Updated: Jul 9, 2018
If you guessed good food as the #1 thing on this list, you are 100% correct!
People want to be fed something delicious at an event. Your food can either make or break the entire event. Choose a trusted, well known caterer. Always always taste the food prior to your event. Set up a tasting with several caterers. Make sure that your caterer knows exactly what you want them to make. They cannot read your mind, and you will be disappointed if you tell them to surprise you. We all have an idea of what we want, so just let them know. If you're not sure what to serve, go with your favorite foods. An experienced caterer will be able to take even the most simple food and make it fun for an event, so even if your favorite food is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you should let your caterer know! Food is so important at an event! Think about a time where you may have gone somewhere only because you knew there would be good food! Right? We have all done this! That leads right into our #2, (which really should be #1) You need guests to come! Without guests, you have no event.
To ensure that you have ample amount of guests to have a successful event, you must get the word out! Don't wait until last minute either! Use social media to spread the news. Send emails, actual printed invites, and it's even acceptable in many cases (not a wedding) to send out a text reminder. Bottom line is, if your guests don't know, they won't come. We like to keep to the 3x rule. Make sure you have contacted them in 3 ways. Chatting with someone you see at the grocery store counts as one and if your event is business related or a marketing event, you should tell everyone you run into about it!
#3. A good venue.
This doesn't always mean that you need to rent a building. Your venue must make sense with the type of event you are planning, but don't be afraid to get creative! A small get together at the lake for networking, or a picnic in the park are both out of the box options better than a stuffy convention center room and can be much more effective and memorable. Choose a place where people will want to linger. Take into consideration what you will be doing. If you are doing dancing, you're going to need a dance floor. If you are doing small break out sessions, you will need several smaller rooms. Take advantage of businesses that may be closed at night, rent out a nursery. They may need more money and welcome the idea to bring in the revenue after hours, it doesn't hurt to ask! It just needs to make sense, and make it fun! Anyone can rent out a business room at the Hilton, but is that memorable? No, you're better than that and so is your event!
You must entertain people! People expect to be entertained everywhere they go. You want to provide enough entertainment that people find themselves putting their phones down to pay attention. Whether you hire a DJ, a musician, a magician, a motivational speaker or a comedian, don't do anything too extreme. Stay away from heavy metal and rap music, unless it goes with your event-then turn it up and own it! Keep your comedian clean and make sure you have screened them beforehand to know their content so you don't end up offending your guests. Some events go as far as the phone basket so guests are forced to participate in games, note taking etc. Again, think about your group and really cater to their needs.
You must have an agenda at every single event. You cannot just willy nilly your way through a big event! There must be an order that is followed and all those involved in the event should know the details. The more order, the less problems and surprises. This does not mean it won't be fun! The most fun events are very orderly!
#6. Properly functioning tech.
Please, please, check and double check all your cords, connections, speakers etc. and do it long before those first guests arrive! There is nothing worse when someone is planning on showing a video and then it doesn't work! This is one area where hiring a professional just makes sense!