Tag Archives: event management

How To Work With New Event Vendors

Successful event planners work with a large network of vendors and suppliers in the industry. These vendors can make or break your event, no matter how great your event concepts are.

As event managers, we majorly allocate our work to vendors with whom we have established good ties, over the years. Sometimes, however, the need arises to look for a new vendor – which is not an easy task.  The vendors you choose to work with must necessarily have a good reputation as you cannot afford to damage your own in the process. Your vendor network is not just a group of people you subcontract your work to – they are your team.

Here are a few thoughts from our side, on how to pick an efficient vendor in code red situations:

  •  A good way to find new vendors is to gather referrals from one of your existing vendors, clients or other planners. Do your research and talk to people who have an experience of working with them. It’s easier to trust a new person by getting assurance from someone you already know.
  • Start small – give the new vendors a small portion of the work that you need to get done and judge their capabilities according to their response time and the quality of the work. Check if they can cope with your deadlines and standards of working.
  • Compare costs with your other vendors – you might find that vendor rates differ with different factors. Some of them might provide the same services at reduced costs, but make sure that you do not compromise on the quality.
  • Visit the vendors’ work station to get a first hand understanding by seeing samples of their previous work, before you hire them.
  • Clarify payment terms with vendors and let them know about your company’s terms and conditions – whether they are rigid or flexible. Imagine promising something to your client and not being able to deliver because your vendor was a no-show.
  • You know you have found a worthy vendor when he/she has a better knowledge than you, of what you require. Make a list of all your specifics and put it together with the suggestions that they have to offer.

There are a few times you have to blindly trust new suppliers, and it does take time to add them to your existing database. But event management, being an ever-changing, dynamic industry, thrives on trials & errors every now and then, and it’ll definitely be worth it in the end.

 

 

Event Venues – Small or Big?

There’s something about a colossal event space – that makes room for all the elements of an event set up AND holds maximum attendees, while allowing networking to happen. However, in the event management industry, change is the only constant. The new trend for event venues is to go small.

Hotels and convention centers are being encouraged to host conferences and gatherings in smaller meeting spaces – which makes them more personal, casual and engaging.

Courtesy: Bizbash
Courtesy: Bizbash

Even if the event itself demands a larger space to support its agenda, say a corporate launch for example, some methods can be incorporated in the seating plan to make spaces that help attendees feel comfortable to connect, network and brainstorm.

Courtesy: Bizbash

For this purpose, event planners can go ahead with lounge seating as alternatives to typical chairs.  The ultimate networking space would be smaller tables with may be a few bean bags or comfortable chairs – with the perfect combination of secure, reliable Wi Fi and charging kiosks for all mobile devices. This is a good way to break free from traditional meeting areas.

Courtesy: Bizbash

From small to large, every request is an opportunity for a venue to improve its operations and expand its business.

 

Event Marketing – Do it with Selfies

In addition to becoming the word of the year in 2013, the selfie is now being embraced by brands and marketers as a free, effective tool. After Ellen Degeneres’ selfie at the Oscars received around 3.5 million re-tweets, people have started removing the stigma from this phenomenon and trying to use it to leverage marketing and promotion campaigns.

What exactly is a selfie?

Hold your smartphone, stretch your arm out and take a picture of yourself.  It’s as simple as that.

How does it help an event planner?

Having smart technology at their fingertips and wanting to capture almost everything happening around them shows that event attendees are looking for an experience. Give it to them. Making people take selfies at your event indicates that in some way, your event is being shared; because 99 out of 100 selfies automatically go up on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Make sure that your company’s logo/name and all other branding at the event venue is clearly visible and presented in a fun, innovative way – maybe through frames or props or colored lettering. Drive your attendees to the ‘selfie station’ so your event experience is being promoted effortlessly.

You can also use selfies as event decor or have a live feed of these pictures –  which creates excitement around the area.

Give them incentives and encourage the sharing of these selfies – reward them with a freebie of some sort or publicize their image on your brand’s social media pages.

Love them or hate them,  selfies are everywhere – and it’s wiser to make good use of them effectively while the trend is still hot!

 

 

 

Event Debriefs – The Sooner, the Better

All those weeks of planning. All those efforts and details coming together to form an extra ordinary event. The event is over, yet there are several areas where improvement was needed.

As an event planner, your job is to lead a thought-provoking discussion by asking your event team, questions in a pre-planned sequence. This event debrief will allow all of you to describe what happened during the entire event, what was accomplished, what needs were met and what areas could be worked on, for better results.

The sooner this debrief is conducted, the better; as the event experience is still fresh in the minds of everyone who worked on it. This helps because the full-scale debrief that you had planned to do in office weeks later will become easier.

Let your team know in advance that a fast, crisp discussion will be held onsite as soon as the event wraps up.  Have someone take notes of everything discussed and let them know that these points will be revisited later in greater detail for the main debrief session coming up.

At the end of this session, you should have some valuable inputs from your team which you can incorporate into your next event planning process.

 

 

6 Steps for Planning an Out of Town Event

This article is borrowed from Endless Entertainment, written by Matt Walker. 

It is not uncommon for event planners to get into a routine – planning similar events at the same couple of venues while using the same vendors and the same staff. We can’t always plan events in our shell, in a location we know like the back of our hand, with people we’ve known for forever. Sometimes we have to break out of our shell and plan an event in a brand new location with different people, different vendors, and different conditions. The trick is knowing how to use this to your advantage. Let’s take a look at a few tips to help with planning an out of town event:

1. Research and Learn About Your Venue Options

Without a background of living or working in the area where the event will take place, there’s a good chance that you will know little to nothing about the venues available in the area. Since knowledge about your venue is integral in the planning process for an event, utilize all of the resources you have to get a good idea of what each venue can offer to your event. Research venue information online, find photos of the venue layout and setups for previous events, reach out to any contacts you know in the area to ask any questions you may have, call the venues with capacity, layout, and pricing questions, and more.

2. Choose a Venue

Your choice of venue will affect every aspect of planning and executing the event, so be sure that you are utilizing as much information when making the choice as possible. Another factor that may come into play is whether the venue is indoor, outdoor, or a combination of the two. Since the event will be out of town, you might have to deal with different weather conditions than you’re used to dealing with. Be sure to check out weather predictions if your venue is outside or has an outdoor portion (deck, yard, etc.). Once you solidify your choice and lock down the date for your venue, you can begin with the rest of the planning process.

3. Decide If You’ll Use Local or Out of Town Vendors

If you’ve been planning events in your local area, chances are that you have a set of local vendors that you usually use. A choice that you will have to make when planning an out of town event is whether to use your usual, trusted vendors and transport the rented equipment or to use a different vendor in the location of the event. There are variables with both options. If you use your usual vendors, you will likely have higher expenses to transport equipment and you will have to be sure to keep equipment from being broken or scratched during travel, but you know the type of service and equipment you will be receiving. If you use an out of town vendor, you will not have to worry about transportation issues, but will likely be working with people you have never worked with before. This is a decision that needs to be made on an individual event basis depending on budget and how you feel about using a new vendor after reaching out to them.

4. Coordinate Travel and Lodging for Employees

Chances are that you will be using at least some in-house personnel at the event even if it is out of town. Depending on how far away the event is and how long the event will take, you will need to coordinate their travel and lodging. If they need to fly to the destination, flights will need to be booked well in advance to keep expenses down. If they can travel by car, carpools need to be coordinated and the process of how gas will be reimbursed needs to be laid out beforehand. When booking hotel rooms, be sure that you are holding the correct number of rooms with plenty of time in advance. Since they are staying in a hotel for an event, chances are there will be other people doing the same, and you don’t want to end up in a situation where there are no hotel rooms left to book! Deciding whether or not employees will be sharing rooms beforehand and, if they are, choosing who each person will be rooming with can help prevent a headache later on.

5. Include Extra Travel Time

Since employees are traveling to a place they probably haven’t been before, be sure to include a little extra time for travel in your itinerary. Since they are going somewhere new, there is a better chance that a wrong turn may be made, that they will have to go out of their way to find a gas station, that they will need to search for a restaurant, etc. Giving yourselves a little extra cushion in a new place can help ensure that you won’t be late for anything event related.

6. Be Understanding and Be Creative

Since you and your staff will be in a new location, possibly using different vendors and different equipment, and sleeping in a hotel, be sure to keep an open mind and be understanding with your crew. People WILL have questions, and that’s not a bad thing. Use this new situation to work with your crew under different circumstances and use the new venue and location to exercise your creativity and try things that you’re unable to try under usual circumstances.

About Matt Walker

Matt has been involved in marketing and event management for the better part of the last decade, planning concerts and comedy shows of national and local scale, tour managing various brands on national tours, coordinating VIP experiential marketing, and developing marketing plans for entertainment and technology companies.