Interested in reading quick tips offered by other event planners that may apply to a variety of situations?
Event planners face hundreds of challenges on each program, so imagine someone else’s innovative solution to some common challenges.
Event Planning Tip 1: Be communicative with your clients
First thing is you have to do is ask your client a lot of questions. Try to find out his personality, what he likes, or doesn’t like, events he has attended in the past and his most memorable moments, this will help determine his personality.
Do some research, you may go online to search for similar events to inspire you, try to put together options, maybe two so he has choices.
Present your ideas in a visual format in a mood board or a story board, something you can share with your client to get a better idea of what he likes.
After the ‘ideas stage’ you now have to work with your vendors to get a quote to support your ideas, this may take a while as this is usually the negotiation stage as you have to balance between what your client can afford and the quality of what will be delivered.
Next stage is to put together an agreement of what is to be delivered with other details like set up times and ‘pull down’ time etc. Please include everything in the contract, colours, numbers everything! Ensure you meet with your vendors as much as possible to ensure you’re all in sync. Let your vendors know there is a consequence for not honouring the contract.
Create a checklist and a work plan to make sure all deliverables and timelines are met and you don’t forget anything.
Ensure you communicate with your client as much as possible as things may change from time to time. You will have to communicate these changes to your vendors well in advance.
Finally, relax, take a deep breath and do your thing, be ready to improvise as anything can happen! By Fummi Victor Okigbo ( Event Planning expert and Bella Naija contributor)
These are other ideas that we think can be useful during the planning…
The following highlights a few tips offered by foreign colleagues in the profession:
Event Planning Tip: Arrive 1 Hour Early for Site Visits
Show up at least one hour before your scheduled site inspection, unannounced. In that time, walk around, try to interact with staff like you are a guest (ask directions, ask “difficult questions” as if you were not a seasoned traveler), look in the restaurants — eat there if you have time, ask for recommendations for a local restaurant (just to see the responsiveness). I’ve actually called off an inspection when the property didn’t come close to my standards for the meeting being placed — saved my time and did the sales manager the courtesy of saving his, too. In the time I saved, did a spur-of-the-moment inspection of another hotel and ended up booking it! — Submitted by: Robert Abbott Director-Corp. Marketing & Communications, with Mueller Co., Decatur, Illinois.
Event Planning Tip: Use a Tree Stanchion for Lanyards
As any planner or registrar knows, string/lanyard badges can get tangled easily and create quite a mess in the registration area. After going to a store one day, I noticed a necklace stanchion in the jewelry section. I found and bought a few “tree stanchions” on the Internet and now use them at all of our conferences. I barely ever have to fight with knots. Plus, they make the registration area look even more professional and organized. You can even place a sign on top of them! — Submitted by: Christopher Gossett Conference Coordinator, with Investment Company Institute, Washington, District of Columbia.
Event Planning Tip: Reserve Last Rows to Fill Front Rows
Want to fill those empty tables at the front of a banquet?
Nothing looks worse than empty tables in front of your stage on banquet night, especially when you have a guest speaker. When I want to make sure the tables in front of my stage are full I put reserved signs on the last two rows of tables in the ballroom which forces people to look at tables closer to the stage. Once those front tables are filled I pull the reserved signs and fill the tables in the back of the room too. It really works great! —Submitted by: Dan Lough Project Coordinator, with United Transportation Union, Cleveland, Ohio.
Tips content reprinted with permission from ConventionPlanit.com, which offers event planners an opportunity to submit their own ideas and possibly receive $100 if their tip is selected.