10 top tips for planning and delivering an impactful event

Social Worker of The Year Awards

Bernadette Mooney

Senior Account Manager - PLMR Genesis

Sophie Saunders

Senior Account Manager

Sophie King

Account Executive - PLMR Genesis

One of our long-standing clients is the Social Worker of the Year Awards charity. Every year, we proudly organise and manage two events: the Awards ceremony in November for 450 people, and the Parliamentary Reception for the winners and sponsors in March. 

Events are fantastic exposure for your organisation and a great way to recognise your colleagues, come together as an industry or shine a spotlight on work in the community. But we know with all that excitement, it can also be quite daunting. 

So, if you’re thinking about planning your own event, here are our top tips to get you started. 

 

Put yourself in the guest’s shoes 

To provide the best experience for attendees, think of yourself as the guest. What three features would make the event stand out to you? How do you want guests to feel? Are you checking these boxes? Maintain this frame of thinking at all stages of the planning process and you’ll be on your way to hosting a five-star event! 

 

Visit the venue (and ask the right questions) 

It’s vital that you ‘vet’ the venue before you commit to holding the event there. Check there is enough space to accommodate all guests, whether they have preferred suppliers for AV and catering, and get a feel for the atmosphere. This is a great opportunity to build relationships with the venue team who can offer support and advice. Plus, you’ll get a good sense of the layout, which will aid the planning process. And don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions! If you’re on a tight budget, you want to make sure you have everything covered. 

Accessibility should be at the forefront of your mind when visiting the venue. It’s important that the space is suitable for every guest, so liaise with the venue team to make sure all needs are met. 

 

Think carefully about the date 

Make sure you research any events or campaigns taken placing at the same time. Religious events like Ramadan will need considering if food is being served – will there be any travel disruption like rail strikes or engineering work? Will it be during the school holidays which could determine whether guests are able to attend? Check with your partners and business event calendars to ensure you’re making the event as accessible as possible and not clashing with anything else in the area that expects the same attendees. 

 

Know your roles and delegate 

It’s important that everyone has a role to play on the day. Make sure you outline who is doing what and when – this helps to manage the team’s capacity and ensures that all tasks are covered. It also means everyone feels like they’re playing a part in the event. 

 

Rehearse and preparation are key 

Though often overlooked, rehearsals are a crucial part of event management. Make sure you do a full run-through of what is happening when, ideally with any lighting, presentations and other props you might be using. This process helps to identify any snags that might need looking at to make the process smoother. You should also put in place plans for the event team to stay in touch on the day to tackle any issues which arise. 

 

Brief external suppliers 

Make sure you provide external suppliers with briefings prior to the event. However big or small your event is, suppliers like AV teams, photographers and videographers will all need to be aware of the process on the day and the agenda so that setup and delivery is straightforward. 

 

Share the delegate list in advance 

If you’re planning a networking event, it’s a good idea to circulate the list of attendees beforehand. It’s good practice to ensure guests are aware and agree to this beforehand. This helps guests do their research in advance so that they can make meaningful connections on the day. 

 

Send a reminder email 

Key information should be sent in a reminder email no later than three days before your event (even earlier if there is a weekend in between). This could include directions for where to park, how to dress if there is a dress code, your contact details for any last-minute questions, and a refresher of arrival times. 

 

You can’t plan for everything 

Although you can plan for most eventualities, there are often unexpected hurdles on the day. With the right foundations though, your event will still be a success, even if there are a couple of hiccups along the way. Try to come up with a list of potential issues beforehand that may arise and brainstorm how you’d deal with them. 

 

The all-important review meeting 

Don’t forget to reflect on what worked, what could have been better, and what you’d do again. Gather input from the whole team and guests so that all areas and perspectives are covered and make a note of any learnings for future events, so you have these to refer to next time. 

 

And the most important thing – enjoy it! Whether it’s an event that you’ve been planning for weeks or months, don’t forget to take a breath and take pride in all your hard work.  

 

If you’d like to talk to the team at PLMR Genesis about supporting your next event, contact us today by calling 01473 326 400 or sending an email to hello@genesispr.co.uk 

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