There are a number of things that are often overlooked when planning events. It does not matter if the event is a wedding, a concert, or just a small gathering in the neighborhood. Unless you plan events for a living, you likely will not be aware of a couple of these items, or at least would never have given them any thought. Here are a few things you will want to consider before planning any events.
- Liability Insurance
This is probably the most important thing for any event and sometimes the most expensive. The purpose of liability insurance is to protect you if someone tries to sue you or your organization for damages. It is rare that someone is injured at an event and even more rare if they try to sue for damages; however, it is better to have and not need then the alternative. You definitely want insurance if your event will have alcohol. Be sure to check if the venue for your event will provide insurance but its best to get your own either way.
Depending on the type of event you have, you may have to obtain a license for one thing or another. You might need a liquor license or certification from the Department of Health if you are preparing food at your event. If you will have live music, determine if the music is original or cover songs, then decide if you need a music performance license. If you’re playing a film at your event, you might need film licensing to pay royalties. This applies if you are producing a play or musical. Decide which of these things your event will have and what you will need to avoid a lawsuit.
- Renting Facilities v. Free Options
Some spaces do not require a rental fee, and some do. Sometimes you can negotiate and get cheaper or even free rates. Determine what your event needs and your budget and proceed accordingly. If your event is outdoors, check what the local laws are regarding events. Some cities, like Tucson, require a special event permit for any events on city property. Research everything before choosing a venue or performance space.
- Advertising – What Works; What Does Not
Flyers and posters are not worth the money. They are good for posting at the venue or location of the event but hanging them anywhere else will not bring enough business to justify the cost. Social media is great because its free but requires constant effort. I recommend hiring a high school or college intern to help manage your social media. Online advertising can be helpful and inexpensive. Print ads are as effective as flyers and posters and not worth the money. Radio and television will bring in business and are expensive but well worth the money if you have it. Word of mouth is still the best marketing and its completely free. Make sure you develop a solid marketing and advertising plan before spending any money.
- Paying Entertainment
This might sound obvious but there are many people who skip out on paying performers for an event. Always sign performance agreements with any entertainment and pay them what you agreed. Unless it’s a benefit for charity, never ask performers to work for free or for exposure. You’re managing a business and so are they.
These are just the basics. Each topic has its own intricacies and details. Make sure you’ve fully researched everything before making any plans. Spending twice as long planning will save you money and heartache in the future. If you need help planning or managing an event, or just a little help with the minor details, fill out the form on our Contact Page and we will get back to you within 24 hours.