1. Source for a reputable and reliable events management company. They will be your best partner to come up with ideas and expertise for your event. Don't go for the cheapest quote as this industry do have lots of fly-by-night companies that over-promises and under-deliver.
2. Book a suitable venue early, the event company should be available to do this for you at a fee. Consider niche locations, transport accessibility, shelter, additional infrastructure like tentatges, generators, outside catering, etc. Do look out for ease of working with Sales Executive of venue, F&B support, environment (not too cramped or low ceiling).
3. The second half of the year is more busy than the first, time your event so that you can get a better deal or for venues to be more easily available.
4. Tell the event organiser what do you expect out of them, nothing should be left unsaid.
5. Form an effective team of committee members. I have seen huge committees but lack efficiency because of communication problems. Identify what needs to be done and assign the best person for the job. I suggest a lean but effective team.
6. Don't use budgets from your last event for this year's. Prices have gone up and should X company is able to do it, they have to cut corners at your expense ! Listen to ideas and creativity and go for the best deal.
7. Do not use the ideas from Company A to get Company B to quote the same items. Or to ask for more than 5 quotes. It lacks integrity and is dis-respectful.
8. Sometimes it is better to sit-back and let the event company and its talents/vendors to do the show. I have seen events over-managed with multiple directions from the clients that none of us know what is going on. Manage your communication with only one party on-site which is the Event Manager.
9. One common problem for formal events where a rehearsal is required is "over-rehearsal". Don't allow your own fears and anxiety to spill over to the crew and performers.
10. Consider pre-event marketing material (without revealing too much details) to the audience. Some teaser emails, talents visiting the office, polls, little gifts, etc.
11. Pay attention to the decor : use fabrics to break out the pattern of the room, lighting to create an ambience, centre-pieces, party gifts to compliment the theme.
12. Theme the menu to the event. For example : Cajun Chicken, Buffalo Wings, Tequila Shooters at the cocktail reception for a Wild West Night.
13. Do engage Videographers and Photographers.
14. Do have a backdrop... banners I feel don't do justice.
15. Meet up with the MC and communicate your objectives of your event. Again everything must be said prior to your event. Listen too on what he or she can offer as suggestions.
16. Avoid long speeches for casual events. Power point presentations for a D&D telling how far the company has come or what are the objectives for the new year usually works badly.
17. Sound, Light, Video are very good components to create an impactful atmosphere (apart from the Human software). Do consider using them.
18. 99% of events usually start late. Do allow for some time to buffer so that the program catches up. I have seen conferences packing all in leaving the attention span of its audiences waning.
19. Onion and chilli doesn't always work for outdoor events! Please have a wet weather plan and cater for tentages.
20. Ask for more! Create an experience that money can't buy and nobody will forget.
Have an enjoyable Event !