Anyone who has at least some experience in the area of event management will tell you that it can look deceptively easy from the outside. Until you try, you will not believe how much stress and planning is involved in even the most harmless event. By Radina Ralcheva
Event management is a very big topic simply because events come in all shapes and sizes and are targeted at a wide range of audiences. There are niche events for just 15 people, and massive ones, attended by thousands. Whatever the size, each professionally organised event goes through several stages: research, concepting, planning, coordination and realisation, evaluation. Each of these stages contains many elements which means that events should be planned long before they are held. Unfortunately there is no shortcuts guide to organising events because every event happens live and cannot be the same as anything before. All the same, I will try to recommend a few basic things that can help reduce the risk of mistakes. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is a basis that you can use.
1. Do not underestimate any event. I recommend that you do not miss any of the above stages if you want to increase your chances of doing well.
2. Try to imagine the event moment by moment - everything that will happen, how people will move, what’s next, and so on. Like a movie.
3. There are no perfect events. If we believe Murphy’s law - everything that can go wrong will go wrong. But it is one thing to break a glass and another to miss the bad weather forecast and the storm that endangers people. Try to limit the potential risks to manageable ones that no one will notice.
4. If something goes wrong, the most important thing is to stay in control. Whatever happens, your responsibility is to solve the problem. You’ll need lightning fast reflexes, immediate damage assessment, and quick judgment of reactions. Your biggest resource is your team. So work with professionals. Not with the cheapest, the most expensive, the most beautiful, and so on, but with the company with the best reputation. Reputation is one of the few things in this world that cannot be bought. It has to be earned.
5. Have a Plan B at least for the main components of the event - a spare car, a replacement waiter, more glasses, extra wine, spare equipment. Once we had two different laptops failing to work with the other available technique and we had to use a third one. These are predictable things that can save you nerves and make the difference between the success or failure of an event.
6. Of course, there are things that you cannot control, so don’t try to control everything. This will only stress you and take away all the pleasure of a job well done. Do not confuse good preparation with total control.
7. Do not be afraid to try new things. Being original is always appreciated, as long as it is not an end goal in itself. Therefore, consider the concept and all the elements with the goals of the event and the audience in mind.
8. Among the inadmissible actions are the lack of pre-planning and preparation; the expectation that everyone will come; making food and drinks a major attraction; product / brand intrusion etc.
9. An event does not end with the departure of the last guest. It has to be evaluated. This assessment should include both internal analysis and various forms of guest feedback. When making an assessment, I advise you to be very honest if you want to develop and learn because many “defects” can remain hidden for guests, but you are aware of them. Analyse them and put them in the “Experience” column to make sure you do better next time.
10. It can always be better. Try to prove it every time. And good luck!