08th April, 2016
From meetings and conferences to exhibitions, festivals, and fairs, the end-to-end management of an event is crucial to its success. Whether you are entertaining ten guests or 10,000 a keen attention to detail and scrupulous organisation will ensure that everything goes with a bang!
Bath & West Showground Events Coordinator extraordinaire, Sarah Case offers top tips for the planning and the delivery of your event.
You can never have too much of it! Larger events need a good eight or nine months of planning, but smaller events will go swimmingly with no more than a couple of months preparation. It seems obvious but make sure your venue is booked as early as possible and that any other contracts are nailed at least a month before.
Retro-planning is a great technique – begin your planning with the day of the event and work back from there. Put together a comprehensive list of every required task, allocate responsibility and set a deadline for each action. Build Plan B scenarios in so that you are prepared for any eventuality on the day!
Just because you have the budget doesn’t mean you need to spend it! Don’t be afraid to negotiate with contractors for their services and ensure that you are clear on exactly what you need from them. There’s a high level of competition in the events services market so use that to your advantage. Always keep some contingency in your budget as you never know what might crop up!
Effective delegation within your team can be the difference between a good event and a fantastic one. Designate different strands of the project to colleagues – defined responsibilities will empower your team while mitigating the chance of things ‘slipping through the net’.
Social & digital media are essential tools for planners allowing them to not only advertise the events but to build and develop deeper, long-term relationships with their guests. The list of methods and techniques is vast but you should look to use Facebook Events, dedicated custom Twitter hashtag, and Facebook check-ins at a minimum
No matter how comprehensive your planning event-day is always exciting and things invariably crop up! Having a ‘bible’ of the itinerary, contacts, map etc will be a boon when you need info on the spot.
Talk & Walk
Having a complete ‘talk through’ ahead of event-day will allow you and your team to identify any last minute snags. Also, arrange a ‘walk through’ at the venue at least a few days before to iron those last few creases out.
Nothing sells an event like an event! Make sure that you take lots of photos to extend the event experience for guests and to create collateral for promoting the next one. Use pics as a part of your social media strategy by uploading them and allowing guests to tag themselves.
And nothing helps an event like an event! Try to gather feedback while the experience is still fresh in the minds of your guests and feed this into the planning for your next one.