How to Create a Successful Annual Event

annual eventPlanning an annual event is no easy task.  You need to do something that will make people say, “This was even better than last year.  I can’t wait for the next one.”It is especially important to consider the following key factors when doing so because annual events tend to be “washed out” or boring after the first few years.

Be Original

Planning a template event for several years in a row really will not work.  You need to look at all the things you have done in the past and stay away from them.  People do not want to do the same thing over and over again, so mixing it up by throwing an event with a luau theme one year then a costume theme the following year will keep them interested.

You do not necessarily have to theme the entire party; you can choose to cater the event with exotic Thai food or maybe some Greek cuisine.  These are the little things that stick with people and make it into their stories about the event.

Feedback and Mistakes

If this is your first annual event or your tenth, you should consider the opinions of your attendees.  It is a great idea to have a guest book or questionnaire at the entrance and exit where people can easily access them. Encourage all your guests to fill out a questionnaire, leave feedback about the event, and mention things that could have been doneto improve the event as well as anything that they found exceptional or memorable.

After the event is over, be sure to review the cards and questionnaires and consider the comments.  If you notice any negative or positive trends in the comments try to improve on them or get rid of the problems that were identified.  This will ensure that your guests who return the following year and the new guests in the following year have an exceptional time.

Marketing

It is important for you to realise that an annual event will not be successful without marketing and spreading the word.  You can do this by sending out invitations or advertising your event in the media, social networking sites, and blogs.

Another great way to get people to return from previous events is to request an email address in the guest book so that you can build a digital mailing list and send out periodic reminders about your event.

Know Your Limits

When you are planning an annual event, it is important that you understand any limitations you may have.  These can be related to the amount of guests you invite, to the budget you have to work with.

You need to realise that these recurring events will normally follow a semi-standard template;however, the planning time is still quite high.  If you are working on a small event with a limited budget, you need to balance the cost and services or entertainment you will have, with the amount of time that you can dedicate to the planning process.  If you are working on a large event, you may not be able to handle it all by yourself.  This is when you need to consider hiring a professional event planner.

Professional Planners

If you need to hire an event planner, you need to keep in mind that their fees will need to be factored into your budget.  Always be clear and precise with the planners about your needs, your budget, and the things that you want to achieve with your event.

Event planners will significantly reduce the amount of time you need to spend planning your event.  They have many resources and connections to equipment rental companies, caterers, venues, and even entertainment.  They also have the experience needed to pull off a successful and memorable event that will make your company look great.

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