Managing an event is straightforward, right?
Hire a space, order a few trays of sandwiches and get Neill from Accounts to do his Elvis routine – he even has a sparkly jumpsuit!
Ok, that is probably the worst possible situation, but at the same time, we’ve all been to that event – whether it is a product launch, a corporate away day, whatever – that has fallen completely flat, and left a bad impression.
Luckily, that is easy to avoid, and planning an event that goes smoothly and is still talked about for months after – in a good way of course – is easier than you may think, especially if you consider these 5 event management tips!
- Start Early!
The number one tip to take away from this article is to start effective planning early! Nothing has the potential to derail an event more than simply not leaving enough time to plan and having to rush.
Not only that, the more in advance you plan the cheaper you will find it to hire space, organise food, etc. Remember companies who supply to events can smell desperation, and if they know you are hiring last minute, they will be less likely to offer deals and discounts – why would they, if you’re desperate?
Set your budget early, be realistic and take that figure with you into every negotiation. If this is the first event you’ve planned, prepare to be a little more flexible with the budget. It’s also a good idea to get multiple quotes so that you can compare prices effectively.
Whatever your budget is, don’t go straight into meetings and negotiations starting at that figure. Start 15% or even 20% below your actual budget, so you have some wiggle room in negotiations.
- Plan B
If you go into the event assuming that everything will go smoothly, then you are going to be in for a surprise!
The bigger the event, the more pieces are in play that can fail. You can’t have a backup plan for each and every element of the event. However, it will pay dividends if you take a little time to identify the key items of the event and have back-up plans should the worse happen.
For example, if you plan an outdoor event, do you have an alternative in case the weather turns against you?
- Put it in Someone else’s Hands
Naturally, it will depend on the size of your event and the budget you have to work with, however sometimes the best advice is simply to take notes of your strengths and weaknesses – and pass the baton to a professional if that makes more sense!
Look for a company who will take over all large parts of the planning – in the case of a foreign-based event, you need a company who will organise the space, accommodation, dining, even flights – Prague Eventery for example have a comprehensive list of the services they offer which is a great place to start for event management that is smooth, straightforward and really makes a good impression.
- Learn from it!
Finally, the very best way to learn is by experience. However, during the event itself, you may be too busy to really take a wider view of what is going on, what is working and what isn’t.
Therefore, to really get an idea of what is happening, consider a little post-event questionnaire. These could be small cards left on tables at the event, or it could be a simple email you send in the days after. Just a few simple questions, a comments box and a promise that it will all be in confidentially will get you a decent idea of the success of your event.