Event management: How to organise and stage a special event
Special events come under the umbrella of public relations and are a great way to promote your business. If you have event management plans for your own special event, you are in a good position to make the most of the PR opportunity it presents.
Media coverage of your special event will raise the profile of your brand and increase awareness of your products or services. An event is also a great way to get clients, prospects and influencers together to help spread the word about you and your business.
Below are some event management tips for a well-staged event. I’ve focused on what’s required for larger events, but the advice can be scaled down to smaller affairs. Whether you’re planning a networking event, a media conference, seminar or workshop, fashion parade, open day, product launch or even a cocktail party, it will help keep the following in mind.
Paying attention to every detail creates a professional image for your business. Begin with the basics by developing your message and branding, choosing the venue or site, date, start and finish times.
If you’re planning a large events, you should also:
"Paying attention to every detail creates a professional image for your business."
- If it is a community event, organise the legalities – check council permits, contracts, letters of agreement and insurance.
- Set budgets, organise sponsors, suppliers and venue facilities.
- Plan entertainment and accommodation.
- Arrange food and catering, kitchen and bar facilities, hospitality, dressing rooms, hair and make up, media area, alcohol and beverages and any licenses needed.
- Set up money collection and float.
- Have table settings or seating arrangements in place.
- Get merchandise and souvenirs. Signage including t-shirts or uniforms.
Equipment for your event
The following should be on your checklist:
- Staging – design and decoration.
- Power, audiovisual, lighting, video or PowerPoint presentation, speakers or entertainers needs.
- Marquees, tents or stalls, toilets, waste bins and water.
- Administration, information and lost children area.
- Ambulance or first aid, security, crowd control.
- Contingency plan for wet weather and crisis management plan. Include a manual and run sheets for all personnel.
- Event tool kit – consider things like blue tac for posters, blank name tags, first aid kit, torch and gaffa tape.
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Promotion of, and communication at your event
- Organise media releases, photographic images for press usage on television, the Internet and in print.
- Have a photographer and/or video producer at your event.
- Get letterhead and invitations printed, newsletters and emails issued or mailbox drops.
- Ensure flyers, posters and programs inlcude telephone numbers and website addresses.
- Have an event manual with contact numbers of organisers, staff and entertainers.
- Send letters to confirm details.
- Carry walkie-talkies for instant communication or mobile phones.
- Have research and evaluation strategies in place.
Entrances and exits
Give detailed instructions to your guests on how to get there, including public transport options and parking stations. Be aware of emergency exits, disabled access, location for unloading of equipment and equipment storage areas, ticketing, queuing, registration and name tags and event site map.
Pack up equipment and organise staff to “bump out”. Have a clean up plan in place. Arrange collection of equipment. Analyse research and assess budgets. Have a debrief to know what worked and what didn’t for next time. Send thank you notes.
Good event management can create “buzz” and goodwill for your business, product or service and perhaps result in extra sales and profits.
In fact I, along with my co-authors, have a book launch event coming up, I’ll let you know how it goes. In case you’re wondering our book is called From Apprentice to Business Ace – An inside-out guide to personal branding.