Running events has always been a key marketing activity for many companies. But they are expensive and time consuming. Here are some tips that will result in cost savings and maybe some new ideas.
There are many different types of events. They could be as simple as a tea party for 10 of your best customers to elaborate, international exhibitions and shows. However, there are several key elements that are present in almost all event management scenarios. Two of the most obvious would be the Venue and the Program. Unfortunately, many marketing managers fail to see these as important elements.
Many hours and days are spent mulling over the theme, the objectives and the myriads other details. As any experience event planner will tell you, good venues are hard to find. Really hard. So many companies spend so much time and effort with the planning that they forget to place a booking first. Most places will allow you an opportunity to cancel with no penalties within a given time frame. You should maximise this. Get the venue you think you want locked in as early as possible. Even if you change your mind later and have to pay some penalty, it is better than having the best plans, and no where to run with it.
Another area which deserves more attention than it usually gets is the Program for the Event. Some of you might be scratching your head a little over this statement, as most of the time, the talk is about nothing but the program. True. Yet, not quite. Let’s take a simple example. A press conference. Everyone knows what that is, how it is run, and all its little details. But you see, the program is not the one that goes like this:
Question & Answer
Is that your program? Most likely, many will nod, or shake your head. “I don’t have a cocktail”.
Me thinks you are missing the point. This is usually the “program” that most people think about. But as THE organiser, your program looks much different from this. You have a Project Plan for the entire event, right? Well, think of your Program as a branch of your project plan. “Guest Arrival” is good enough for the guests, but what does it tell you about when your staff needs to be in position? Gifts need to arrive? Top Management’s arrival time, VIP arrivals and so on?
It’s all in the Project Plan. Right. And everyone has a copy of your 50 page Project Plan and will be lugging it around during this posh little Press Conference. I think not. Therefore, you will need to create a separate Program specially for your own staffers so that they will all be “in the know” of the actual going-ons during the entire event.
One last point. This one is more relevant if your event is held in a Hotel or Resort. Keep in mind that the Hotel or Resort will be almost as anxious as you are, for the event to be a success. You should use this to your advantage. Basically, you can leverage off their resources and their experience to help make your planning and execution smoother and more professional. But a caution here. YOU should still be in charge. Some managers/executives make the mistake of relying so much on this assistance, that in the end, they come out looking like incompetent bunglers who need to lean on the “professionals” to get things done.