Live events have the potential to go wrong, because they depend on factors which cannot be totally controlled! Everything from the weather to warfare can disrupt plans and change priorities. The chances of such dramatic effects are very slim, but there are plenty of more common threats that can and should be managed through proper event planning and preparation. We hope that sharing our experiences will help when you are planning and managing your events.
We believe it is beneficial to apply the same planning and operating standards to all our client services including incentive travel programmes, product launches, international conferences, corporate team building events and bespoke corporate hospitality, in the UK and around the world.
Using ROI Methodology to define clear objectives for all our clients’ business communication activities ensures the best possible outcome every time. Disciplined planning and results measurement help us to focus on each vital element and to improve the prospects of success. Our clients’ relationships with employees, channel partners and customers are enhanced by live interaction. The event itself must allow for maximum audience participation and involvement.
We have summarised responsible event management in these seven steps. Of course, reality has a habit of getting in the way and we must always be prepared to deal with the unexpected!
STEP 1 Agree the event purpose and specification
Define clearly and unambiguously what results you want from the event. Event ROI Methodology recognises that the primary objective of any live event is to change behaviour. How you intend to change behaviour is what determines the content of the event. The audience profile, brand values, market conditions and business relationships are among the factors to be considered.
STEP 2 Research all options and produce the detailed event plan
This is where “creativity” is allowed to flourish. Original ideas are harder to find than we like to admit, but keeping an open mind often reveals exciting new possibilities. Retaining a focus on the event purpose at all times is essential during this development phase. The event budget is a major feature of the planning process, but value for money is always more important. The desire to always “do better” than the last event, may detract from the true purpose of the next one.
STEP 3 Negotiate with event suppliers
The basis of successful negotiation could be described as a “win-win” outcome. A supplier who has reluctantly agreed to reduce their price or change their product/service specification will be less committed to your success than one who has fully consented to the deal!
STEP 4 Reconfirm the event specification and obtain client approval
This is the opportunity to carefully review the plan, before making contractual commitments.
STEP 5 Book all event supplier services
Check all contracts and ensure they meet the original specification, before signing. Reconfirm the timeline of actions leading up to the event and cross check with all team members and contractors.
STEP 6 Orchestrate the live event
Important aspects of successful event management are:
- Tact, patience, trust and respect for every event team member, including service partners
- Clear communication, briefing and updating on requirements at all stages
- Precise product quality definitions and service standard descriptions
- Consultation with the sponsor and other stakeholders at key times during the event
- Issuing a detailed working document to all team members
- Ensuring every team member knows their part and is fully equipped to perform it
- Having a contingency plan that has been approved by the sponsor and can be implemented in agreed circumstances without delay and with minimum disruption.
STEP 7 Conduct a full event debrief
The Event ROI methodology provides us with a proven formula for measuring results against the original objectives. The de-brief provides the opportunity to learn and to pursue a policy of continuous improvement.
Although we take our responsibilities seriously, we never forget that events can be fun too! The job can be exhausting but the rewards are worth it, for us and our clients.