It was almost a year ago that I envisioned hosting and facilitating a leadership event in my community. I didn’t know what it was going to look like or who was going to be there with me.
I just desired to make a difference.
I shared my vision with the women’s ministry at my church at one of our planning meetings and never really wondered if it was possible or not. The intention was created, I shared it with those close to me and now it was time to allow the Lord to reveal how it was going to happen.
Well, as many of you know the three ladies of I Woke Up Yesterday joined forces late last year to form Everyday Lifeline so the intention started to come alive.
For the past 15 years, I have been planning events at my past jobs, in my businesses and at my church. Through these experiences, I have learned simple but crucial steps to a planning and executing an event without going crazy and pulling your hair out.
Here are 10 simple steps to planning your next event.
- Put God First – Be clear that the desires of your heart are God desires for your life – He preplanned them. Eph 2:10 Therefore, all the results belong to Him for His honor and glory. If you start with that in your heart, He will go ahead of you and prepare the way.
- Share the Intention - Share your event idea with some of your closest friends, co-workers, family to raise your intention of seeing it through and to receive their support.
- Create the Team – You can’t possibly do all that needs to be done so don’t even try. Put a team of people together that believe in what you are doing and desire to be apart of it.
- Delegate to Others – Your team is there to support you so use them!!! Find out what they do well then let them know what part they are going to play whether it’s marketing, registration, sponsorships, food prep, set-up, clean-up or audio/visual.
- Call on the Pros - The best money we spent was on the public relations/marketing. This can be very time-consuming if you don’t already have all the media contacts so call on the PR pros to help you get the word out to the community. Consider 90 days ahead of time for certain types of media.
- Hit the Streets and Screens - Start spreading the word with everyone – All social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn along with local storefronts, networking meetings and even on car windows. Follow-up with your contacts by phone or face to face. Whether you like this part or not it is part of the game so get over it, stop making it all about you and do it anyways. Repetition, repetition, repetition is what works!!! :-)
- Create Win-Win Leveraging Relationships - As a new business or event, no ones really knows what to expect, what you are about or what you are offering, therefore building relationships with those that can offer a third-party recommendation helps to gain much-needed support for your intention.
- Offer Sponsorships to Cover Event Costs - This is a must!! Sponsorships whether it’s trade or cash help cover your costs like food, printing, goodie bags, travel expenses, audio/visual, and much more. When these costs are covered, you can now use the registration fees as your profit or amount to donate.
- Benefit a Non-Profit - This is important aspect if it is not a full non-profit event already. Decide on a local or national non-profit organization that will receive a portion of the profits. This adds another level of respect and it lets others know that it’s not all about you.
- Pray, Pray and Pray Some More – Important to remember that this event is not about you, it does not belong to you and you do not hold the results in your hand. Lay it down, surrender it daily and allow God to open the doors. He will WOW you if you don’t hold on too tightly to it.
When it is all said and done, gather your team for a follow-up meeting and discuss the following 3 questions.
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- What’s next?
Get over the fact that everything might not have gone perfectly the way you envisioned it. Remember, you are not your own therefore you belong to God. 1Cor 6:19 God has the final say since He planned it before you even thought of it. The part you play is to LEARN, GROW and REPEAT!
Many Blessings, Michelle
What other aspects can you add to this list of event planning? Leave your comments below.
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