a good time, so you’ll need creativity in excess and weeks of planning. As you tackle this challenging, but rewarding event, consider these suggestions.

1. Build an Excellent Team

You might have a wonderful vision in your head for the events of the day, but you shouldn’t try to do it alone. A great team of efficient and creative people can make your life easier and help you create an incredible program.

Gather people with different strengths. You’ll want talents in marketing, budgeting, decorating, and creativity. Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks and take advantage of individual strengths. 

2. Know How to Budget

After you’ve assembled your team, know how much money you have to work with. Your budget will largely dictate the outcome of your event. With your team, write down every expense you can think of. Don’t forget to add a contingency for unpredictable costs.

3. Advertise Effectively

Advertising should be done as soon as possible. Give attendees a month or two to add the event to their calendars. For your community event, you’ll want to make use of digital marketing like social media, advertisements on local websites, and email marketing.

You’ll also want to use physical advertising, including notices in the newspaper, flyers spread around town, and posters pinned to notice boards. One of the most effective forms of advertising is a vinyl or mesh banner that can be strung between buildings on a main road. Use your creative minds and all your resources to come up with the best advertisements for the event.

4. Network with Businesses

Some of your best advertising will be done through local businesses, so getting them involved is essential. Have a member of your team contact potentially interested businesses. Your local grocer might be willing to donate donuts for a morning event or a screen printer might give you a discount on t-shirts. While you’re at it, hang posters and leave flyers at each business to help spread the word.

Don’t worry about being a nuisance; this is an excellent marketing tool for businesses. Their name attached to a successful community event will significantly increase their customer base, so it’s a win-win for both parties.

5. Schedule Your Time

You’re probably juggling event planning alongside your career and personal obligations. Organization of your personal schedule is key to surviving this process. Consider downloading a calendar app and syncing it with your team members.

6. Secure Vendors Early

For large community events, you likely need large quantities of food, t-shirts, and other essentials. Work on this portion of the event early on. Develop contracts and try to get vendors involved at least a couple of months in advance. Otherwise, pickings will be slim, and you’ll run a greater risk of vendors canceling last minute.

7. Obtain Proper Licenses

Booking vendors early also gives you enough time to make sure their licenses and permits are up-to-date. Even if you’re only missing one permit, it could shut down your entire event. Put a reliable team member in charge of making a list of permits and licenses and checking it twice.

8. Consider Insurance and Safety

Safety is one of the most important factors for such a huge event. If someone gets hurt because of negligence, they could sue you—and you’d feel terrible too!

Start by thoroughly considering liabilities and how you can avoid them. Consider things like broken sidewalks, booths that might pose a particular safety hazard, and roadblocks. Then, take out insurance to protect you against claims of injury or damage to other people’s property.

9. Plan for Contracting City Services

Setting up and cleaning up after an event is always easiest when you have the city on your side. Call your local garbage, sewer, water, electricity, and other entities in your community several weeks in advance so they can work with you.

10. Ensure Food Safety

All of your vendors should be properly licensed in food safety, following any special rules laid out in your city. Try to avoid vendors who make items out of their home kitchen or who do not have the proper licenses. The last thing you want is for someone to get very sick!

A successful community event always comes down to the planning. If you’ve started early enough and considered every possibility, the result will be an event people talk about for years.

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