When kids head back to school and leaves begin to change, the first reaction many have is, “Summer flew by, now it’s time to get back to work.” In the Midwest, it’s easy to bounce quickly between spending as much time outdoors as possible (Summer), and becoming a recluse (Winter). Somewhere between those seasons we have Easter and pumpkin spice latte season. While it feels like only a minute, some of Chicagoland’s best weather and outdoor events occur in the Fall, and as a leading event fence rental company in the Chicago area, we’re proud to serve a variety of communities throughout Chicagoland, southern Wisconsin, and northwest Indiana as they launch harvest festivals, 5k runs, and a variety of creative and family-friendly events. We’ve seen first-hand what makes a successful event and team, here are some of our takeaways.
Know the ‘Why’ Behind Your Event
All of your branding, activities, and fundraising stems from this one question. If you know why you’re throwing the event, it’s easy to cast the vision and identify event champions. What do you want your guests to experience? What should their takeaway be? With the hope of event growth, what will the ‘buzz’ be?
Build A Winning Team
Whether it’s staff-led or a group of volunteers, recruit people based on character traits, and if necessary, develop their skills. For example, you want a people person working on inviting event sponsors and asking for donations, not focused on spreadsheets. The reserved but diligent worker can focus on framing out an event map or prepping for set-up. One more thought on your team: this can—and should—include key vendors such as tent rental and your local fence rental shops.
Plan Your Budget
Your budget should include everything from permits, to rentals, to security (hiring off-duty police may be required), to publicity, and volunteer & staff care. This is the time to get into the weeds and put together the ideal budget, then depending on available funds, trim the vision to fit the budget.
Create a Promotion Strategy
Think outside the box—create content that builds a buzz so you don’t need to spend as much on advertising costs. Get your event listed on as many Websites and community bulletin boards as possible. If you have personality or corporate sponsors, ask them to co-promote through their channels, from press releases to radio spots.
Fall is a beautiful time of year in the Midwest, and there’s no better time to plan an outdoor event.