How to plan a successful event

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Posted by: JasmineThompson
Posted on: 22/06/2022

As plans come to fruition for the Generation Next Awards Ceremony on 14 July, the project’s coordinator and event organiser Kate Nemeth talks about how to plan a successful event our latest blog.

Kate with Generation Next Awards 2021 winners Project D


The key to ensuring an event runs smoothly is in the planning process so it’s important that certain steps are taken in the lead up to the big day.

Not all events are major awards ceremonies and black-tie dinners, people from all industry backgrounds could find themselves planning internal staff socials or charity events.

It’s therefore always good to have on-hand some simple steps which can help with event planning.

Define your goals and objectives

When you first get tasked with organising an event, you need to decide what you want it to achieve for the delegates, as well as the company.

How many people do you need to be at the event? Do you need a speaker? Do you need any sponsors? Do you need an event theme? What is your target audience?

All these questions will factor into the rest of the planning process, as well as the briefs to the teams working on the event.

Establish a budget

Your budget will inform a lot of your choices when it comes to finding suppliers and organising the content for the event.

Pick a date and the right venue

When looking for a date, make sure you give yourself enough time for the planning process. Look around for any activities on your proposed date that could clash with your event, such as competitor events or school holidays.

Finding the right venue, which has a good reputation, is also crucial in helping you fill delegate spaces. The venue also needs to fit with the practical needs of your event in terms of the right atmosphere, size and AV capacity.

There are also some important considerations you need to think about such as location, parking space, accessibility, and proximity to transport links.

Think about your marketing assets and promotional plans

The next step is to make a decision on any marketing assets you may need such as leaflets, programmes or roller banners, as well as any promotional support so you can brief your marketing teams.

Confirm key suppliers and sponsors of the event

Key suppliers can relate to catering, print, speakers, AV, exhibitors, hosts and entertainment acts which are required for the event. Similar to securing a venue, make sure a supplier’s product fits the purpose of your event.

If your event requires sponsorship, it is best to get companies secured as soon as possible in order to maximise their contract and develop a solid relationship.

Finalise the event agenda

Now the event is getting closer, and you have your suppliers secured, you can finalise the agenda.

It is always good to have a brief version of the agenda on the event’s webpage or communications to aid the promotion of it, but once everything is finalised, it’s important to make sure timings specified.

When planning speaker slots, make sure everyone has an even amount of time, and they are fully briefed on what they need to discuss.

If required, make sure there are a decent number of breaks, and networking opportunities if relevant, so delegates don’t get restless.

Get your team together

It’s best to have a team around you when running the event. They can help you register delegates and speakers, manage any problem solving and communication with the suppliers.

Everything runs smoother when you have a great team behind you to help you out.


Once you’ve got an event out the way, it’s good to reflect on the whole experience from start to finish.

Get all the project team together for a meeting so you can discuss what went well and any improvements for next time – this knowledge can be very valuable when you come to plan an event in the future, and give you new ideas to explore.


The Generation Next Awards recognise young talent from across the East Midlands business community. Its ceremony will be held on 14 July at Bustler Market in Derby, where the 2022 cohort of winners will be announced. Tickets can be purchased at

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