Have a client event on the horizon? Looking to step up your event planning skills? In this week’s Five Things Friday, PC account executive, Jayme shares a few tips for planning a top-notch event. Read on to find out what they are.

1. Establish a theme. I’m not talking about an over-the-top, wear-a-costume, matchy-matchy theme, but your event should have a well-defined overall look and feel. While it’s not a wedding, it should have an established “vibe” and a well-woven theme.

2. Set the flow. Avoid situations that leave your guests and attendees wondering how they should move about the space. Keep an eye on areas that could create a bottleneck, paying close attention to registration queues, sponsorship tables and bar lines.

3. Make engagement a priority. The most memorable events have hands-on activities or presentations that facilitate audience engagement. This may include live art creation onsite, a unique live music performance or a new take on the oh-so-popular photo booth.

4. Be prepared for anything. It’s Murphy’s Law – ‘”anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Prepare for the worst by packing an emergency kit. This may include scissors, duct/gaffers tape, zip ties, a small first aid kit, a pocket knife, sharpies and paper towels. If the “party” is more of a formal presentation or press event, be sure to include extra talking points, media kits and even a back-up laptop or flash drive for any presentation components.

When it comes to preparing for those unexpected emergencies, the key is to be resourceful with what you have access to. I may or may not have used Velcro from back of my Bay Area FastTrak to hold up a client sign for a press conference. In another instance, my laziness in failing to unpack a brand new box of cat litter from my trunk paid off, as it came in clutch for cleaning up vomit during an outdoor event – it’s not all floral agreements and fruity drinks in the event world.

5. Remember your sponsors. If you are dealing with corporate events, sponsors are king. Be sure you are not missing ANY sponsorship deliverables, and thank them during and after the event. Also, remember that they are there to fulfill their own goals and objectives. Be sure you’re aware of what those goals are – sometimes it could be as simple as meeting key people in your industry. Be a pal and facilitate introductions; your sponsors will remember it. In a nutshell: keep ‘em happy – you’ll want them (and their pocketbooks) to come back next year!

We hope you’ll find these tips helpful the next time you need to put those event planning skills to use. What are some of your go-to tips for planning client events? We’d love to hear!