By Kate Brookes-Smith
In order to create the perfect event you are going to need exceptional organizational skills and rigid attention to detail. If, on the day, everything goes according to plan, you can be pretty sure that all the time and hard work that you have put into it will go unnoticed … but if something goes wrong, your job could be on the line!
To be the best event manager you will need to be able to demonstrate, to some extent, all of the following:
Director – bring expertise together to achieve success
Be Creative – imaginative and innovative
Project manager – planning, controlling, eye for detail
Critical thinker – ability to synthesise, evaluate and make clear decisions
Communicator and “networker” – motivator, empathiser and in-tune with clients and customers
If you cannot fulfil all of these roles, make sure that you build a team around you that between them has all these abilities.
Here are some great tips to ensure a seamless event:
Start early – Never underestimate the time it takes to get all the pieces of the puzzle in place. At least 3-4 months for a large event and 2-3 for a smaller event.
You must have the ability to coordinate not only yourself, but the entire team working on the event. It’s all about planning, re-planning and scheduling. You will need to be able to prioritize tasks.
With clear communication, assign portions of the event to each team member. If everyone has ownership of a piece of the puzzle (set-up, registration, catering, logistics), details are less likely to slip through the net and each team member will feel responsible for their task.
Interaction with individuals at all levels of an organization is a crucial part of the job. Having excellent communication skills and being personable will go a long way in developing good relationships with your team.
Create an Event Bible
This should be a document that will be built up from when you first take the brief. It is the blueprint to your event and should contain absolutely all the information related to your event.
You may want to split the document into sections, it should include deadline dates and assigned actions. For example:
Administration – contracts, supplier details, production teams
Finance – budget, invoices
General – site details, local emergency services, taxis, train and bus timetables
Logistics – all travel information, hotels, event programme, permits, insurance
Attention to detail
Once you have a basic outline for your event, walk it through as if you were the customer. Where do they go when they arrive, what do they do, how do they navigate the event, what are the key contact points.
Use checklists, plan ahead and don’t leave anything to the last minute. Expect, and plan for the unexpected. Remember there has to be a solution for everything.
Remain flexible/stay calm
Things are bound to change leading up to and on the day of the event. You will need to remain flexible and be ready to implement Plan B.
Not only that, budget restraints may mean you have to compromise on initial plans and make the best of what you have.
After a successful event, don’t rest on your laurels, make sure you are proactive the very next day.
Send some great pictures to your client, use social media to shout about your success.
A debrief is also crucial. It is important to make notes and be sure that everyone is aware of what worked well and what could be improved. These notes can then be used for the next event and most importantly of all, don’t forget to congratulate your team!