Top tips for excellent events
It’s brilliant that in-person events are returning to our calendars. But our expectations for the events and gatherings we choose has risen and not just any get-together will do. We expect our events to be high quality, with the potential to ignite and grow REAL social connections.
Here are some tried-and-tested tips for before, during and after the event to help you on your path to hosting glory. (We’ll happily accept baked goods as a thank you.)
🤓 Prep yourself
Being a host is very rewarding but might feel a little intimidating at first. Making sure you feel prepped on the agenda for the event and are confident and ready to lead will help you take control of the group. This will, in turn, help your attendees feel relaxed and safe. Take deep breaths, read through your task list and channel your inner Nigella (the ultimate host) You’ve got this.
Keep a check on things like weather, travel strikes, plagues of sharks falling from the sky or other issues that might affect your event. Be sure to communicate any changes to plans as soon as you possibly can. Remember, there are things that even you (the hosting champ) can’t control so stay calm and polite if anything goes wrong and communicate any plans or decisions clearly.
👩🏼🤝🧑🏻 See who’s coming
Knowing who’s coming to your event and how to give them the best experience possible is the secret to social success. Speak to your guests before the event to see if they have any accessibility challenges or needs that you might be able to help them with. Things to look for are new attendees, attendees with physical or cognitive challenges or people attending alone. Being aware of the individual needs of the people in your group is important so you can check in with those who might need more attention regularly as well as balancing your time between the other attendees.
🤡 Make yourself easy to find
If you’re meeting your attendees somewhere public use What3Words to give them an exact point to meet at. Try to wear an item of clothing or an accessory that makes you stand out and let your guests know what to look for (full sequin suits get extra points). Make sure attendees have a way to contact you on the day for any last-minute delays or cancellations.
🤝 Instigate social connections
Sometimes your attendees will need a bit of help to get to know each other. Here are some things that you can do to help build connections and in return feel all warm and fuzzy:
Buddy up attendees with each other before or during the event
Introduce someone to the group with an interesting fact about them
Invite new attendees to meet each other more casually before the event
If you’re attending an event that is low on social interaction (i.e the ballet) it’s a good idea to invite everyone to meet in a social environment, like a pub, before
🤗 Make sure everyone is included
Groups can be a difficult place to get a word in if you’re not the loudest. Here are some tips for what to say if the conversation is becoming dominated.
to someone dominating the conversation; "That's a great point, [name] - what do other people think?"
to someone being particularly quiet; "[Name], do you have any thoughts or questions you'd like to share?"
🙏 Thank everyone
Sending an email to everyone that came to thank them for taking part is a nice way to round things off, get feedback (don’t be scared, you nailed it) and invite them to your next gathering.
📅 Make it regular
Meeting with the same people on a regular basis to do something fun is good for mental health, well-being and feelings of belonging. You’re literally a superhero.