Throwing an awesome event doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes strategic planning, research, management and more – but the outcome for clients, or even for yourself/your firm, can be well worth it. The team at ICLabs has been to – and thrown – our fair share of events and we wanted to share things to consider when planning your own.

  1. Don’t throw an event just to throw one. Events take a lot of time, money & resources to plan so you need to be thoughtful about why you’re throwing an event and what the goals are. Is it to get in front of new media? Is it to attract new hires? Is it to celebrate a company milestone? Figuring out the “why” can help you justify to your client the need to throw an event.
  2. Always have a plan in place. Putting on a really great event takes time, usually 6-8 weeks (although, don’t get us wrong, we’ve put together some killer events in just a couple weeks). First, make sure you’re not going to be competing with other events or holidays. Next, get a timeline in place with all of the things you need to do leading up to the actual event. Assign people (both on your team and on the client side) certain tasks/deliverables on the timeline and make sure to have check-ins to get updates of in-progress items so you can manage effectively.
  3. Do your research. Don’t settle on the first location, caterer, photographer, DJ, etc. that you find. Check out websites (but don’t rely on this for gathering all your info), read reviews & talk to the vendors directly to get more information and price quotes. Then compare the details and pick the one that best fits the theme/vibe of the event and, most importantly, the budget.
  4. Your brand should shine bright like a diamond. No matter what kind of event you’re throwing, you want people to walk in and know exactly who’s hosting the shindig. Mattress company Casper always does an amazing job sticking to its brand for events – they serve breakfast food, have beds featuring their products for people to check out, and invite screen printers to do cool designs on Casper pillow cases. Once, they even gave out slippers. Make sure you’re always thinking of cool ways to highlight your brand, whether it’s creating signature cocktails, having cool company swag or doing something experiential/stunt-y.
  5. Always plan for the unexpected. We all wish that our event will go off without a hitch, but it’s not always smooth sailing. We’re not saying expect the worse, but at least be prepared to deal with things such as cancellations, vendors being late, traffic, etc. Talk about the possible scenarios with the team and client and how you can handle them if they happen. It’s better to be prepared and have nothing bad happen, then to plan for the other way around.

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