Need help figuring out the layout and flow for your event?
Today’s post is a mini-event planning guide to help you organize the layout of an event.
I’ve culled the following tips from my past experiences organizing events across the country as a public relations professional.
Visualize the event in your mind’s eye.
Walk through the event in your mind’s eye.
What’s going on? Who’s there? Who’s presenting? Who are the guests? What are the guests doing? What food are people eating? What information are people learning? What entertainment are people enjoying?
The more specific you can be in your visualizations, the better.
You’ll be using this information to layout the event.
Write down the different “scenes” of your event.
Now that you’ve completed your visualization exercises, create a list of the different event “scenes” you saw in your mind’s eye. Don’t worry about the order of the scenes just yet, just jot down the scenes to get them down on paper or onto your computer screen.
Ideas for scenes might be: meet-and-greet, Q&A session, event wrap up, presentations, hands-on-activity, dancing, eating, opening remarks and so on.
Identify the main feature and organize smaller event scenes in sequence.
List of scenes in hand, identify the main feature or attraction of your event. Once you’ve identified the main feature, tack on smaller event scenes around the main attraction in sequence.
For example, if you are holding an event on how to knit and your main feature is teaching people to knit, you might tack on event registration and materials distribution first, followed by opening remarks, followed by a knitting presentation/demonstration, knitting instruction, followed by a Q&A session and event wrap-up.
Make sure event items are sequential; if you were holding a raffle at your event, you wouldn’t give away raffle prizes without selling raffle tickets, would you?
Take the time to play around with different combinations of scenes and don’t be afraid to put your list on the back burner and come back to it with fresh eyes in a day or two.
Plot event scenes in time and space.
You should now have your final list of event scenes mapped out. It’s time to incorporate those scenes against the time you’ve scheduled for your event, as well as the physical location and space in which your event will be held.
Time: Break out event scenes into different time increments, when in doubt, give items more time than you need. It’s much easier to fill time than to try to create time out of a tight situation. In the knitting example above, you might give 20 minutes for registration, 5 minutes for opening remarks, 20 minutes for the presentation, 30 minutes for knitting, 15 minutes for Q&A and wrap-up.
Space: Carve out different areas for the different scenes in your event. From our example above, where will the registration table and materials be located? Where will guests sit for the presentation, knitting session and Q&A? What areas are off-limits to guests and event attendees? Double check to make sure multiple scenes are not taking place in the same location at the same time.
Now to you…what questions or concerns do you have when planning the layout of an event? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!