The seating arrangement at your event is a deciding factor in making or breaking the event. The venue for any event is chosen after examining the layout and the space available. However, venue seating charts are often deceiving and are not good measures of how many people can be placed or seated comfortably. Before event planners can pack in as many attendees as the venue can allow, it must be determined what kind of seating will be used and in what configuration.
The dynamics, networking and participation at the event depends on seating. Depending on the objectives of the meeting or the event, assigned seats or tables can be beneficial.
Deciding the type of seating at events depends on some factors like – where the food will be served, if the attendees will be taking notes or using laptops during the sessions, if there will be an award ceremony that requires people to walk up to the stage, the shape and size of the stage and the size of the audience.
The different types of seating generally used are:
Theater style seating
Classroom style seating
Round table/cluster seating
To ensure that you are selecting the best seating solution for your event, ask yourself what is needed and what is available. What you need will be determined by the size of the audience and the itinerary of the sessions held during the event. Whether you are planning an award show or a training seminar, specific furniture and configurations will be more functional than others.
With people being inseparable from social media, it’s safe to say that technology has taken over our lives. When it comes to events, the more shares/photos/tweets you get, the better right? Wrong. Although event planners find it extremely important to promote their work through all platforms available, they must give a thought about the actual focus and attention that their event gets from their attendees.
Phones, Ipads, tablets and all other devices pose as interruptions during an event – with people feeling the constant need to update photos or tweet about their event experience. There is a fine line between your guests advocating your seminar or conference; and being digital zombies in front of their screens without having a definite understanding of what exactly is going on. When you discourage devices from your event, you encourage your guests to look up and drink in their surroundings.
When you want hundred percent attention from the crowd to a particular time in the entire event – a product launch for instance, ask them in advance to keep their gadgets aside for that moment. Setting aside a special booth like a charging station, might actually help. Asking people to tune out emails or messages from their contacts is a huge factor; respect their need to catch up with their updates throughout the event. They might have to check in with an employee or make some personal calls, and you wouldn’t want to hinder that. This in turn allows them to understand why you need their undivided attention.
The first thing that people resort to when they get bored is turn to their phones. Try making your unplugged event fun by rewarding your attendees – make the overall experience more engaging and lively so they genuinely feel the need to concentrate and remain disconnected from all that tech!
The event management industry is a complex & dynamic environment, and comprises of a wide variety of events.
In this post today, we intend to focus on the kinds of corporate/business events that event planning agencies often organize.
Conferences and Seminars:
Seminars and conferences can focus on internal operations and be limited only to your organization; or they can be used as vehicles for company promotion.
A conference is a participatory meeting or a gathering of members of organizations, designed for discussion, fact finding and problem-solving. It facilitates the exchange of information and gives an opportunity to discuss matters of common interest. Conferences generally have keynote speakers and breakout sessions by topic. They can be held over one or two days or sometimes longer.
Seminars on the other hand are usually smaller in terms of targeted audience size, lasting over a couple of hours with single or multiple speakers.
The debut of a product into the market defines a product launch. It signifies the point at which consumers first have access to a new product. Product launch events are important and require attention from the media and the public.
These launches give the public and the media a chance to hear everything about the product before any negative reviews are given. The task of putting together these product launch events could fall to a company employee who organizes meetings or an outside company.
Trade missions and Road Shows:
Trade missions are international trips by government officials and business people, organized for the purpose of exploring international business opportunities. A trade mission is a way in which countries or organisations can seek out potential buyers and sellers.
Roadshows can be small training sessions tailored for your colleague’s needs or much larger scale events in public spaces to reach out to potential customers.
Every company reaches a point in their annual operations or project milestones that calls for a celebration. Awards ceremonies can be held to honor team members who have gone beyond the call of duty, or to compliment the achievements of people within your industry.
Executive Retreats and Team Building Programs:
The primary or only occasion during the year – when an organization and it’s employees meet at a site away from their primary edifice. The objective is to generally offer a creative environment from which they can focus on clear, specific goals and objectives for the coming year.
Executive retreats have a more casual ambiance while team building events define team roles, and are useful tools for improving communication withing the organization and improving productivity.
Exhibitions and Trade Shows:
Event planning for trade shows involves negotiating sponsorship rates for trade show booth space, advertising and promotion at the event, and also sometimes design and execution of the trade show booth. They are important lead-generating activities.
Themed Office Celebrations:
Corporate office celebrations provide great opportunities to socialize with colleagues and co-workers. Celebrated in almost all organizations, they encourage the employees to generally bond over drinks and dinner.
Theme corporate parties also provide great opportunities to instigate guest interactions. The scope for paying attention to detail is huge, with the costumes and decor elements creating a fantasy environment.
Some corporate event agencies also manage lifestyle events like high profile luncheons, fashion shows and press events.
These are a few common business events that event managers generally execute, under the corporate event umbrella.
While selecting an event manager to manage a particular event for you, it’s critical to define the type of event it is and accordingly choose the right person for the job. Many misconceive the term event manager to mean a person who can put together an event, irrespective of the scale or the type of the event. Seldom do people consider the small but significant differences which exist between a corporate event manager and a social event manager. These key differences can be highlighted very subtly yet identifying these differences while making a decision can be a make or break factor for an event.
A corporate event manager typically manages conferences, seminars, brand launches, activations and interactions with corporate houses and companies. They have a mission, vision and sales targets, so the direction to be worked in would be how you optimally capitalize your investment and accordingly get a return on the same through targeted activities which help deliver the company’s message to the end consumers.
A social event manager on the other hand manages weddings, anniversaries, birthdays etc. and would interact with individuals who have a vision of the perfect wedding, anniversary or birthday which they have been dreaming of for days, months or maybe even years.
And that is where the key difference lies, the emotional attachment which people have to a social event makes managing these kind of events a daunting yet exhilarating experience. A social event manager has an innate ability to connect with the individual more than the event, understand their client’s thoughts, perceptions and accordingly provide a service which exceeds expectations. The key to success for a social event manager is to have an ability to not only understand what has been said, but more importantly identify what has not been said. With a corporate event on the other hand, everything right from conceptualization to execution is centered around highlighting the needs of the audience attending the event and accordingly position ones product or service to maximize return on investment, so the direction that is worked towards is to make the company event a success and individual emotions rarely affect the course of the event as a whole.
Most social events are paid for by the individuals or families themselves, unlike corporate events that are funded by corporate budgets. This places constraints on how these costs are managed right upfront. Weddings, for example, can be funded by a collection of sources including personal funds, loans and gifts. This makes managing the budget a critical part of a successful event – sometime there is little or no room for tolerance for budget overruns or last minute expenses that were not accounted for in the planning, and can cause frustration for all parties involved.
The final and perhaps the most important difference is that most social events (weddings, birthdays and anniversaries in particular) are once-in-a-lifetime events. A corporate event provides opportunities for constant improvement and a platform to build a brand of events in itself which happen year after year.
From the differences highlighted above, social event management and corporate event management are two fundamentally different sections of the event management spectrum and the thought process which a corporate event manager follows is not possible to implement within a social event and vice versa.