21 May What makes a successful event?
Every events management company will have different strategies which work for them. The size of your organization or your geography will determine the kind of tactics needed to manage an amazing event for your client. Personally, while I lead a small dynamic team, we stand out for pushing boundaries and enhancing maneuverability amongst our client base. This is critical, especially to ensure rapid responses in a fast-moving industry.
Teamwork makes the dream work
As clichéd as it may sound, you cannot plan a killer event without a fully cohesive team. Naturally, the manager must exhibit people management skills to motivate each member, no matter what role, to channel their efforts into every stage of planning. From a core leadership team who can delegate tasks appropriately, a well-organized event can blossom! Event leaders should communicate well to wider organizations to attract willing volunteers to take on specific roles and then manage all team members effectively. Expectations should be aligned, and proper progress management is key to success.
It’s a risky business
Speaking from experience, the main thing to remember is that it’s unrealistic to expect an event to run smoothly from start to finish. But, it is possible to minimize risks and manage outcomes appropriately as and when things don’t go to plan. Throughout the planning process, it is important to consider these factors:
- Date clashes: does your event clash with any other significant dates in the diaries of your potential guests? If so, this could seriously limit attendance, so pick your date carefully!
- Lead time sufficiency: how long do you really need to set aside for planning for your event to flourish? Some events may need weeks; others may need a year or more.
- Availability of resources: such as facilities, caterers, human resources, equipment and, most importantly, budget.
- Environmental impact: for example, noise pollution, additional road traffic, adequate waste management and community impact.
- Health and safety: even the lowest risk events will need to adhere to health and safety policies and have to be signed off to go ahead.
- Financial risks: unfortunately some events incur a loss – manage the finances and budget well and you won’t need to worry about this!
Conducting a feasibility study can help the event manager identify the risks and benefits and the issues that must be resolved in order to successfully execute the event.
Those who prepare, prosper
If you get the opportunity, it’s a good idea to attend networking events regularly and be purposeful with the people you interact with – it could add valuable names to your guest list. Taking the time to invest in online platforms, particularly building a strong social media presence, can only work in your favor because it gives you a podium from which you can shout about your company!
Client consultation and the management of their expectations are particularly important. What do you both expect to gain from this event? Working out a budget that matches the client’s visions can be challenging, but offering more realistic options to reach the same agreed goals will contribute towards a successful event and a trusting relationship.
Extensive research will go far in event planning. Knowing your client’s precise target audience, their business goals and their reputation will ensure you engage the right people. After identifying which group the event will appeal to, focus all your efforts on them. There is little point reaching out to an audience that isn’t relevant to your client’s interests.
Tangible success? CHECK ☑
Your numerous color-coded checklists will be your best friend and saving grace. Knowing your deadlines (and everyone else’s) is vital and will ensure you never get caught out. Building a contact database long before the event is a great idea to guarantee you have the details of your attending media, guests and vendors. This should form part of your strategic planning process before considering managing operations.
The main event
Deciding on a core focus of your event is key and will depend on your client’s expectations. Whatever the focus is, it’s crucial to stick to it. A wavering plan is a recipe for disaster: keep to your original, agreed objectives where possible, and if a new opportunity is too good to miss, go back to the plan and carefully measure against the budget and goals.
It’s not over yet!
It’s extremely tempting to breathe a sigh of relief once the last guest is out the door and the lights are out. But, the days and weeks following the event are perhaps the most important in making a lasting impression. Delaying the follow-up is a common mistake: while the hype is still in the air and the fond memories are fresh, you are most likely to obtain the best information from your guests. Even those who couldn’t attend but expressed an interest should be contacted during the follow-up. This will all contribute to establishing sustainable relationships for your client and therefore the success of your next event!
So, what’s the secret to Verve’s success? Well, I can’t tell you that..! But what I can say is that event planning is a true skill, for all the reasons highlighted above. It’s not just about booking a venue and sending a few invitations. Pulling off a show-stopping event requires an excellent (and carefully managed) client relationship, creativity and military precision. Combinations of these, plus perseverance, are what makes a great event planner!
Keen to find out more on how you can execute your event successfully? Simply leave me a message, or comment below.