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How to run a stress-free event

Running a successful event can be challenging at the best of times. Sarah Porter, Marketing and Events Officer for NCVO, tells us how she’s kept her cool during the toughest circumstances.


Plan for every eventuality

When Durham castle flooded with two foot of mixed sewage three hours before a 12 hour ball was taking place, I learnt early in my career you can never plan too much. Make sure you’ve thought of all the risks and have a plan B for risks which are likely to become a reality. No event goes exactly to plan, but with a good risk assessment you’ll be able to deal with the unexpected.


Spend time on your marketing

You can organise the best event in the world but if you don’t market it effectively, no one will come. Spend time analysing and segmenting your audience so your messages are targeted and relevant. Use a range of routes to market – flyers, social media, emails, external networks and special promotions to get the best results.


Budget effectively

Make sure your budget covers income, expenditure and plan in a contingency so you have enough money to cover those unexpected costs – you don’t want to have to turn guests away because you can’t afford to provide the right support for them to attend.


Get organised

Before and during an event I have a daunting list of tasks that need to be completed, but there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing them all off as the event progresses.


Learn to relinquish control

I’ve yet to meet an event manager who hasn’t struggled with this top-tip. Being in control of every little element seems like a great way to ensure the success of your event, but all too often this is a sure-fire way to a stressful, disorganised experience. Learn to trust your event team and share the tasks amongst them so you’re available to problem-solve and be where you’re needed most.


Page last edited Jun 23, 2017 History

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