A detailed event concept is crucial if you want to create a unique and memorable experience that leaves a positive and significant impression in people’s minds. There are a number of factors that need to be at the forefront of your consideration when creating an concept: to achieve your objectives and, ideally, to exceed your guests’ expectations.

The concept contains information on the goals you want to achieve with your event. It explains how you are planning to achieve them and who is involved (team & stakeholders). The concept also establishes, where the event is to take place, how long it will last, how much it will cost, and what external factors you have to consider at the implementation stage. Your event concept is a roadmap and creative guide which helps you keep track of the planning process, execution and post-event evaluation. Below, our Event Inc experts tell you what it takes to create a meaningful event concept. They expleain how the concept should be structured, and give other useful tips for your idea generation and goal definition process.

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General Information

Who needs an event concept?

There is no legal requirement to prepare a detailed concept when planning an event. That said, organising an event is an intricate job and can really only be a success if it is based on a properly thought-out concept. This means that whoever is planning an event of a certain scale would benefit hugely from an event concept; particularly decision-makers that are hoping to achieve specific objectives. The concept brings structure and clarity, along with helping you manage post-event evaluation.  An event agency or an in-house event manager can assist you with it.

Why is preparing an event concept important?

At the end of the conceptualisation process you should have a unique event layout. The event concept lists the individual elements that are relevant to the production of the event. However, the question remains, why is it so important, to have an event concept? By outlining the initial ideas, you literally “brought them to paper”, so they start to take a more concrete shape.

In most cases, this is the stage when you begin to understand which tasks need to be managed at which stage of the planning process. The event concept allows you to bring order and structure from the start and as an event planner, you can start putting your ideas into action. The overall goal is to create an immersive brand experience in a striking venue. Scouting for locations that suit your brand, arranging site viewings and finalising the booking process are subgoals that only become apparent while the event concept takes shape.

The concept gives you an overview of all the tasks involved in the production of the event. It ensures that important contractual deadlines such as payment deadlines do not get missed amongst, what is likely to be, a long list of tasks.

When do I start working on my event concept?

The event itself is only a small part of the planning process, so it is vital to start creating the concept as early as possible. The timing and scope depend on the type and scale of the event. The bigger and more spectacular the event, the earlier you should start planning it and involving all members of the team.

Event Concept – An Exemplary Layout

There are no set rules, but all concepts tend to follow a certain form. Depending on the nature and the scale of the event there are different approaches to the layout. However, the following points are essential to your event concept:

  • key considerations (initial situation, objectives, occasion, date, timeline, sustainability etc.)
  • cover sheet (organiser, event name, date of concept creation, agency/ person in charge)
  • objectives and target audience
  • the central message you want to convey
  • preliminary considerations / idea generation
  • main creative concept of the event (e.g. mission, theme)
  • agenda (timetable)
  • content/details of implementation: invitation process or announcement of the event, supporting programme, etc.
  • associated services, e.g. location, catering, artists, event technology, hotels, transport, decoration, logistics, etc.
  • accompanying communication (e.g. promotion, PR-efforts, social media)
  • budgeting / costing
  • timing incl. milestones (important tasks within the planning process from the time of the presentation to the actual event)
  • post-processing, evaluation, reporting

How to structure your event concept

The event concept – from setting the objective and analysing requirements to the production of the event itself and accounting – follows the basic principles of project management. Give yourself sufficient time to draw up the time schedule and allocate responsibilities to the members of the team. As smaller teams tend to form, especially when working on big events, there can be a lack of overall coordination. A graph visualising activities brings clarity to the potential confusion of tasks, contacts and people in charge. It is the project manager’s job to ensure that decisions are coordinated and inconsistencies avoided. 

A structured schedule with milestones is an essential tool for the visualisation of sub-goals. This helps you keep important deadlines with contractors. A detailed budget/cost projection is a vital part of your concept. Regular team meetings must be held to share status updates, present milestones and communicate adjustments. 

Checklists will help you keep track of completed tasks and outstanding items.

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Essential Elements Of Any Event Concept

The Briefing

Before any event, and even before you start creating the actual concept, a well-structured proposal of all the key points should be prepared for the decision-maker in charge of the event. Following on from this, the event concept can be drafted.

Define your goals and target group

Many events fall short because their goals are not sufficiently considered and communicated. What are you looking to accomplish with your event? Quantitative factors can be to boost sales or to increase market share, customer acquisition, brand awareness, or even employee motivation. Qualitative factors may be to activate your target audience and reach them on an emotional level, generate a positive media response or convey an impactful, memorable message. In general, it makes sense at the planning stage, to plan the event in reverse so that goals and priorities become clear. Furthermore, goals should be measurable and recorded in a table structure. A very basic, but useful table can consist of the following parameters: goal – relevant for – target value. 

Defining your target audience is an equally important part of the process. Once you have a clear idea of your target audience you can begin to devise an adequate event concept. You should begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Which group of people is a potential or current buyer of the product/ user of the service?
  2. What is the relationship between the target audience and the company?
  3. How can I gain their attention? Who do I want to engage with the event?

Event themes

Once your objectives have been defined and all other key points and benchmarks are confirmed, you can start developing the idea or the theme of the event. The main goal is to create a USP (unique selling proposition). Here are some useful questions to consider at this stage of the process:

  1. What sets this event apart from others?
  2. How can I make the brand features an integral focus of the event?
  3. Is the idea viable (financially)?

You should closely link all aspects of the event programme to the event theme. They should run like a thread through the event and tie everything together. The chosen theme should not be restricted to the main event. It should extend to the invites, the marketing and all follow-up activities. That way you can intrigue your audience’s curiosity pre-event and bring back memories of a special experience after.

Top-tip: Bring the brand to life and allow your audience to immerse themselves in it. Create an experience rather than overwhelming people with information. A simple message that people experience across all of their senses will be remembered forever.

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The questions:

  1. How was the event received by your target audience?
  2. Were the objectives defined in the event concept achieved?

To get answers to these questions, it is imperative that you have properly defined your objectives at the beginning of the process. If you sufficiently defined and categorised your objectives, you can expect your evaluation to be beneficial. In order to evaluate your qualitative goals, we recommend doing a survey after the event, collecting feedback, comparing the results with previous events and analysing social media responses. For the quantitative goals, you need to calculate your target values, e.g. revenue generated from ticket sales or a rise in sales. The internal evaluation of the event will enable you to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for future events. 

Event Concept – The Bottom Line

Creating an event concept requires significant effort, human resources and investment. A structured concept is essential to the planning of the event because it helps you stay on top of things and remain within the budget. Once completed, the concept should give you a unique event layout. The event message should be lodged firmly in the heads of your target audience. Important parameters are the objectives and the theme of the event. The details of the event concept depend on the scale and the objectives of the event, however, it will always be based around the same structure.

Do you need help finding the right venue for your event? Event Inc offers individual consultations free of charge.

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