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Organising the perfect event: how do you do it?
19 October 2021 | All locations
When organising an event – whether it is a small-scale event for about ten people or a major event for an audience of a thousand – you will always have to take the same things into account.
Still a bit stressed and not sure where to start? Hereby a little handy guide, which will accompany you from A to Z before, during and after your event. Do you still need an extra helping hand? Greenhouse will gladly assist you. We take over the tasks you do not have the time, mood or energy for – so you can focus on what you like to do. Convenient, isn’t it?
Before the event
Three things to think about before you start planning
Learn to crawl before you try to walk, is what people often say. A truth like no other, and that also applies to organising an event. Chances are you’re eager to get started on the ‘fun stuff’, but it’s best to begin with writing out the three fundamentals of your event.
#1 Purpose of the event
How you organise an event is one thing. But the ‘why’ is even more important. Filter the main purpose of your event from all those crazy ideas – and use it as a steppingstone for all your decisions. Do you want more brand awareness? Are you organising a conference? Do you want to attract investors or rather increase retention by having a great staff party? Focus all your efforts on that one goal – and you will see that your event will be more successful than one with several goals.
#2 Target audience
Goal defined? Time to draw up that guest list. But bear in mind: do the people we invite match the purpose of our event? Think, for example, about whether you want to invite an internal or an external target group.
A good example: for a staff party you obviously invite all your colleagues and board members, but should the partners of the colleagues be included?
Difficult to decide who gets an invitation? Ask yourself: What do I expect from my guests? Why do you want these people to come to your event and what do you hope to get as a result? Measure each attendee against this question and you’ll find that inviting the right people becomes a lot easier.
Then, the key question: how do the chosen objectives and target audience fit into your budget? Make sure you know, preferably to the last penny, how much budget you have in total to make this event a success. Enter this overall budget in a flashy Excel and make sure that you keep track of every expense – hypothetical or already spent. That way, you keep a good overview and know exactly where those precious euros are going.
Two handy tips to keep in mind: keep an ’emergency plan’ aside in case something goes wrong or turns out to be more expensive. Most people calculate 15% of the total budget for this. If something goes wrong, you don’t have to panic – and if everything goes smoothly… you will have a budget to spare. Win-win!
It might be a good idea to look for suitable sponsorship deals to boost your budget. A logo somewhere in your event space can generate a lot of extra euros: either in cold hard cash – or in nice little extras for the guests, such as goodie bags.
Have you made sure that these foundations of your event are firmly in place? Good. Now it’s time to start the executive work.
Choose the perfect date
You don’t want to spend time and money on an event where nobody shows up.
But then again: how do you know when your guests are available? You won’t.
But you can take the following things into account:
- Check the calendar of competitors and/or find out when other major events are taking place.
- The summer months may seem like an interesting time to organise an event: the weather is nice, people are happier and there are more outdoor opportunities. But… chances are high that your ideal target audience is tanning on a pearly white beach. So preferably avoid doing anything in July or August. And this also applies to the festival period and the public holidays.
- European Championship, World Cup or other major sporting event happening? Do not plan your event on the same day of an important match. Your potential visitors would rather watch the match with friends and family, no matter how big your rented screen will be.
- Garfield was not alone: nobody likes Mondays. It is therefore not advisable to plan something on a Monday. For your business event, choose Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The staff party, on the other hand, would be better on a Friday or Saturday evening.
- Take suppliers into account. Consider busy seasons, such as the Christmas period, and plan around it. You do not want to pay hundreds of euros extra to make sure you get a supplier, photographer or caterer.
Find the perfect location (wink, wink)
Location, location, location. The place where your event will take place is the business card of your day. You want the look of your location to match the look of your event. In other words: you don’t host a gala in a scout’s lodge.
Some important questions to ask:
- What is the minimum and maximum capacity of the location?
- What is the flat-rate price of the location and what costs will be added (build-up and breakdown, cancellation insurance, etc.)?
- What are the catering options? Does the location include this or can you provide your own catering?
- What infrastructure can you make use of? Is there a power supply, a kitchen, IT equipment, a sound system, etc.?
- What about the parking? Is the location easily accessible – or could you perhaps hire a shuttle service?
- Is the location suitable for people with disabilities?
- What about the furnishings or decoration? Is this provided or do you have to arrange it yourself?
- Are there extra services such as security, cleaning crew, etc.?
Find catering suited to the event
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – and that’s no different for your guests. No matter how you look at it, people will always expect to be served some food at an event. You can keep it simple with coffee, tea and a sandwich buffet – or go all out with a caterer.
A few things to think about:
- Convenience: are there no tables or seating? Provide something to eat that does not require cutlery and where spilling is not a (big) problem. So, better not serve some tacos.
- Different dietary preferences: try to provide something for everyone, also for those veggies and vegans. Want to make sure everyone is happy? Then a gluten-free/sugar-free option will surely be appreciated too.
- Style: A trendy event calls for a trendy bite. Better opt for a nice food truck instead of a cold standard buffet.
- The effect of the meal: is there an important talk taking place after dinner? Then it is better to choose a healthy and protein-rich snack. This will give your guests energy so that they do not nod off after the meal.
Don’t forget the necessary event marketing
Location arranged, food and drink ordered and everything else that needed to be booked, is booked? Well done! Now it’s time to make sure your target audience shows up – and ideally is really looking forward to it.
Here are a few budget-friendly tips to reach the necessary audience.
- Facebook and LinkedIn events are both free and easy to create and manage. So, create a fun event and share it regularly on all your social media channels.
- Do you have a website? Then it is definitely a good idea to announce it there as well.
- Do you still have a budget left? Maybe you can create a nice, separate event website. The benefit is that you can give special guest speakers their own ‘spot’, including a bio and such. In addition, you can also integrate a registration or ticket module into a website if necessary.
- It may sound strange, but more and more people are not on social media anymore. They do, however, usually have an e-mail address or a post office box. Therefore, think about sending out a digital or a paper invitation as well.
Organising an event in 2021: what do you need to consider?
Since 1 October 2021, safety measures have been relaxed. And that is good news for events: all restrictions for events with up to 500 people inside and 750 people outside have been lifted.
Are you organising an indoor event for more than 500 people? Or are you planning an outdoor event with more than 750 people? Then you can choose to organise an event coronaproof (with respect for the distance rules, hygienic measures, bubbles…) or use the Covid Safe Ticket. Be sure to inform yourself on time about what is required in both cases. More information can be found here.
What measures does Greenhouse take?
The answer? None at all! The largest event spaces we offer have a capacity of up to 250 people. Of course we make sure all the rooms are spotless and ready for you!
Hybrid events: a trend that will last
Hybrid events are, simply said, a mix of live and virtual elements. You organise a live event, complete with audience, location and more – and then add a virtual component. This way, your audience can participate in the event, wherever they are – but you can also ‘host’ guest speakers without them having to be there physically.
In other words: the perfect event to organise in today’s society. And, despite what many people may think, not very difficult to organise. Augmented or virtual reality as a flashy extra is of course nice to offer, but is rarely really expected by your guests. We promise you can perfectly organise a successful hybrid event with accessible technology that does not require years of experience and expertise.
The meeting center in Greenhouse BXL: the perfecte location for your hybrid event
And that accessible technology? We have it inhouse with our good-looking meeting centre in Greenhouse BXL. On top of that, ask our enthusiastic Hospitality Assistant for help and guidance – and your hybrid event will become a great success.
What is included?
- Event rooms for up to 250 people
- Screens with touch function (and touch pen) and sound
- Microphone (only in the Newton-Pasteur)
- Ergonomic (read: very comfortable) furniture
- Lots of daylight
- Fast wifi
- All-in coffee, water and tea
- Catering (on request)
- Support from our Hospitality Assistant: she is there to answer all your questions or address your concerns
- No time to lose before or after the event? Book a seat in our co-working space!
During the event
Five tips for managing the event itself
Everything booked and ready? Then all you have to do now is look forward to the day of your event. Exciting!
Your script is your bible
When it comes to your script, that control freak in you can get loose. Gladly, actually! Write down as clearly as possible what your event will look like – the more detailed, the better! Start from the general programme and then think more deeply: who needs to be ready to receive the guests and where? When should the catering be organised? At what time do you want to brief your team?
A team to lean on
You do not organise an event like this on your own, of course. Make sure you involve all your colleagues in supervising the event and give them clear tasks: you handle the catering, you take care of the guest speakers, and you are responsible for the reception. Contact anyone (including your event partners or suppliers) who you think could play a role in facilitating your event.
Brief clear, short and structured
Logical, but still important to mention: an event can only run smoothly if everyone knows exactly what to do and when. That is only possible with a good briefing where all the details for each person are mentioned. Be sure to include the necessary contact details in the briefing in case something goes wrong and hand out your script. This way, everyone will have those handy guidelines as the day progresses. And, oh yes, keep it short. You don’t want your team to drop out halfway through your monologue.
Rehearsal dinners are not only for weddings
Better safe than sorry, they say. And ‘they’ are right. The day before the event, take the time to visit the location and go through the entire planning. Check sound and image if available and see if the kitchen is perhaps not too far from the venue (if it is, perhaps you should adjust your timings). Look for all the things that could go wrong. Now is the time to think of solutions in advance. You never know.
Get rid of frustration with clear signs
Especially now in post-coronation times, but actually also before that, good signposting at your event is essential. People get frustrated when they get lost – and you only want to welcome happy people! Start with signs at entry points and around your venue. But go further than that: put up signs to the toilets, the various spaces, the reception, the dining area, and so on.
PS: these signs are also a smart way of giving partners or sponsors publicity. Win-win!
And just like that, it’s time to make that event a success.
After the event
Evaluate and learn
Finally, done! Your event became a success and now you can sit back and relax at last. Or… not? Well, not quite (yet):
- Don’t become silent on your online channels. Make yourself heard, thank those who attended and ask for feedback. You can do this via social media – or via a short survey via e-mail, for example. If there are photos and/or videos, it is appropriate to share them. Tag the attendees and – enjoy the memories.
- Gather the figures of the event: how many attendees actually showed up and how many did not? Was there too much or too little food/drink? Was the location too big or too small? Think about everything you spent your budget on and write down what the results were.
- Have you gathered all the statistics you could think of? Great! Now it’s time to put these into a report and share it with everyone who was involved. This information is instructive and quite crucial for the next event.
All done? Then you can finally relax. Congratulations on your – undoubtedly more than successful – event! And, uh… definitely consider Greenhouse as the location for the next edition.
Greenhouse as a partner for your event: 3 locations, 9 event spaces
A bombastic out of the box event with lots of bells and whistles – or rather an intimate occasion for a select audience? At Greenhouse, you can organise events for both and everything in between. After all, we have an interesting range of event locations, each responding to a different need and objective. What our event spaces do have in common:
- Each event space is cleverly designed with attention to ergonomics, technology, air conditioning and sustainability. Comfort first!
- When you book an event space, you can easily combine it with the rental of a meeting room or a co-working seat(s). This way you can combine business with pleasure in no time, without too much fuss.
- Almost each event space is designed with flexibility in mind. All you have to do is tell us what the purpose of your meeting is – and we will (re)design the space in such a way that it fully meets that purpose. A product launch, a company party, a job interview or something else? You ask, we arrange.
- Finally, you can also rely on all our other services when you book one of our event spaces. Think, for example, of qualitative and healthy inhouse catering tailored to your event.
Do you have any other wishes or questions? Do not hesitate to contact our Hospitality Assistants. They will make sure that all your expectations are met.
Are you still looking for a pleasant and inspiring event location for a large or small event in Brussels? Greenhouse BXL has the ideal event spaces, including catering if desired:
- The atrium: the perfect event space to receive guests and to offer them a drink.
- The reception lounge: a beautiful glass room, ideal for events such as receptions, company parties, lunches, …
- Various catering options: Inhouse restaurant The Greenery serves breakfast and lunch dishes to take away or to enjoy on the spot. You can count on ISS for all your tailor-made catering needs, from standard to very extensive. All possible formulas can be found in the Foodbook.
Looking for a comfortable and stylish event location for a large or small event in Antwerp? Greenhouse Antwerp is the place to be:
- The Boardroom: an impressive room with a lounge and bar. Ideal for the most fascinating meetings and/or memorable events.
Try the virtual tour!
- Various catering options: Greenhouse Café, a trendy in-house restaurant, serves breakfast and lunch. Limited in time? In the shop you can choose from fresh takeaway dishes. Catering requests are also taken care of (with great finesse) by the Greenhouse Café team.
Are you still looking for a comfortable and inspiring event location for a large or small event in the Mechelen area? Greenhouse Mechelen has ideal, versatile event spaces for a wide range of events:
- Gastameco: a spacious meeting room with plenty of natural light, ideal for inspiring meetings and/or fascinating events.
- Various catering options: foodtruck, walking dinner or sandwich lunch? Our Hospitality Assistant will be happy to help you find a catering partner in your area.
Want to know more about events at Greenhouse Mechelen? Get in touch with us!
Want to know more about events at Greenhouse?
You can! Gladly, even. The only thing you have to do is contact us and tell us all about the event you have in mind. Together we can look for the perfect event space.