How to organize an event, or the screening of your film, or the opening of an exhibition, deserves attention. After a 16-month break, maybe you are no longer used to it, or maybe you want to start putting something real together. To get going again, events in attendance are as important as air. So why not do them well?
It is the most creative time. Think, be moved by suggestions, let your mind run free. You may feel as if you have stepped into a blender, but that is OK. Come up with something new, innovative, that has never been there before. Whether it’s a concert, the premiere of your film, the opening of your exhibition or a conference on climate change: it has to be something new, something forward-looking.
Write down all your ideas on a large sheet of paper or on lots of coloured sticky notes. Put everything in front of your desk or dining table and leave it for a few days. When you pick up your ideas, it will be easy to skim them. In fact, many of them will seem absurd to you, so you will delete them. Only a few will remain, so it is time to discuss them with trusted friends or collaborators to focus on a single piece of paper, which will become your event.
Planning – is a fundamental part of how to organize an event
The idea remains in a vacuum if it is not followed by a well-done rationalization and planning process. Make a good plan, in writing, that answers the questions:
1. What do I want to do and why?
2. Who is it aimed at? What is the potential audience? (Spend time on this non-trivial point).
3. When? What is the best time? (To be assessed very carefully, check that there are no overlaps, football matches, etc.).
4. What is my budget?
5. What are the intermediate steps between now and the event?
6. What final result do I expect?
Team building and delegation
It is not worth doing everything alone, you lose the taste. The formation of the team is a delicate phase: choose people who are close to you, whom you trust and who are fun. To organize a good event, you need good energy in the team.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Many times, a phone call is enough to create a beautiful partnership. Ask friends and family you trust for help. But don’t ask a general question. It is essential to divide up the work and delegate, so you can ask for something very specific and precise. Friends will be happy to help you. Also remember, and this is very important, to thank everyone publicly – write down the names on a piece of paper, as emotion may make you forget someone important.
The guest list and invitations
How to design an event. Posters, playbills, general notices serve to make the event known. They are used to saying: “This beautiful event exists”. But they do not bring an audience. The audience has to be built artfully, the invitations have to be made very precisely. There are different ways to proceed, choose the one you like best, as long as it is done methodically.
Start making a list of people you know who might be interested. Ask your team to do the same, and add names to the list. You will soon have a large guest list.
Create a nice pdf or jpg invitation with attractive graphics. Send it out at least ten days in advance to the whole guest list. After a few days, start phoning one by one: ‘Did you receive the invitation? Do you think you can participate? Could you bring someone? Please send me a confirmation message with names”. Write everything down on your guest list, which will soon become a list of confirmations.
If you have a large budget, you have probably already turned to an agency. But you can also do good communication yourself. Graphics are very important: posters, invitations, banners, etc. should all be created with the same aesthetic line, which should represent you and your event.
Make a nice schedule with timings for communication: poster launch, press release, social event, event memo the day before, real-time event story, press release at the end of the event, targeted post-event communication.
Good organization! After telling you how to make the most of your participation in a festival, I have told you about your event, and I will soon write about managing the event itself to avoid possible disasters. I am now going to prepare the launch of my book PICNIC: THE ART OF LIVING so that it will be a super event.