Event Planning is a task that can be learned but it is most effective when done by a person who has a knack for it – basically someone who just gets it.  Five years ago, given a challenge by my boss to do something to bring in more business and to attract attention to the company, I embarked on my first attempt at creating an event.  I looked at what had been done at the past and the level of success and decided I needed a completely different route. I decided that I should create a new concept for Roswell—A Baby Boomer Conference & Business Expo.
I soon found that planning an event requires a person to be very organized, detail orientated and able to juggle a variety of tasks at the same time.  The tasks required to successfully orchestrate an event range from the mundane to highly complicated and important.
I started by thinking about other events I had attended—everything from business expos to health fairs and I reflected on what I liked most about what they did and what they could have done better.  Armed with this information as a template I proceeded on organizing mine.  I found that when I applied these precepts not only did I like them but….so did other people!!!
An event such as a business expo requires attention to detail to a number of audiences. First you need to get business vendors but you can’t get vendors without traffic and you can’t get traffic without vendors – kind of a catch 22.  So attention must be given to both for sustaining success.  Besides traffic, vendors want an event that is well organized.  Nothing spells failure then to have an organizer organizing at the last minute.  Nothing is more impressive to a vendor than to walk into a center and find that the building is clean, booths areas are set up, tables and chairs are provided and the organizer knows exactly where their area is located.  As added VIP treatment I always organize volunteers to help vendors carry their supplies and swag in and out of the building and I make sure they have plenty of water.  Checking with vendors throughout the day to make sure all their needs are met makes the organizer a hero.
Now to the traffic—aka participants or the general public—Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!  Use as much as your budget can handle on newspaper, radio, posters, flyers, etc. to get the word out.  The best bang for your buck or no bucks is social media – e-mail, text, Facebook & yes, blog to keep the participants and vendors informed.  Sell them on the most exciting event ever that they do NOT want to miss!  By the way, what I thought would be a “one-hit wonder” event is now on its 5th year and is touted by the community as the biggest, most exciting event of the year.  You do not want to miss this year’s Baby Boomer Conference and Business Expo. 
Come by the Roswell Civic and Convention Center on February 22th and see for yourself how Plan-it Productions creates an event.

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