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How to host a successful evening event

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You organize an event for your company or a client. Others mingle around, networking with one another. As the host, do you join in on the fun? Or do you hold back?

Here are the six core tips that I hold for myself and event staff when hosting an event.

1. Set the right expectations.

Possibly the most important rule to event planning and marketing an event is to set an example for those working with you. You set an example by first setting expectations. Meet with your staff prior to the event and establish guidelines for dress code, arrival and departure times, and the things each person is responsible for during the course of the event. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

2. Don’t imbibe.

If there is alcohol being served at the event you’ve planned, don’t drink. You’re the organizer, the go-to person, and sometimes you have to make the sacrifice to ensure everyone else has a good time. If you want a drink, have one when you get home or go to an event you haven’t organized.

3. Remain available.

If you have an opportunity to directly participate in the event you’ve planned (like a charity golf tournament), think twice. What if you’re needed? What if there is a problem and you’re not immediately available? Have you ever seen a seasoned wedding planner? They look like they’re having fun (always smiling, very inviting, etc.) but they know they have a job to do and the job at hand is what they’re there for. 

4. Take initiative.

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Smile, be approachable and ensure your attendees know you’re the event planner. If someone has a question, you’re the most qualified to answer it for them. Communicate to everyone you meet that you’re the “answer man/woman” for the time they’re in your care.

5. Remember names.

This is an old trick, but you’d be surprised how awful many event planners are at keeping up with names, especially if you have a large crowd. Take a pen and paper with you, and write down names as you learn them, along with any characteristic that will help you remember the person. When they come back to you in an hour for assistance, you’d be well served to remember their name and make that personal connection that makes them feel like you’re a close friend.

6. Look the part.

Most events take last minute set-up and planning. Take an extra change of clothes to accomplish the set-up and then give yourself 30 minutes before the event to change into your attire and freshen up. The last thing your boss or your guests want to see is you sweating it out in the clothes you’ll be wearing to the event. Planning effectively prior to the event will ensure you have just enough time to freshen up and catch your breath. 

For more from Brooks Brown, see:

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