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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Advisor tips for planning successful events, part 1

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Here are some important things to keep in mind when planning events.

  1. ROI. What are the objectives? What outcomes make it a success? What is your expected return on the event? Determine the measures of success before moving forward with any event to best guide decisions all along the way.
  2. Resources. Who is helping? What skills are needed of your staff? How many hours can they contribute? How do you recruit additional assistance when needed? What is everyone’s role before, during and after your event? What supplies should be on hand? What equipment is needed? Is insurance required? Be warned, most events take more resources than initially expected.
  3. Timeline. What are the milestones? What are the dependencies? Do contracts need to be signed and by when? Who is managing the timeline and keeping track of all deliverables before and on the date of the event? Avoid wearing project plan blinders.
  4. Expenses. What is your budget? Who is monitoring costs? How do you pay vendors? Are you charging your guests a fee to attend? If so, should this be facilitated (e.g., online versus in person, at a discounted rate in advance versus more at the door, etc.)? It takes a watchful eye to stay on top of expenses; read the fine print of contractual agreements and negotiate discounts where possible.
  5. Theme. What event concept makes your party unique? Where is the event? What marketing material is needed (e.g. giveaways, decorations, props, literature, signage?) What music makes sense? What food and beverages are you serving? Be true to your brand, but do not be afraid to have fun.

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Mike Byrnes founded Byrnes Consulting to provide consulting services to help advisors. His focuses on business planning, marketing strategy, business development, client service and management effectiveness, along with several other areas. Read more at