Your event may be over, but you haven’t quite finished…
Once an event is over, it is easy to breathe a huge sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back for organising such a successful event. However, it is vital to evaluate the event in order to organise subsequent events successfully. These duties are easily forgotten, but are important.
The following is a brief checklist to help you to round off your event smoothly.
Break-down and dismantle
This needs to be done on the same day to avoid paying any excess venue hire charges, so be sure to allow for this when booking the venue. Allow for sufficient manpower to do the break-down and pack up and provide transport for equipment. External suppliers need to be made aware of any time restrictions for removing items.
Thank staff and contributors
Send thank you notes to all the people who contributed to your event as soon as possible: colleagues, external partners, speakers, etc. Small tokens of appreciation are always appreciated. This also may help you secure their services again at some point in the future. A drinks reception or dinner might be nice thank you for your team of organisers.
Pay any outstanding invoices
Check the final invoices and query any unexpected charges, making sure that everything adds up and is as you expected. If there are any areas of concern, write to the relevant supplier and complain and request an amended invoice. Once you are happy that everything tallies, you can close the budget and you may want to recalculate the cost per participant. If there are any insurance matters or compensation claims for any losses or damage these too can be settled.
Keep a file
Properly classify and file all documents, schedules, contracts and invoices. This will be invaluable for future events as you will be able to refer back to it to see how you approached the planning of the event.
Advertise the outcome of the event
If your event was “newsworthy”, then issue a press release after it is over. Be sure to provide the name of a contact so journalists can call for additional information. Draw up a list of all articles that appeared in the press. The number of articles and their tone will provide initial input to the evaluation.
Communication for non-attendees
You can send a folder with literature to participants who did not attend. Make it available on your website as well, so it is easily accessible to everyone. Pay careful attention to copyright: you need written permission from the author in order to publish text on your website.
A photo tells a thousand stories…
Did you have a photographer at the event or did you appoint a colleague to take photos? Put these on your website so that colleagues and delegates alike can see them.
Write an article about the event in a blog, and post on the intranet if you have one or failing that, on your website, etc. It will be of interest both for those who attended and for those who were not able to make it. You can also use this opportunity to give additional thanks to your staff using these internal channels of communication.
Evaluate the event with colleagues and with the attendees
Write everything about the event in a report, including all aspects both negative and positive. A good evaluation report is a source of information for you, for your colleagues, and for the business. It will help you do even better with your next event. There are various websites which have free templates you can download in order to get feedback from attendees to help you with the evaluation process. Once you have all the information and the report is compiled, send it to management and also to all members of the organising team.