You’ve just attended a dazzlingly good event. You leave feeling buoyed up, inspired, excited, full of plans for the future. Have you ever wondered about the administrative machine that drives events like that, all the complex organisational work that goes on behind the scenes? If so, here’s what you need to know about the role of an event management company.
What, exactly, does an event management company do?
An event actually represents an enormous project management task. It means setting, communicating and maintaining timelines and priorities for the event, bringing together all the stakeholders – the people who are invested in its success. It means controlling all the various operational and administrative functions. And it means applying strong leadership to the entire project, motivating, directing and supporting a team of people, each with their own personalities and responsibilities.
Some event planners are desk-based, others will be tasked with meeting clients to assess their needs and pin down the goals and aims of the event. The best events are supported by a project plan of one sort or another, and given financial targets to meet. Once the objectives are set, it’s possible to make a start usually by lining up a venue to populate with vendors, exhibitors, speakers, and entertainers, catering, bars, furniture and more.
Marketing an event
There’s also a considerable marketing element to event management. There’ll be a target for delegate numbers to tackle through PR and press work, email marketing and pay per click marketing, landing pages, social media adverts, advertorial and editorial. The event management company co-ordinates brochures, invitations, direct mail campaigns, delegate packs and badges, application forms and more. Also, because event planners operate in a digital world they’ll connect the technical dots to enable things like databases of delegate details, podcasts, live social media commentary and video content. An agenda has to be set and distributed. A specific website or landing page is also an essential marketing tool, the hub where everything marketing and sales-wise comes together.
Organising staffing for an event
Every event needs staff for the bars and eating outlets, meeters and greeters, customer service support people, security experts… plus parking has to be arranged for all of them as well as delegates and speakers. All of this has to come under a specified budget, achieved to a timescale that absolutely can’t be missed, which means financial management is another essential skill for event managers to master.
Health and safety at events
Health and safety rules and regulations have to be applied and any related paperwork completed and lodged with the correct authorities. Every event has to be properly insured for property damage and liability. If anyone has problems on the big day you need people and resources standing by. If you’ve ever attended an event with St John’s Ambulance personnel in attendance, it’s a health and safety precaution.
The skills every great event manager needs
Great event managers have excellent organisational skills. They’re detail-oriented people who enjoy deadlines. They have really good written and oral communication skills and have to be able to multi-task without losing the plot. A creative approach to problem-solving matters, as does the ability to work under pressure. And good negotiation skills are a must.
Events play a huge part in the success of many a brilliant brand and successful organisation. Whether it’s a conference, exhibition, concert, gig, summer or christmas party or any other kind of event, project management skills sit at the heart of everything an event management company does.