Creating and managing a successful event isn't as easy as it sounds. Whether you're catering for a team of 10 or 100, it doesn't make any difference, a successful event requires a high level of organisation, amongst many other things.
Having provided many temporary event structures for a range of events across the UK, we've had the pleasure of seeing many successful events unveil, and although we aren't event managers ourselves, we've seen just how much work has gone in to creating such imaginative occasions.
So, whether you're organising a corporate trade show or a staff Christmas party, we're sure you'll be able to take some inspiration and valuable tips from our experts roundup.
We reached out to some of the most experienced event management companies in the UK, and had the pleasure of picking their brains by asking the question:
"If you could only name 3, which tips would you suggest creating a successful event?"
And this it what they had to say...
Ben Milton - The Event Business
1. P.P.P.P.P – ‘Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performances’
2. Know your audience.
3. Build and maintain great supplier relationships – they help you to deliver amazing events.
1. Sufficient planning time.
2. Sufficient budget
3. Quality suppliers/subcontractors
Liz Brookes – Grapevine Event Management
1. WHY? - Have a clear objective. Making sure you understand the client’s objective for holding the event is vital. This makes sure the client gets the event that they wanted and also they can measure the effectiveness of the event.
2. HOW? – It’s all in the planning. Once you have established why you the client wants to hold the event you now need to work out the details. Having a written plan on how you are going to achieve the brief helps keeps the event to budget and the client can easily be updated throughout the run up to the event.
3. WHAT! – Expect the unexpected! Anything can happen in the world of events to upset the most detailed plan, be ready for last minute changes and stay calm!
Geoff Bartlett – Corporate Occasions
“If it’s not done well it’s not worth doing at all” and the manner in which you host your event will result in one of two responses, negative or positive. This applies to whatever event you are planning: a Christmas Party, Corporate Team Building Event or a Wedding Reception.
The All Important Invitation - it’s the invitation that creates the desire to attend, it sets the scene “it’s the style that makes the occasion” the quality print and envelope, the content needs to spell out this is a one off opportunity or its exciting and different or unique and not too be missed. It’s always a good idea to send a save the date card giving plenty of notice of the event
Planning Is The Key - It's never too early to start organising your next event, as pre-planning is the key to guarantee that your next event is an incredible success
Practice Makes Perfect - to ensure that you and your guests enjoy what is to be presented on the big day, always arranging to sample the proposed menu in advance, giving you an opportunity discuss different ways of food service and presentation available to you. If it’s not how you’re thought it was going to be you have time to change and fine tune the food and its presentation.
1. Understand the brand. Only when you understand a brand’s values, goals and culture can you begin to offer creative solutions that truly reflect them.
2. Remain Flexible. Flexibility is key. When working on live events last minutes changes are more often than not, unavoidable. Be open to compromise and have faith in your agency – they know what they are doing!
3. Have you thought about the weather?. Sounds ridiculous, but British weather isn’t the most reliable. Always ensure that you have a crisis management strategy for outdoor events in the event of extreme weather, be that sweltering heat that could interfere with your tech, or heavy rain that could dampen not only attendees’ spirits, but event props too.
Sophia Hendrickson – Chance Organisation
We would say the top 3 things that create a successful event are:
1. Attention to detail. You have to pick up what anyone else might miss. The small things make the big picture!
2. Listening, properly, to your client’s requirements, ideas, requests and concerns.
3. Creativity – this can be from getting the details together a show-stopping theme, to thinking on your feet when something unexpected happens. We have all have creative, adaptable minds and we’re not afraid to use them!
Hollie Sebire – Paragon
1. Identify your target audience. Who are you trying to attract? What are you trying to achieve? Are there any similar successful events?
2. Choose a suitable venue – poor transport links will demotivate guests. The venue is part of the experience so make sure it's a suitable fit.
3. Food & drink – goes without saying this is an important factor for your guest's experience. Have a menu tasting to ensure it meets your standards & fits the crowd (football related - burgers/pizza/beer! - Ladies networking - canapes/bowl food/cocktails).
Charlotte Horlock – Pretty Clever
1. Stick to the budget. Watch out for extra fees. Read through all contracts thoroughly to fully understand all your costs with each one of your suppliers.
2. Request client feedback. The organisation doesn’t stop when the event is over! Email the client a couple of days to check how everything went. Ask what they liked most, and what they would prefer for the next event.
3. Use social media. Social media is a great, new way to promote your business. Upload photos, videos and feedback from the event to get people talking and to attract potential clients.
1. Don’t be afraid to make recommendations based on your experience.
2. Attention to detail.
3. Efficiently managing client expectations - make sure both parties are aware of what's possible and practical based on budget/location/delegates etc. Make sure they know what they're getting.
1. Attention to detail - forgetting even the tiniest of things can cause great problems! Make sure you think about each aspect of the event logistically.
2. Understand the clients expectations - ideas and expectations can often be lost in translation, particularly when communicating via email. An event planner could be imagining an event completely different to the client and so it is important to be very clear during the organising process to avoid disappointment. We would recommend spending a great amount of time on a proposal; send this to your client and seek their approval.
3. Prioritising - you can spend a lot of time on little things that shouldn’t really need to be fussed over! Time management is necessary and event managers should carefully prioritise what exactly you ‘need’ to spend time on over want you ‘want’ to. This is particularly important while working on themed events – it is easy to get carried away!
Angie Mason – Absolute Corporate Events
3. And Plan Again! (The Devil is always in the detail)
John Plews – Ovation