When I was a sophomore, I got the opportunity to manage the annual cultural event of my university. It was the first time my managerial skills were put to test. Expectations were high, enthusiasm was immense, participants were excited, and I was loaded with responsibilities.
Keen to deliver the best, I started planning and collaborating with the stakeholders, sponsors, speakers and my team members. It was a delightful experience until things fell apart on the final day.
Event did not open with fireworks as they were ordered, but never received. Very few people turned up for the event as the invitation reached them on the eleventh hour. Sound effects, interior décor, seating arrangements and opening acts were all messed up. This is when I realized that missing deadlines is not the option in the event planning industry. You have to work down to the wire and meet strict deadlines.
I am sure, many of us have experienced this situation at some point in our career. You may have tried hard, but somehow failed to achieve the desired results. So if you are one of us, consider the following event management tips and get the job done.
Tip#1 – Plan and coordinate
Planning and coordination lays the foundation for a successful event. You need to consider what, who, why, where and when aspects of the event. While planning, set realistic expectations but also list down experimental aims. To start with,
- Make a good team with differently skilled members for making agendas and preparing schedules
- Understand your client’s expectation and identify the target audience
- Analyze the cost and prepare a budget
- Prepare an invitation and list down the programs in the event
- Prepare a deadline for each activity
- Collaborate consistently to ensure timely actions
Tip#2 Start the action
This is the time when you will have to divide your enthusiasm in too many ideas. This is a critical stage of the event where you confirm key things like the date, venue and the speaker. During this stage,
- Get approval for the budget
- Start social media marketing campaign on sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Market the event by informing media, preparing brochure, sending mails, etc.
- Keep your attendees engaged during the event (by posting event updates on social media)
- Collaborate with the team to ensure that the plans are on track
- Plan travel and transportation arrangements
- Seek special permits from the local governing bodies
Tip#3 Stay active 24-36 hours before the event
If you utilize this time effectively, your event will be a success. Measure the execution of your plans, collaborate with all the stakeholders, sponsors, speakers, guests and your team members. Get final approvals from the vendor of catering, fireworks, decoration, etc. Before 24-36 hours,
- Create the list of guests who responded with RSVP
- Make a list of table accessories like pen, notepad, brochure, bottle of water, etc.
- Ensure all activities are running on time including transportation arrangements
- Remind VIPs about the event, and have volunteers to guide them to the event
- Confirm venue arrangements like lights, decorations, volunteers, security, etc.
- Prepare a minute-by-minute plan for the event
Tip#4 How to manage the final day?
After all the hard work, you are anxiously waiting for the event to start. This is the time to ensure that all things are there and working as planned. Don’t assume; take control of things. On the day of the event,
- Arrive at the event’s location with volunteers and team members hours before the event time
- Check whether all the electronic equipment are working properly (microphones, lights, speakers, etc.)
- Setup a beautiful reception and helpdesk
- Allocate space for sponsors to place their banners
- Ensure that the host/anchor has details of the VIPs to avoid any blunder
- Hire a dedicated photographer to capture special moments, sponsor banners and key people
- Confirm stock of food, water, flowers, etc.
Tip#5 Learn from the event
The event is over, you received appreciation for your efforts, but you thing there is a lot of scope for improvement. Thus after the event, you should collect meaningful information from the participants. Send feedback forms, gather feedback, understand participants’ reactions, gauge expectations and measure the impact of your event. This will help you get valuable insights for nourishing your managerial skills and shaping the future events based on the received feedback.
In conclusion I would say,
Event management is one such profession where failure has no hiding place. No matter what confidence or managerial arsenal you bring on board for the event, loopholes in any of the above mentioned stages will land you in an embarrassing situation. To avoid blunders, you can take assistance from event management and registration softwares. So consider these tips and avoid any uncertainties during the event.
This is a guest post by Monik Makadiya. Monik is associated with iVvy, a leading software event management company that is revolutionizing the way events are managed. Ivvy offers a suite of software for event managers that simplifies and automates most of the tasks associated with managing events. Connect with Monik on Twitter at@painstakingMM.