You’ve been planning the staff year-end function for months. Over the last few weeks it’s felt like a full-time job; never mind everything else on your plate. Before you become “Event-zilla”, here are a few helpful hints to get you through the final stretch and make sure you pull off a first-class event – in no particular order and by no means absolute:
- Sweat the small stuff. Don’t ever think “it will be ok” or “we’ll make it work” or “it’s fine, we’re going for an industrial feel anyway”. Event suppliers will have been booked months in advance but in the weeks building up to the event, double and triple-check the detail. Make sure you have thought of every last detail, from table settings to safety procedures.
- Trust the experts. When the décor guys come to the site visit and say that they suggest upping the order of furniture based on their experience, please listen to them. Make sure you secure the correct suppliers and you will be able to trust their advice.
- The most important day is set-up day. Some events will require a few days of set-up, some will require a few hours of decorating. No matter the scale of your event – make sure your set-up schedule is well planned and that you fully understand the time implications presented by each supplier. The idea is to minimize the chaos by clever scheduling so individual teams can work efficiently. Also take into account that there is always traffic on the highway, vehicles break down, emergencies do happen so build in extra time for setup.
- While we’re on the topic… timing really is everything. Not only when it comes to the set-up schedule, but to the smooth running of the event as well. Plan the agenda for the day.
- Share information. The entire event will most likely be in your head at this point but don’t assume as much for everyone else on your team. The more information you share with your team, the more they will be able to assist you.
- Contingencies. You know it’s a good idea to factor these in when budgeting – now is the time to use them! No matter how well planned any event is, they seldom go off without hiccup. October in Gauteng is not only the start of event season, it’s also the start of the rainy season so have a good plan in place for any weather eventuality!
- Recce. The most ridiculous word uttered aloud. Except of course for “Farquharson”. Recce! Do it. Go and look at everything you can. As many times as you need to. Also, make sure your smart phone is charged so you can take photos. You need to plan everything… right down to where your 12 potted palms are going to be placed and where your event medics are going to be stationed!
- Be open to change – sometimes the best events are made in the days building up. When you arrive on site for your first set-up day, have your floor plan imprinted on your brain. When your boss walks in and says “I didn’t realise the stage was going to be on this side of the room”, be prepared to forget your floor plan and make the space work. Planning is essential but troubleshooting a misjudged element is paramount.
- Make memories or gain traction. So… (excuse me while I complete my Instagram story) … everyone has a smart-phone, right!? So everyone at your party / event / launch / summit / extravaganza extraordinaire is tweeting, instagramming, facebooking, snapchatting, whatsapp messaging, texting, emailing, #tagging, probably not faxing, several images across all sorts of platforms. Or at least we hope they are. SOUND ALARM! Don’t ever just hope they are. Some of the biggest budget events have completely neglected potential social media traction. Take charge and make it happen! If you have no idea what this point is about, find the millennials in your office and they will explain.
- Be kind to your team. Events are stressful environments for those working behind the scenes. No matter how tired, stressed or frustrated you are, remember that people are, after all, people. If they feel part of the bigger picture, and their work is respected, they are 100% more likely to go the extra mile.
Remember events are all about the detail. Guests may talk about the entertainment or the delicious food the following day but a truly memorable event is a slick, well-executed machine.
Of course, we can help you out with your event, big or small. Click below to get in touch.