9 Event Planning Tips for Toronto Event Organizers

9 Event Planning Tips for Toronto Event Organizers

I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Toronto is an amazing city.

There’s just so much happening all the time! Just open one of our weekly newspapers to see the extensive number of Toronto events held every day. Theatre, art, music, receptions, festivals… These are the events that make the city feel alive!

But if you’re planning an event and looking for Toronto venues, boy, you’re probably feeling the pressure! We’re familiar with the strain of that never-ending cycle of supply and demand in this city, not to mention other event organizing pressures.

Here are our top tips for organizing an event in Toronto.

1. Toronto Event Planning: Budget

If you’re very experienced at putting on events, you’ve probably learned the hard way that you need to make a water-tight budget.

You need to be crystal clear about all aspects of the budget or things can quickly get out of hand, especially in Toronto. This city gets more expensive every day so you need to know exactly what you have to work with and operate accordingly.

It’s so important to draw up a budget and include every single item that could cost you money. Depending on the type of event, your list might include:

  • Venue Rental
  • Design Costs
  • Marketing/Advertising
  • Decor
  • Catering
  • Entertainment
  • Paypal or Ticket Fees

Most of these line items will also break out into additional line items. For example, the Toronto Venue Rental might include security or cleaning fees, etc.

It’s always a good idea to include a line for Miscellaneous. If you can, try to put aside a little money “just in case” something goes wrong and you need an emergency fund to save the event. All of the little unexpected costs can certainly add up.

Also, be sure to keep track of payment deadlines!

2. Book the Toronto Venue

One of the biggest expenses for a Toronto event is the venue. Even in a city this size, there are only a limited number of venues, and they get booked up fast. If you’re interested in some of the more popular Toronto venues, be forewarned; they’re going to be expensive and also very booked up. If you’re working on a tight budget and under tight timeline then these Toronto event spaces probably aren’t going to work for you.

Thankfully, there are alternatives to these Toronto event venues. And when you combine them with some Toronto event planning tips, you can put on an event to be remembered!

Here at Unique Spaces, we can save the day—and the budget—for your next Toronto event. Check out our listing of unique spaces that are available for rent directly by the owner. Many of the alternative Toronto event spaces that we have listed are much less expensive than the larger and better-known venues across the city. When you book a venue our listings, you’re likely going to get a much more interesting space at a better price! That can free up a lot of room in your budget and save you a giant event planning headache!

3. Give Yourself as Much Lead Time as Possible

Even if you’re looking into unique Toronto event spaces, you still want as much lead time as possible.

The closer to the event date, the more expensive and complicated things can get. Catering, venue, staff… They’re all much more accessible when you can book them months in advance. If at all possible, start your Toronto event plans as early as you can, and that should start by securing the Toronto venue.

4. Send Out a Save the Date Announcement (as Early As Possible)

Another reason why you want to plan your event as far in advance as possible is to give your attendees time to arrange their schedules. If you spring an event on someone just a week ahead of time, in a busy city like Toronto, they’ll likely already have plans. But if you invite them months before, they can put it in their calendar, guaranteeing their attendance!

Depending on the type of event, you’ll want to get out a “save the date” email, mail invitation, or Facebook event as early as possible to put the event on your guests’ radars. You don’t have to have the event planned yet, you just need the date and hopefully the venue. Then you can update people with more information later, as the date approaches.

5. Toronto Event Planning: Build A Great Team

Depending on the size and type of event, you may need any of the following roles covered:

  • Director/Producer
  • Volunteer/Staff Coordinator
  • Registration/Tickets
  • Decorations/Creative
  • Marketing & Promotions
  • Guest Liaison & Hospitality
  • Security
  • Garbage/Cleaning
  • Roadie/Logistics
  • Travel Liaisons
  • Fundraising
  • Sponsorship
  • Treasurer
  • Stage Manager
  • Etc.

If you’re hiring a Toronto Event Planner, they might cover some or all of this for you. It just depends on what type of event you’re hosting. Just remember: great people are your biggest asset when it comes to throwing a terrific event

6. Equip Yourself with the Right Tools

Nowadays, there are so many great organizational tools to help you with your event planning. From ticketing apps like EventsFrame and EventBrite, to Google Drive and Dropbox for organizing files, to communication apps and project management software, the right tools will make your life so much easier!

7. Make Your Toronto Event Unique

Besides choosing a unique Toronto venue, decide how else you can make your event special. What can you do to give the event character and create a valuable guest experience? Think about the theme, the talent or artists, the decor (a lot of our venues are pretty darn cool without any decorations), the food, and the overall schedule of events. What can you do to give your event character?

8. Walk Through the Event Schedule to Consider All Possibilities

Finally, it’s essential to have a detailed understanding of how the event should flow from start to finish on the big day. What is the minute by minute plan for set up, arrival, check-in, the event itself, clean up. Walk through all of the details to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Even if you’re running a small event on your own, talk yourself through the full event day and write down everything involved.

Don’t forget about delegating responsibilities. Make sure that everyone involved understands exactly what they’re responsible for and that they all have the tools and information they need to pull it off.

9. Enjoy your Event!

Even if you follow all of these tips, you’re still probably going to experience a bit of stress. It just goes with the territory! But once the event is finally in action, take a moment to enjoy the fruits of your labour!

Whether you’re an independent organizer or a Toronto event planner, here at Unique Spaces we appreciate the incredible amount of work you put into your events. That’s why we want to help, and facilitating the search for a unique Toronto venue is something we’re really proud of. If you’d like to browse the Toronto event spaces we currently have on offer, please visit our listings page. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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