At an event conference not that long ago, someone made the point that in the world of event delivery and management anywhere in the world, there are ‘professionals’ who sometimes forget or assume the most obvious of lessons. He discussed 10 lessons of which here are five.
- Well, he said, improperly allocating resources tops the list of most common mistakes. Not having the right people managing or working on an event can be (and usually is) a recipe for disaster. But it seemingly happens all the time. The key to a successful event is getting the right people with the right skills. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? All the planning in the world won’t overcome weak talent.
- Then he went on to explain, events will always have changes in scope. Failure to keep a track of the smallest change can mean an out-of-control budget, maybe an impossible timeline or something forgotten. Following a formal (i.e. not casual) ‘change tracking process’ is a simple and effective way to keep changes documented, communicated and under control. The client needs to understand the repercussions of the requested or necessary change and the project manager/producer must determine how that request will impact on the project and then communicate that to the team.
- The fact that untoward things happen at the last minute was the third point he made. Such ‘things’ might be a city terrorist attack, travel delays, malfunctioning Internet connections in a venue, missing equipment, guest speaker not showing up – and many others. Consequently, the event preparation goes into a tailspin while someone has to try to sort out the problem. If an event risk assessment is made as an early part of the planning process, then all problems will have solutions. Brainstorm with your team at the start what could happen to derail the event, anything at all that may prevent you from delivering expected results. Then figure out ways you can mitigate those risks. And then tell the client.
- He said that it’s always a good idea to pass on some of the financial responsibility for any event by making everyone working on a project aware of the budget and making them accountable for specific areas of that project. Also, he said, encourage your team to report any significant savings made.
- The fifth point he made was that a great number of corporate events are all too soon forgotten, sometimes the instant delegates leave the venue or when the cabin doors turn to automatic. That should never, ever happen and something is seriously wrong with content or engagement if it does. Events should also never be seen as a stand-alone element, but must be integrated with other parts of your clients’ strategies and, importantly, there should (must) be a legacy plan so that messages are reinforced long after everyone has left the venue.