by DeskDemon


Planning events is major responsibility, and one that few people accomplish successfully on their first try. However, as an administrative assistant, your job may depend on your ability to plan and organize events such as seminars or other meetings in a clean, professional and efficient manner. There is often no time – or room – for error in these types of circumstances, so always factor in the following tips and tricks to have a successful event planning track record from day one.

1.    Always read the contract – and be ready to refuse to sign

Many people sign contracts with hotels, caterers and other service providers without fighting for the terms that meet their needs. This can be because the service providers exert pressure on you to go ahead and sign, then work out the details later, or because they are concerned about being rude. Always remember, once you put ink to paper, you are obligated to fulfill the requirements of the contract even if you do not like them – and the service provider is under no obligation to work anything out with you after you sign. Major pitfalls include guaranteeing rooms and paying a set price “per head” when it comes to food and drink. You can make that contract say anything you want, so do not be afraid to negotiate aggressively to save yourself money in the long- and short-term.

2.    Book your event to suit your budget

If it is not vitally important to have the event on a given date, try to work around the dates that are in major demand. You can often get serious discounts on rooms and meeting facilities if you have the option of booking last minute or if you can steer around the “busy season” so that the facilities and service providers need you more than you need them.

3.    Make things easy for the participants

Long after people have forgotten what type of food you provided or the flowers and mints on the tables, they will remember the ease and comfort of the meeting experience you provided. Work with the local convention and visitor’s bureau to get maps of transit options and other informational flyers to provide to guests to make sure that they know what entertainment is available to them and also how to get around the general area.

The ability to plan and execute a successful event is fairly uncommon in the business world. However, by using these tips and your own common sense, you will soon find that the process can be smooth and even enjoyable.