You might well think that planning an event is an easy task, or even a glamorous one! But I can assure you that there is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes before we get to the smooth running on the day.
The first thing we need to think about when planning an event is what our clients are aiming to achieve. Whether that be an intimate lunch for select clients, a roundtable to unveil the findings of their latest research, a grand scale launch event or even a company incentive weekend trip away – we need to be thinking about the end goal, whether that be brand awareness or lead generation activity. This then leads onto budget, theme, requirements and much more before we get the ball rolling.
We work very closely with our clients to ensure that we have the strategy for the event locked down and this might also involve us helping to secure guest speakers as well as venue.
Where the logistics are concerned our involvement could be anything from food and canapés, coffees and alcoholic drinks, to AV equipment and security. Naturally, the kind of budget available to the client will impact the scale of the event. Luckily, we are experts, so know how to best advise which things are priorities and how to stretch your budget where needs be.
Once we know what our client wants to achieve, we can start presenting venue options, with pricings for food, canapés and drinks. After our client has decided on the best option for them, we can start looking into the finer details, like how to set up the room, a running itinerary of events and guest speakers.
Next comes the invite list. Sometimes our clients have a clear view of who they want along to their event but, for times when they don’t, we can offer a helping hand, using our media contacts, or outreaching through avenues such as social media and email to secure relevant guests. We also work very closely with a list broker so often we also purchase a list of relevant targets.
Once we have our invite list sorted, we draft up a compelling invite and send it out across various channels. If it’s intimate, we can send a personal email, but if we want it to reach far and wide, we like to post on platforms like Twitter and Facebook too.
On a weekly basis, we will remind our guests of the upcoming event, as we don’t want to lose numbers nearer the time. We also follow up with calendar invites and other touch points such as directions. An event is never fully planned until it’s over; so don’t be fooled if you think all it takes is a quick phone call to a venue and a few emails to friends.
As you can now imagine, most of the legwork for the event has been put in before the day itself. But on the day, we assist to keep things on track. That can be ushering people in, making sure presentations run to time, liaising with catering staff to bring out food or drinks and engaging media.
So, there you have it – a C8 exclusive behind the scenes to event planning!