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When you read SOP your eyes probably started glazing over or suddenly felt stressed out. SOP’s can affect employees like that easily, but it doesn’t have to be.

I started my career as an event planner with an SOP. The funny thing is I did not even know what it was called, I just knew I had a task list and it helped me make sure I had everything completed before an event.

Before my event, I would print off a task list, complete the event, update the list, save it, and then carry onto my next event. Over the years I have updated and updated and streamlined and the list has grown longer, but very specific.

My largest event of the year, which is coming in July, is just a mere 13 pages. It takes a team and about four months to prepare for the event. The event will be a Tuesday through Friday and will host close to 8,000 people. So, that is not an easy or quick event to slap together. It takes months of prep work and you must have an SOP to go by.

Now, if you are an event planner, or even starting as one, I would highly suggest you have SOP’s set for events. Start simple and then expound and get specific as you go. I will give an example of how I start mine.

  • Event Dates
  • Event Theme/Title/Director/Department/Owner Of Event
    • 3 months before get with a graphics designer to create themed graphics to promote on the website/social media/mailouts/ email campaigns.
  • Send confirmation letter to all speakers. Include hotel confirmation numbers, ask about food sensitivities, travel arrangements, if the family will be traveling with them, will they rent a vehicle or need a chauffeur, if flying ask for flight arrangements in advance for reimbursement,
  • Create Headquarter Hotel Block – Contact Hotel Manager – create 2 blocks -1 secret block for me and one block for participants. My block -names are only allowed on that block If emailed over on a housing list.
  • Catering – contact caterer. – set menu – determine how many meals per day and how many guests for each meal. Have a host with the menu and guestlist for each meal. (I typically have a host couple welcoming guests with a copy of the menu and guest list. They check off each guest and tell me who was or wasn’t there and if extra last-minute special guests were invited to attend).
  • Decor & Floral Arrangements – I tend to stay classic with white flowers and greenery. You can never go wrong with classic touches. However, I love to mix decor up and go tropical in the Summer or bright colors for Spring. Three Pro Tips: 1) if you have a night event and need to use the flowers later on in the week, have the florist pick the flowers up and keep them in their cooler until your event. It may cost but saves in the long run. 2) save your vases and reuse them. I’ve kept vases for years and reuse them over. I have even purchased unique candles over the years and have saved the holders and now use them as floral arrangements. 3) have several vases starting to leak? Take them to your florist and have a silk arrangement made. Have a specific vision when you go and a good florist can make a fake flower look real. So real I’ve had people try to water my silk arrangements.

This is just the start and then I go much more specific as each event goes. Some events or heads or speakers do not like staying at certain hotels, want certain foods, or need certain accommodation.

Be on the lookout for more posts on events soon! Have a question or need your event planned? Leave a message or send an email to heather@thevirtualbusinesssolution.com.

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