What Advice Would You Give to Someone Planning Their First Major Event?

Planners share their best tips and tricks for handling a big event.

February 16, 2017, 7:00 AM EST

(Pictured, left to right): Feborah M. Dixon, Richard Rogers, Carol Moxam

Photos: Courtesy of Readers

“Work with qualified professionals on your event team. They have years of experience to contribute to you on your first event. Acknowledge yourself for the client relationship you created. Celebrate your successes while planning and once you complete your event. We’ve all been there with you on a first-time experience.”
Carol Moxam, author and lifestyle leadership coach, Life Is a Special Event, Oakville, Canada

“Build a strong team of vendors that you trust and who like each other. Don’t overpromise anything, and don’t be afraid to reach out to your inner circle with questions if you’re not 100 percent sure about something in the planning process. Everyone wants you to be successful and will help you.”
Patty Stern, chief creative officer, Creative Marketing Solutions, West Orange, New Jersey

“Don’t underestimate the amount of time your planning and execution will take. Assume everything will take longer than expected. Think about the myriad steps that need to happen to take you from A to B, because sometimes there is a whole alphabet of little steps to get you there.”
Karen St.Aubin, event planner, Canadian Bar Association—BC Branch, Vancouver

“Don’t sweat the small stuff. New ideas and challenges will pop up every day, but once your plan is in place, stick with it and you will succeed. Of course on the day of, it’s quite common for the timing to be adjusted, so there is no need to stress about that. Trust in your team and the venue that you’ve selected. Your event will be a grand success.”
Aleasha Gilpin, event consultant, ATW Events, Toronto

“Create a checklist and timeline and work from it. Details can get away from you in the excitement of planning. You can start with a basic template from one of the professional organizations and add in the details needed for your particular event. Spending a little time building yourself a road map before things get hectic will save a lot of anxiety wondering about what you forgot or, even worse, explaining what you missed to your boss or client.”
Feborah M. Dixon, meeting and event professional, Richmond, Virginia

“Don’t break it. ‘Major’ events have a certain amount of inertia and a team of people that have a stake in the program. Don’t try to make sweeping changes right away. The program is successful for a reason.”
Richard Rogers, strategic director, SAP Events, Burlington, Massachusetts

Editor's note: Some of these comments were shared by readers on our social media networks. Join our discussions on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

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