Jacqui Frost

Giving your event the x-factor

6 tips for successful event planning ...

Posted on: 23/09/2013   By: Jacqui Frost

Putting on an event is always a stressful time. Making sure everything fits together perfectly is a challenge. There's so much to think about isn't there? Getting it right means your event will be remembered for a long time, but where do you start?

leave your delegate smiling and you'll know you've put on a great event

leave your delegate smiling and you'll know you've put on a great event

From the right venue to the delegate packs. From the catering to the guest speakers ... an event is a huge undertaking! However, find the x-factor and you'll have your delegates happy, informed and glad they attended. Here are our top six tips for successful event planning:

  1. Expect the unexpected ... It's a certainty that something will go wrong. Sometimes they're just small and annoying little situations, and sometimes it's a world ending crisis. But staying calm throughout, and dealing with it quickly and efficiently will always result in a positive outcome.
  2. Venue Veto ... Visiting the short-listed venues can make all the difference to the success of an event. It might advertise it's 10 minutes off the M1, but there's no substitute for checking the all important details in person. If you're planning a marquee event, be sure of the facilities: check that a toilet block is available and lighting and sound systems are also included.
  3. The paper trail ... Get everything in writing, haggle and then re-confirm. Also double-check everything with the suppliers the week before the event. Send delegates an information pack with directions to the venue along with schedule, accommodation and name badge to encourage networking.
  4. Speaking out ... Keep referring back to the key messages your event is trying to convey and check each part of the day is relevant. Keep delegates focussed with visual prompts and handouts. Getting the right speaker is vital to the event. They should enhance the theme of the conference, reflect the tone of the event and what they talk about should be relevant to the given field.
  5. Keep them hooked ... The average adult has an attention span of between 6 and 90 minutes. Make sure you have a break-out session or "time-out" periods after a long, factual presentation. Challenging tasks should be set in the morning as they will produce more effective results than those suggested at the end of the day. After lunch, have some audience interaction as this is when attendees have more energy. Try to avoid a classroom scenario where attendees are lectured. Inviting a member of the audience to join the speaker on stage will divert attention or maybe introduce a roving microphone to keep the enthusiasm going.
  6. And finally ... A great event doesn't finish when the final speaker leaves the stage. It should be followed up with evaluation from the delegates. Ask attendees what they enjoyed about the event, and which areas could be improved on. Make sure that when you arrange your next event you refer to the feedback. There's always room for improvement!

If you can remember these useful tips, you'll find your event runs smoothly and you'll get positive feedback from all of your delegates. However, if it seems like a huge undertaking, or maybe you just don't have the time or resources to make it happen, why not let The Office Genie organise your event for you?

Until next time ...


More about Jacqui Frost ...


I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.

Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!

I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!


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