The amount of work in putting on an event is often overlooked. It is not an easy task.
There are many things to take into consideration and have sorted before you begin production. In this article, we outline some of our top tips and things to think about when running an event.
The venue – the venue is so important for many reasons. It sets the tone of your event and helps to create the atmosphere for the day. The location of the venue is key. It needs to be accessible for the attendees. If it isn’t in a location that is easy to get to, people will be discouraged from attending the event. You would also need to consider access points/loading bays of the venue for any deliveries and installations you may have.
The capacity for the venue is really important. If it’s a fantastic venue that holds 300 people but you are only looking to have 50 guests, it isn’t going to be suitable. You will struggle to fill that space and the event will feel empty, which is not good for building the atmosphere. Make sure it is the right capacity for the amount of people you want at the event.
Other things to ask about are; wheelchair accessibility, their waste system – you may have to sort your own waste out, this is important as you don’t want your event to turn into a large open rubbish bin!
Another thing to check is catering, some venues have a strict list of caterers. You have to be careful with these because they can sometimes bring the costs right up and the list can be restrictive to what you were hoping to provide. You would also need to check if the venue has an alcohol licence if you intend to supply alcohol at your event, and whether they charge a corkage fee.
Timings & date – these need to be realistic to ensure you have enough time to produce everything that you have promised or are wanting to achieve. They have to work for you as well as for those attending and contributing to the event. If you are given a strict date for the event you have to make it all happen.
The Theme – it has to make sense with the event, you want it all to tie in nicely together and make sense for the guest. Whatever theme you go for, you need to make sure your venue and budget can pull it off.
The Guest Journey – try to imagine what your guests will experience from the moment they walk through the door to what they would experience as they go through the event. This is a way to improve the guest experience and make your event stand out.
Mapping out where they would go in the event gives you a better understanding of what your guests might need. It also helps you to designate areas for specific purposes, such as conference seating for a conference hall stage, soft seating for chill out, bar tables for standing areas etc..
The next priority is Photo Moments – these are so important for your event if you want it to be shared far and wide on social media. The more areas you dedicate to photo moments the more photos people will take and the more your event will be visible on social media. Make sure your decor is original to really stand out.
Suppliers – you really need to be picky with your suppliers, and make sure you have a good relationship with them. Sometimes they can help you with last minute solutions!
Waste – make sure to ask the venue how they handle the waste for events. In some cases if you don’t dispose of your waste correctly, you can receive a fine and the regulations change from borough to borough. You may also need to provide physical bins for your guests throughout the venue; they do not usually come with the hire. Make sure to check!
However short or long the timeline is, you should mark out the date of the event and work out from then every single task that needs to be done in order for the event to go ahead.
To do this, dissect every part of the event and think logically about the order of what will need to be in place first, i.e. decor would be the last thing you can do once all of the tables and chairs have been set up.
Try to pre-plan for when you want everything to be signed off and ready for the live event. The tasks that you set each week need to be achievable and in a sensible order so that everything falls into place.
Once you have a list of all of your tasks you can then give those tasks a deadline. This helps you keep up to date with payments, orders and general organisation of the event. It can really help you to complete all of the tasks on schedule and inform you of what is left to do.
Sponsor tasks that you may need to keep on top of would be
- Assets for any tech displays i.e. branded videos
- Design of their area (if they are given a designated area)
- Logistics of supplying products – if they are supplying any products
- Logistics of live event day, what’s going to happen on the day, what do they need to set up? How much time do they need?
We would aim for the event to be ready to go live 24hrs ahead of schedule, this is to give yourself breathing space in case there are any last minute alterations. This way you can focus on getting ready for the live event.
There are some legal documents that you would need to get for your event.
Public liability insurance. This covers you for any accidental damage or loss of things on the property and covers you from lawsuits from members attending the event.
RAMS. This is a Risk Assessment Method Statement. The method statement is a detailed list of everything that you are planning to do in that space, for example install a PA system/move furniture from the car to the hall.. It’s a very detailed list of everything you are planning to do.
Risk assessment: this is assessing all of the risks that might potentially occur on the build, live and derig.This is where event agencies really come into play, these are documents that take knowledge and skill to fill in and can be dangerous and costly if you go without. The legal documents are important to get right, event agencies ensure your event is covered from any fines or liability.
Another important document to keep safe are supplier contracts, for example, if you choose to hire a giant disco ball DJ booth, the supplier will provide you with a contract of hire, as well as a note of delivery. This will let you know the condition of the item when it arrives and ensures you won’t be charged any damage costs that were not caused by you. The supplier will also provide RAMS for the item they are hiring out, this takes a small load off of the legal documents you need to complete.
Production Schedule. Similar to the timeline, however, it is a more concentrated step-by-step plan for the BUILD, LIVE and DERIG. This is so when you begin the build you have a clear schedule that you need to be on top of, i.e. the furniture needs to be in place by XXam, the PA system needs to be installed by XXam, etc… The production schedule needs to be a chronological list of tasks that have to be done before the live event goes ahead. It’s a detailed, intricate checklist.
Contact sheet. This is for your suppliers and for everybody involved in producing the event.
A clear brief. This really helps others to understand your vision of the event. Writing a detailed brief ensures that everybody working to produce the event knows exactly what they’re working towards. When running a physical event, there is a big team involved; messages passed down from person to person can become distorted, having a clear brief helps to avoid this.
Time. Make sure you start your marketing strategy for the event with enough time to generate a buzz around the event; this will help with ticket purchases, helping you hit your target of attendees and good vibes!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
Events really take a huge amount of planning, that is why a lot of people do turn to event agencies – like us – to help bear the load.
Want our help to put on an event?
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