“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Nowhere is this more true than in event planning, but you’d be surprised how many people forget some vital aspect of the project, only to remember three days before the event…
Experienced, professional printers like Automation Graphics are familiar with events in each stage of the process, and we can help you navigate through the myriad of choices which must be made for your event to be a success.
There’s three stages of planning—distance, approaching, and imminent—and the more you get done in the “distance” phase, the more you can accomplish for less money.
But before you even recruit us for your event, you need to sit down and think about what you actually need for the event you’re in charge of. We can make suggestions, but it’s great if you have an idea of what you require so we have a baseline to work with.
First of all, what kind of an event is it? A birthday party? A campaign speech? A thank-you bash for donors? Each event will require different items and different sorts of promotion.
For example, think about how you want to tell people about the event. A party will require custom invitations for individual people; campaign speeches are much less exclusive and should probably be considering postcards in the thousands for a specific area. The thank-you bash is somewhere in between, with higher-quality personalized invitations to the donors and a mass invitation to the overall organization.
From there, you’ve got other choices you need to make, but the point is, you have to seriously consider and make a list of what you need. If you’re having trouble, feel free to come on in to Automation Graphics; we can help you figure out what exactly it is you should be considering.
Named for its ‘distance’ from the event date, this stage is long-term planning for your event, months or even a year in advance of the actual event itself. In this stage, you can set your request for Automation Graphics, including deadlines and proposed design ideas.
This is also the time when you’ll want those invitations we mentioned earlier printed. The sooner you let people know that your event is happening, the better.
What we suggest is two batches of invitations, the same way many wedding planners do it: one quick “save the date!” sort of invitation, like a postcard or magnet, with a more formal and detailed invitation to follow.
While it requires a tad more coordination, you’ll more likely to have more people at your event, which is what you need for it to be successful.
Consider piggy-backing advertising for future events on current advertising. We know of one community theatre which added the coming attractions schedule to the back of a postcard advertising a currently-running movie.
Maybe a month or so out from the event date, this stage is when a lot of that pre-planning comes to fruition. The event is fast approaching, and it’s time to step up and get more items printed!
This is when you want banners hung! Your flyers sent! Your posters, uh, posted! Time for everyone to move this event from the back burner to the forefront of their minds.
Along with these visual reminders, you should build the anticipation in various creative ways. One church holding its 60th anniversary gala gave free t-shirts and coffee mugs to church visitors with the date of the celebration printed on it. A hair salon passed out gift certificates for a free consultation to friends and family of current clients, only redeemable at their annual hair show.
The point of this stage is to cement commitments from people to attend the event, and Automation Graphics can help you devise clever strategies to grab and keep their attention.
Here is where many people start planning for their event, believe it or not, but since you’re working with Automation Graphics, you’re already way ahead of the competition. Those other guys will be struggling to find enough plates for everyone, whereas you will be coolly rearranging your stack of custom-ordered napkins for the most striking impact.
Really, all of your needs should be covered by this stage, but no matter how well you plan, something will come up. A friend who promised to print the programs for you for free gets the copier jammed. You added more seats and need more tickets to sell. A hurricane and tsunami both crash into your living room, sweeping away all of the gift bags you’d planned to give away at the end of the night.
Whatever the issue, Automation Graphics can resurrect your event from potential disaster with rush printing and delivery available. Plus, we’ve been working with you from the start, so we know exactly what it is you need.