The key to successful event planning. How to organize a highly effective corporate event.
When planning an event, it is essential to understand how to lead it to a successful event. It takes a certain amount of time, manpower, and not to mention budget, to execute any kind of event. It is only natural to want every single event you organize to be a successful one. So, what are some necessary knowledges to achieve this goal? In this issue, we will delve deeper into event planning, taking into account the differences between different types of events, under the theme “Key Points to a Successful Event”!
What does it mean to plan for an event?
To begin with, what does event planning refer to and what should be considered when creating an event plan?
As the name suggests, event planning is a compilation of all the necessary items for an event. Starting with the purpose, theme, and concept of the event, it also includes the date, time, venue, division of roles among those involved, specific contents, guests, the program, time schedule, operations, and other information absolutely necessary for the event to be held. Of course, it is not enough to simply gather information. What is important is to reorganize the information so that even a third party that sees the plan for the first time would understand the outline, appeal, and image of the event. The planning aspect is so important that it is said that the success or failure of an event is almost entirely determined by the event plan. Make sure it is well thought out!
The Concept of Event Planning
The first thing to consider in today’s events is “how” you’re holding the event.
The way events are held has changed dramatically over the past few years. In the past, events were basically held in a real venue, but now events that do not involve any online components such as a streaming system are becoming rare. This trend itself is here to stay even when the pandemic has subsided. Therefore, it is essential to decide on whether you are holding a live event, an online event, or a hybrid event with both live and online event content. The plan itself will change greatly depending on which of these three you choose. Based on the advantages and disadvantages of each, choose the most appropriate method for the event you wish to hold.
Event planning for Live events
The greatest advantage of a live event is a sense of “presence” and “togetherness”. In fact, various surveys have shown that participants gathering in one place greatly enhances the sense of excitement and togetherness. In addition, with the rapid development of online, teleworking, and videoconferencing, the value of “gathering in a live venue” is being greatly valued than ever before. No matter how much of our everyday life goes online, the advantages of gathering face to face should never be underestimated.
On the other hand, live events have physical limitations such as time and place. Another disadvantage is that in addition to venue costs, costs tend to be incurred for food, beverage, lodging, transportation, and other expenses that are not direct content of the event itself.
In light of these points, it is important to consider how to reduce costs while enhancing the sense of unity and realism; the unique values of live events.
Event planning for online events
There are various types of online events, but here we define “online events” as “events in which all participants attend (watch) online”. Online events have spread rapidly since the corona disaster because there is no physical contact and it is easy to take measures against infections. The advantage of online events is the simple convenience; participants can be anywhere, when archived they can watch at any time they want and watch it repeatedly, and the host is able to design the content relatively freely.
On the other hand, there is a disadvantage in that participants tend to “just watch”, and a difference in degrees of enthusiasm between the organizer and the participants may occur. In addition, viewers have been watching numerous contents on TV and YouTube, so they can easily lose their focus unless the content is entertaining and well designed.
In light of this, online events must be planned with an emphasis on camera work, 3DCG, dramatic design, and other elements that will keep the participant’s attention. One way of planning the event is to archive the content so the viewers are able to watch the event repeatedly for deeper understanding, especially when there’s specific informations to be conveyed such as in seminars or company announcements.
Event Planning for Hybrid Events
Hybrid events are a combination of live and online events. Just as online events, hybrid events have developed rapidly during the Corona Disaster. There are two ways to attend a hybrid event: “live participation” and “online participation”, and the guests may choose either way. There is talk that hybrid events will become the mainstream in the future, and is a format for events that’s attracting increasing popularity.
The feature of a hybrid event is that participants can enhance the sense of togetherness by attending the same event in real time, regardless of whether the participant is attending live or online. Compared to an entirely live event, the cost of venue, travel, and lodging are reduced, infection control measures can be taken with more ease, and with the alternative to participate online, it has lowered the hurdle for people who have had difficulty participating in a live event for various reasons.
However, as hybrid events are held simultaneously in live and online, the organizer tends to have more tasks to take care of on the day of the event. In particular, we need to make sure there is no trouble with the streaming. In addition, what live participants and online participants see and can do will differ completely so it is necessary to devise a plan that satisfies both groups.
Based on these points, hybrid events must be planned for both “live participants” and “online participants”. In particular, for online participants, it is necessary to design a plan that encourages active participation using interactive communication tools such as questionnaire functions, etc., so that they do not become just a “viewer”.
As we have discussed, live events, online events, and hybrid events differ greatly in the way they are designed. Based on the characteristics of each, make the best choice to achieve your company’s goals.
Key Points for Successful Event Planning
Let us now look at the key points for successful event planning.
1. Clarify the purpose and goals of the event
Success of an event equals to, if or not we have achieved the event’s objectives and goals.
Before embarking on the specific event planning, it is essential to clarify a key goal for the event, in other words, how would you define success? How much (quantity) of what (indicators) would you like to see to call the event a successful event? What are the key factors that you need to accomplish? Naturally, the definition of success will vary from company to company and from event to event. Depending on the definition of success, the priorities and agendas, the most appropriate planning, etc. will also vary. It is important to have a clear understanding of the goal among all parties involved so that the direction of the event does not become blurred during the planning and operation phases.
Then, we will move forward and grasp the current issues that your company is facing and work out the details for the event so as to build a bridge toward the ideal goal.
2. “5W2H” to organize and share overall information
When planning an event based on the key goal and current agendas, it is very important to organize the planning content in a concise “5W2H” format. Be sure to identify the following points to achieve a high-quality event.
What: What kind of event to hold
- Type of event / title / sponsorships / program
Why: Why we’re holding the event
- Purpose of the event / Background of the event / The success indicators / The most important key goals
When: When to hold the event
- Date, time, preparation period, time to secure the venue, rehearsal date and time, etc.
Where: Where to hold the event
- Desired venue / specifications (conversion of layout, etc.)/ layout / equipment and streaming platforms needed
Who: Who the target audience are
- Target participants / number of people / job title, age, year of employment of attendees / Media
How: How to hold the event
– Cooperation with event planning company / production schedule / promotion system / production materials (video, invitations, etc.)
How much: The total budget
– Budget / sponsorship / ticket costs, etc.
This information will also be necessary when sharing it with the team in the production process. Be sure to make the basic information clear as much as possible before planning the event.
3. Have a source of ideas for your event planning
Most of you in charge of an event may be troubled by not being able to come up with practical ideas to support their key goals and objectives when planning the details of an event. Ideas do not come out of nowhere. Here, we would like to introduce five tips on gaining ideas for your next event.
Ensure quantity and quality of input
Without input, good ideas cannot be generated. The world is full of places and contents that can lead you to new ideas, such as the Internet, TV programs, movies, books, magazines, show windows in the city, stores, facilities, and much more. It is only through input of variety of information that we can select and choose the best ideas.
The best of knowledges may be right by you
With the development of cloud services (e.g., Dropbox, Teams, One Drive, Slack, CRM, etc.), it has become easier to store and share information within your company. In addition to gathering information from outside your daily routine, try looking around you. You may find unexpected hints from the closest resources.
Knowing how a popular content is designed
There are few ideas in the world that are 100% original. If you analyze the content that is currently a hit in society, you will see the core structure of the idea. We can then incorporate and apply them to our own projects.
Combining Multiple Ideas
The ability to combine ideas is the only way to create ideas. Most good creativity is not created entirely from scratch, but by combining “existing ideas”.
Extra Tips: Use “search” to enrich your input
As we practice the ideas described above, various “keywords” are extracted before they become ideas. To make use of these keywords, we often use Google image search. By searching visually, rather than just using words, we can find something that is close to the image of the idea we are looking for, which further expands our imagination. We recommend English-language searches rather than other local-language searches for a wider range of visuals.
4. Positive planning and Risk simulation
After clarifying goals and objectives and developing ideas, we finally enter the stage of putting them into concrete event planning and production. The most important aspect in the planning and production phase is to ensure “positive planning” and “risk simulation”.
Positive planning is the key to event “planning”. Positive discussions should be held on how to materialize various ideas, such as a certain image of the venue you would like to realize or a joyful atmosphere where all attendees are lively.
However, it is the “risk simulation” that is important when actually “producing” this event plan. Whether it is an online event or a live event, various unforeseen risks and problems can become apparent during the preparation stage and on the day of the event.
It is important to envision in detail what you would do if some of these risks and troubles were to happen, consider how to respond to it, and share this information with your team.
5. Partnering up with an Event company
In this issue, we have introduced the key points of event planning from three aspects. Setting objectives, generating ideas, and actual planning and production. There are numerous things that need to be considered professionally for each of these to lead a successful event.
In order to work smoothly with an event company, you need to clearly state “what you want to achieve” through the event and share the defined goal with the team. Event companies are able to suggest multiple ways to help you achieve your goals and bring your vision to life.
Event Planning Case Studies
Case 1: An event plan that aroused the motivation of all employees
A special website was set up before the event in order to stimulate motivation. The time schedule, contents, and teaser video of the event were shown on this special website. In addition, by embedding footage related to the event’s key message, we were able to deepen the understanding of the event objective.
Case 2: An event that permeated the company’s key message
A wide screen was installed to create an atmosphere where the key message could be conveyed clearly. By using a full-size screen, a dynamic presentation was created.
In addition, not only did we use professional speechwriters for the TOP presentation, but all presentation materials and scripts were professionally supervised to enhance the clarity of the message. In addition, to ensure that the key words were conveyed to the online audience, we screened the key words in real time captions to leave a lasting impression.
Summary: The key to successful event planning is “clarification (verbalization)” and “linking the information”
The key to successful event planning is, above all, to “clarify (verbalize)” and “link the information”. From basic matters such as date, time, participants, and event format to details such as objectives, concepts, and the 5W2H, the key to successful event planning is to verbalize in a way that can be clearly understood. Since a large number of people will be involved in the event, whether or not this verbalization is done well will make a big difference in the outcome. The key to this clarification is to tie the numerous information together. If you know what information is tied to which part of the over-all planning, it will be easier to progress based on the key goals. Hope you will keep this in mind for your next hosting event!