How To Find Success As A Home-Based Event Planner

What is the difference between Event Management and Planning

Event management and event planning are frequently tossed around interchangeably even though they are two very different things. Quite simply, planning and managing are not the same. While the skill sets of these two functions do overlap, they are two distinct functions. It creates problems for those dealing with clients who mistakenly think they need an event manager when what they need is an event planner. And for those clients who are under the impression that all event managers also handle event planning.

So let’s clear up the confusion because it is important that you and your clients have the same understanding.

What’s In a Name?

The event planning industry is host to numerous job titles and job descriptions. Event planner, meeting planner, event coordinator, convention planner, and event manager to name just a few. The list seems endless. As the industry grows, so does the list of job functions.

While job growth is always a good thing, the range of event planning job functions and event management job titles can be confusing to those starting out in the industry. It is equally frustrating for seasoned professionals faced with clients who misunderstand the services offered.

What is Event Management?

Event management, within the scope of MICE events, is a process of organizing and executing meetings with a planned agenda where people or professionals interact with each other and successfully exchange, knowledge, experience or a solution for any particular challenge.

Let’s first understand what is it to plan an event?

Decide Event Theme & Objective:

This is the heart of your event, event profs cannot afford a lack of clarity on this. To get this started event marketers or event organizers must try this. Take a pen & paper and write down answers to the questions below.

  • Who is this event for?
  • What is/ are objective/s of this event?
  • How much investment is needed for successfully conducting the event?
  • What will be the form of this investment? Time, money, talent or others.
  • What KPI will you track for measuring the event’s RoI?

Plan & allocate budget:

Different events have different needs and hence budget allocation is a function of the type/purpose of your event. Planning this is the second big step.

However, if you still need to generalize this for most event types, one must consider these areas to set aside a certain amount.

  • Venue Cost
  • Software & Tech
  • Catering & Food budget
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Marketing budget
  • A/V budget
  • Production costs

Set Timelines:

Plan the timing of your event is imperative. A simple analogy would be that of releasing a feature film. Any delay in the process could cost a bomb.

Try to get answers to these questions to keep it simple.

  • When should the event be held? (You don’t want to coincide it with a major festival or other significant events to divide your visitorship)
  • When should you start your marketing campaigns? ( Too early or too late both will result in more spends and fewer returns)
  • When should your registration start and when should it end?
  • What should be your vendor delivery timelines and SLAs?

A lapse in timing can lead to a significant impact on the success of your event.

Finding event sponsors & partners

Sponsors and partners are important to plan, most events where the goal of the event and that of sponsors find strong synergy are instantly funded, additionally, they have a strong association demand.

What is Event Planning?

The clue here is the name. The event planner plans every aspect of an event. This starts from the beginning at the conception of the event and continues until the event takes place. Although their work often goes beyond the big day, behind the scenes, as they gather feedback and conclude everything from the project.

If you can think of any detail that might need to be considered, an event planner has already created a plan for it. Some examples of what they would be responsible for include creating the budget, deciding on a theme, and organising speakers and entertainment for the day.

This means that their level of detail and organisation extends from the overall to the minute. Their role ranges from big factors like floor-plans, down to small details like table centrepieces.

Their level of planning also includes arranging hotels and travel for speakers or guests. It is their job to organise everything needed to deliver the event, but they won’t handle the event-day itself.

It is important to remember that many venues do not offer an event planner or event planning service. Which makes it your responsibility to hire them.

Essentially an event planner will conceptualise and develop the event. An event planner is there to help you design your dream event, but it is not their responsibility to deliver it.

Event Managers and Event Planners Work Together

Defining these two functions is challenging because, not only are they closely related, the responsibilities often overlap. Individual event planners may offer event management services, and event managers may also offer event planning. It all depends on the individual planner or corporate event management team, the venue, and the event itself.

It is important to understand the differences between the two and to determine which services you will provide. For example; If you offer event planning services for a large-scale event, you will work with an event manager who will coordinate your services with those of the catering manager, the audiovisual team, etc. Define your role and the services you will provide and clearly communicate these to prospective clients to avoid any confusion during the planning process.

How do you encourage networking at events?

In order to encourage networking at your event, you must facilitate the below points to your event attendees.

  • Send out Emails campaigns with relevant attendees profiles and book a meeting link.
  • Make the list of fellow attendees accessible to either all or selected people.
  • Let the attendees send and receive meeting requests, chat online without sharing their numbers.
  • Set-up meeting booths for attendees to meet and have a conversation
  • Create section/categories filters both on the venue as well as online, making it easy for event attendees to search for relevant people to network.
  • Build a strong membership community and offer them a good quality of match-making concierge services.