This post was written by marketing and event production expert Reno Macri. Event planning conjures up a variety of impressions: excitement, expectation, creativity, opportunity, and not least of all, some degree of anxiety. Ranging from the complex and showy to the simple and straightforward, event organisers have several concerns to take into consideration. By following a few simple steps, both aspiring event planners and seasoned organisers alike can produce an occasion which is both successful and memorable.
Know Your Purpose
Behind every great event is a great vision, which communicates the ethos of the event as well as the participants and spectators involved. Know what it is that you are striving to achieve, and whether it will be appealing to colleagues and audiences. By researching and brainstorming together, you can determine what kind of event will work.
Planning Ahead, Planning On Time
From identifying deadlines, booking venues, acquiring speakers, sourcing funding and expenses to the actual production aspect of an event, planning is the key to success. Starting ahead of time not only enables organisers to ensure that everything stays on schedule, but allows flexibility for any unforeseen circumstances and the freedom to try out new ideas.
It’s All About Presentation
In today’s world, appearances are paramount. Event design has to be just as sleek as it is easy, and organisers will have to consider a variety of elements:
- Additional features (concessions, merchandise, etc.)
- Accessibility and location
When incorporating these aspects into a design, always seek additional feedback and further research to determine whether or not this is a design which is not only feasible, but attractive to potential audiences.
Once you have a rough idea of presentation, it’s time to choose the stage. Place and presentation are somewhat interchangeable; budget and spatial restrictions may require some refining and re-planning to ensure everything works. The most important aspects to consider are what kind of audiences you are expecting and how the facilities of your prospective venue are able to accommodate that.
Space, sound, lighting, accessibility, atmosphere, customisability and the cooperation of venue staff are all crucial points in this process, as well as location and reputation of the venue at hand. Make sure you understand how the fees work, what they cover, and whether or not you will need to purchase additional services (such as catering, ticketing etc.) elsewhere or manage yourself.
What’s On the Program
A stage is empty without the performance, and this is why an excellent program is an absolute for any event to succeed. A good programme will be either well-rounded or specialised (depending on the audience) informative, engaging, and inspiring, encouraging audiences to participate and leave with new ideas and impressions in their mind.
If there is one sure-fire way to keep an audience involved, it’s participation. Whether it is introducing challenging new ideas or directly partaking in organised activities, keeping them involved is vital.
Promotion is everything, and with the advent of social media, easier than ever. Let people know well ahead of time about the event and give incentives to participate as well as hype up the excitement surrounding it. Make it a “must-see” and as more people join, more will tag along – event branding is ultimately the key to success.
Crafting and Fruition
In the actual production process, event planners have to adopt a hands-on approach and gain insight into every aspect of the crafting of the event in order to see that it comes to fruition. This not only involves creation, but ensuring deadlines are met, safety requirements are fulfilled, and all other logistical and administrative duties are guaranteed.
A vision can’t work unless your colleagues believe in it too. Make sure you engage a highly-qualified, enthusiastic and diverse team who can accommodate different roles and who truly believe in what your event is all about. Keep motivation and positivity thriving, and be prepared to stand by them under pressure.
Utilising social media, running over the contract details, keeping in frequent touch with team members and their progress are just a few of the ways to stay on top of the planning process. Most importantly, enjoy – whether it’s called a conference, seminar, festival, or symposium – it’s all about making an impact which is not only positive for companies, but for people and the greater good as well.
Reno Macri, Director, Enigma Visual Solutions
Reno Macri is a Director of a leading exhibition and event company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in stand design, retail designs, graphic productions, signage systems, event branding, conference set design and much more. He specialises in experiential marketing and event productions. He would love to share his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. You can follow him on Twitter.