Tips For Planning an Event in NYC

event planner getting ready for an event

Want to host a get-together in one of the most bustling cities in the world? Well, you’d better be prepared! Planning an event in NYC of all places can be tough, even for professionals

There are many aspects you need to consider - without proper planning, your event can turn into a disaster fast. 

Luckily, this article gives you the blueprint for event planning in NYC and other high-income cities in the country.  Here are some essential tips for planning a successful event in NYC.

Tips to help you successfully plan an event in NYC

1. Define the purpose of your event

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Photo source: Canva

While this sounds like a no-brainer, it's essential to know what type of event you’ll be planning for. Formulate your goals as clearly as you can. Is it a seminar, product launch, birthday, or wedding? What do you want to achieve with your event? Do you want to share knowledge, raise money for a charitable cause, or simply ensure everyone has a good time? 

Why is this aspect considered one of the most important? Simply put, it will affect every aspect moving forward - the location, interior design, cuisine, and program. 

Take this for example: 

If you’re planning a seminar, you wouldn’t want to serve alcoholic beverages or even hire a band or DJ. This will distract your participants from achieving the goal of the seminar, which is to gain insight on a given topic.  

2. Plan ahead

Now that you have a goal in mind, it’s time to formulate a plan. Whether you’re hiring an event planner or planning an event yourself, this allows you to avoid any mishaps. The needs of your attendees are always changing, so it helps to see the big picture months before your event.

To help you with this task, list everything that needs to be done. Then, break each of those tasks down into as many specific steps as possible. 

Next is the most important step in planning, which is to set a deadline. People often underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete tasks, especially if it’s done ahead of time.

Furthermore, depending on the type of event you’ll host, planning ahead will help you:

  • Identify potential obstacles
  • Stay organized 
  • Find possible sponsors to take care of the design, logistics, food, or financial assistance
  • Have access to a wider range of options 
  • Stay on budget

3. Set aside a budget for unexpected expenses

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Photo source: Canva

In planning for any event, it doesn’t hurt to have a contingency plan. If you want to plan a successful event in NYC, you’ll need to be prepared for the unexpected. An example could be a host canceling at the last minute or as simple as a microphone or speaker malfunction. It’s better to think about what can go wrong in advance, instead of panicking once the event starts.

4. Every detail counts!

The secret to planning a successful event is to hone in on every detail. While most event planners focus on the food and program, planning for minor details is where you can stand out. 

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Have ushers greet and assist your guests to their tables
  • Hire extra staff
  • Provide travel accommodation
  • Use an event hashtag to generate instant feedback
  • Print out copies of the agenda

Going above and beyond your guests’ expectations, even with the simple things, can make all the difference to the success of your event. 

5. Visit the location

man surveying someone's house
Photo source: Canva

Check the location in person as soon as possible, especially if you’ve only seen pictures of it online. 

When visiting your preferred venue, don’t forget to conduct a thorough inspection. Some venues might have faulty wiring, uneven lighting, or a small entrance causing some equipment to have trouble fitting through the door.

If you want to know more about the best venues in NYC that can cater to different events, click here

6. Follow up on everything a day or two before the event

Now that the event is fast approaching, it’s time to ensure everything will go according to plan. Contact the event venue, transportation services (if available), catering, and design team if they are experiencing any issues. If so, this is where tip number three can come in very handy.   

On the day of the event, you can use a similar checklist to what you used during the initial planning phase. Make sure to print out the event schedule and give each team member and volunteer a copy. Also, provide your contact details so that they can easily get in touch with you in case of an emergency.

At this stage, what’s vital is making sure your guests will achieve the purpose you set out for your event. 

7. Ask for feedback

Once the event is finished, it’s time to see how well your event actually did. Receiving honest feedback from your attendees will help you see where you went wrong and which areas you did well. 

While it can be hard to force your guests to fill out a satisfaction survey at the end of the event, this is where you can use social media to your advantage. You can use hashtags, ask questions on your profile, or conduct a live survey. 

You can ask them to rate the event's logistics, speakers, event venue, design, and the overall flow of the event. Gathering intel from a wide range of people will help you avoid making mistakes in any of your future events. 

At the end of the day, be hopeful, and don't be afraid to receive negative feedback. It highlights your weaknesses and motivates you to keep improving. Moreover, if you do receive negative feedback online, be sure to respond politely and ask how you can improve.

Bottom line

Planning an event in NYC or anywhere else for that matter can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be that way. 

Whether you're planning a charity gala or your first-ever business conference, remember to follow the tips mentioned in this article:

  • Define the purpose of your event
  • Plan ahead
  • Set aside a budget for unexpected expenses
  • Every detail counts
  • Visit the location
  • Follow up on everything a day or two before the event
  • Ask for feedback

With these tips for planning an event in NYC, you boost your chances of having a successful celebration or gathering. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and seek assistance from others to help you plan your event.  

* Featured image source

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