When should you start the planning process?
You have to figure out how big your audience is, if it’s small you don’t need as much lead time. We are talking to someone who is 30-40 thousand people and they plan three years in advance.
Usually it’s date and location that are the biggest frustration and you need to figures those out first. We had a guest who talked about selling yourself to the venue. Do not think because you have a budget and audience that you will be attractive to the city, you may be competing with some really big names. Some events have ten year contracts because they are so big and need to lock in a venue.
When do you loop in your partners?
It depends on size and scale of your event. When your organization works with a third party to work with vendors it adds a layer of complexity, but loop that person in immediately. As soon as possible loop in production and decor. You might get a higher rate if you wait too long, or not get the a-squad! The earlier you book the better everything you get. You should book your production as you choose a venue, they can help you save money through site visits. The production partner can see things that you may not notice.