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If you have been asked for the first time by your association, department head, CEO, or Garden Club to plan the annual event or the first annual event, let’s consider some important things first.

Plan your event as far in advance as possible. This, too, can help you with favorable rates. You might also be able to obtain a venue or other supplier that might be out of reach closer in to the date

Why is this event or meeting being held? What is it’s purpose? Is it a retirement party, a product launch, a holiday party, the annual shareholder’s meeting? This is important to know and think about as each has somewhat different approaches.

Who is your audience? Is it an in house company meeting, a B2B, an association meeting?

What dates are being considered?  Have you thought of other events locally or in your industry that could conflict with your dates, legal holidays, and religious holidays? Is there flexibility with the dates? This can help to get favorable rates or discounts.

Once you have the above in place it’s time roll up your sleeves.

Plan the basic content of your meeting, i.e., what will happen. Are there sessions, an opening session, an awards lunch, etc. This of course depends upon the answer to the very first question. This can be somewhat general as this is the first look at your event, but needs to be polished as soon as possible to avoid glitches.

The next step is to estimate attendance. Along with knowing what type of event that you're planning this will help you when we get to venue selection. If this is a repeat event, you have a history, but if it’s a new one, you would be wise to research recent attendance for similar events. 

There is much more to do. The next blog will discuss the next steps in event planning.