On the scale of complexity, government events are a close second to destination festivals. Not only do they require keeping track of all the usual details (like budget, venue, and vendors), they also require surefooted navigation of the rules and regulations surrounding them.
But underneath their more formal exterior, government events are just like any other type of event — created to provide attendees with a great experience. Specializing in them just means you need to be adept at letting your creativity flourish in stricter parameters.
Want to make sure nothing gets overlooked when planning your next government event? The steps in this checklist can help.
Government event planning step 1: Establish goals and objectives
What’s the purpose of your event? How many people do you want to attend in person? How much profit do you want to make? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself and your stakeholders from the get-go.
Tip: Make sure your objectives are measurable and concrete so you can prove the value of your event.
Government event planning step 2: Put together a budget
A rough budget is key to determining whether your event and its goals are feasible or not — especially when you’re planning a government event. If you can, borrow figures from past similar events you have done and fill in the holes with educated guesses.
Don’t forget to plan for the unexpected either. Have a contingency figure in your budget to provide a buffer, just in case you might need to add to your A/V order or if speaker fees are higher than expected.
Tip: Once you have a working doc in place, update the budget as you move forward. Tracking everything is critical to staying on budget as you go, so be sure to update it regularly.
Government event planning step 3: Select a date
This may seem straightforward, but finding a date can be a logistical challenge. Unless your event is on a specific holiday (New Year’s Eve, July 4th), the date you choose will greatly depend on the availability of your venue, speakers, caterers, and more. That’s why the sooner you can start planning your event, the better.
Tip: Start at least six months before your event. Choose two dates: an optimal and second best for a backup, in case you hit a snag.
Government event planning step 4: Choose a theme
Your theme sets the tone for your whole event. While you might be limited to what colors and graphics you can use, subtly reinforcing your theme through your catering and venue can be even more memorable.
Tip: The key to choosing your event theme is to pick a one that resonates with your audience and the message your event sends to them.
Government event planning step 5: Choose a venue
Before you start looking at venues, you need to answer a few important questions. What geographic area is best for your event? How many people will be attending? Do you need to provide WiFi? Once you’ve got those requirements in place, you can begin your search.
Tip: A unique venue, when possible, can provide a memorable and customizable space that you can use in different ways.
Government event planning step 6: Secure sponsors
Sponsors can help pad your budget and provide extra experiences for your attendees that you otherwise might not be able to afford. But just like finding the perfect venue, you’ll want to start your search months in advance.
Tip: If you’re not sure how to get started, make a list of your ideal sponsors to guide your outreach efforts. For a more thorough guide to sponsorship, check out this free guide.
Government event planning step 8: Set your PR strategy
Public relations or PR is a vital part of any event promotion strategy. For government events, publications that target your city’s community are especially important. Once you know which media outlets are most likely to cover your event, you can create compelling PR assets.
Tip: Great PR does not stop when the event begins. Build a long-term relationship with press contacts by giving them complimentary access to your event.
Government event planning step 8: Choose a trusted event solution
Event management software is essential to your success. In addition to selling tickets and registrations online, consider using technology that doesn’t require training to use and adheres to payment processing security standards.
And if you’re hosting events for the U.S federal government, it also helps to work with a provider that meets General Services Administration (GSA) requirements — like Eventbrite.
Ready to set up your next government event? Get up and running on Eventbrite in minutes.