Jo Ferreday and Karen Edwards outline 5 steps to running a successful event

As life is starting to get back to normal, events are being used to provide added value, build relationships and strengthen existing ones. Here are 5 steps to running a successful event.

Step 1: Planning

The foundation of a successful event is planning. When starting to plan your event you need to be clear on the following things:


What is the purpose and goal for the event. Know in detail why you’re hosting an event.


Who do you want to attend your event? Know your target audience to craft the content, message and style of your event.


Knowing where you want to host the event is important and the location of your target audience is of utmost importance. Is it a local event or a global one? Being clear on the target audience’s location matters when choosing a location or venue, online or in-person or a hybrid event.


Decide on the time when you are going to run the event. Seasons are usually a strong consideration for delegate attendance, but for the time being the current pandemic will also be having an impact on attendance levels, so you need to choose wisely. You’ll also need enough time for other activities related to your event, such as promoting your event.

Step 2: Preparation

Once you have a robust plan in place it’s time to move to preparation.  The key to a successful event is time.  Give yourself time to think about what the event is and what it involves.  There are three extremely important steps in preparation you need to be clear about to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Event Type

Establishing the event type from the outset is paramount. Is it a live or virtual event? Has your client (executive/stakeholder) indicated what they would prefer? Do the circumstances direct you to one type?  Think about all the different elements of the structure of an event and how they fit into the live or virtual event.


Having an adequate budget for your event is essential. Your budget needs to include areas such as venue, equipment, contingency funding and a list of expenses for individual items. Remember that you need to update your budget often to avoid problems later.


Finding the perfect venue can be time-consuming and a tedious task. Consider the number of attendees, location, possible health and safety regulations that are in place and what your event includes. It’s important to have 3 options available that suit your budget and the purpose of the event. Seeking assistance from a professional venue-finding company makes this process easier and faster, freeing up your time and helping you get the best price and options.

Step 3: Promotion

What would be an event without attendees? To get your target audience to notice and show interest to your event you need to promote it. But how can you do it effectively?  Knowing what your target audience is interested in ensures you can craft your message in the right way.

Keeping your attendees updated ensures that you don’t get unplanned cancellations or other issues that could impact your event’s performance.

Communicating effectively ensures that everyone involved is clear on their responsibilities and tasks.

Step 4: Execution

When you get to this step you will answer questions such as: is the venue being kept informed on important items? Are your team and attendees informed and updated? Have tickets and instructions been sent out to attendees? Is the event contingency plan in place? Having everything done properly makes execution much easier for everyone

Step 5: Feedback

What did the attendees think of your event? Asking for feedback not only provides you with information but also shows you care what your attendees think, and that you want to develop to create better events.

Feedback gives you valuable insights into what went well, where you need to improve and you can get ideas for your next event.

There are many ways to collect feedback. You can have a chat with the attendees, send out questionnaires or use social media channels. Remember that follow-up is a crucial part of the process as it builds relationships and adds value to everyone.

For more top tips on how to deliver a successful event, click the link to watch Jo & Karen’s #Adminchat on our YouTube channel:

Jo Ferreday has worked in the hospitality and events industry for over 17 years. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Sheer Edge, an award-winning multi-service agency, providing venue finding, event support, and a corporate hospitality booking ... (Read More)

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