Event planning is a flexible, creative process. Giving your agency, a clear brief is one of the first steps towards a successful event.
Here are six tips to guide you in helping us produce a proposal that’ll get what you need from your event and impress your delegates.
1. Why are you holding this event?
It’s the first question we ask everyone we work with. Once we understand what the ultimate aim of your event is, we can agree on the best way to meet those objectives – it may sound back to front, but let’s start at the end.
The success of your event is confirmed when your delegates head back into their business. So help us to understand the result you need to achieve and that will enable us to bring the event proposal, with your brand personality and key messages, to life.
It can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, especially when the detail of a project hits you. Being clear on your objectives and strategy from the very beginning will help you stay focussed throughout the process.
2. Who is your audience?
Once we have established the reason for running your event, we need to know who your audience is. Internal or external? Sales or HR?
It’s critical to know who we will be talking to as the style of venue, planned activities, and content and messaging can all be tailored to ensure maximum delegate engagement and ultimately ROI. If this is a repeat event, it’s also really useful to know what has been done in previous years, what the delegates enjoyed and what didn’t work so well.
We are an extension of your team and here to make your life easier, so the more information you can give us from the very start, the better the experience for your delegates – after all, that’s the reason you are running the event in the first place!
3. Who needs to be involved?
As soon as the event is ‘off the ground’, everyone has an opinion and wants their voice heard, particularly for higher profile events. It’s crucial to identify key stakeholders from the start to ensure a tight-knit team who all understand the objective of the event. This also means we are all working to the same end result.
Once the process starts, deadlines come thick and fast. A clear project plan for all suppliers must be in place from day one. So let us know who the stakeholders are, who will be responsible for making key decisions, and when they will be contactable in the lead up to the event. Knowing this will help us propose workable project timeframes for you and our team – and help us stick to them!
4. What’s your budget?
It’s key to have a good indication of budget before we start. We are confident that we can create an event to suit most budgets but to ensure we are keeping within the parameters, we need to know what is available in the first instance and what it includes. Have you allowed costs for travel, soft drinks throughout the day or cloakroom charges? The incidentals need to be accounted for and included in the initial proposals.
Costs have a habit of creeping up if you don’t keep an eye on them. It’s crucial to keep an accurate record of all allocated spend throughout the project to keep the overall spend visible and track the weekly costs against the budget.
If your budget is flexible, we’ll demonstrate different options that are available with different cost parameters, all the time keeping your specific audience and initial objectives in mind.
5. What is the perfect venue?
The venue is the backdrop to your event and the right venue can make your event. It’s important to recognise that it is a venue you are looking for and not just a hotel. Depending on your audience there are hundreds of different options to consider, and some of the most spectacular venues we use are non-residential.
In an ideal world the more notice we have, the more venues are available so if possible, give us as much notice as you can. This also means we can negotiate better terms and cancellation policies on your behalf.
Never underestimate the importance of site visits. A picture can speak a thousand words, but nothing beats walking around a potential venue with us and visualising how we could personalise the space. It’s good to do menu tastings prior to the event too (although not too great for the diet!).
6. Why work with a partner?
In many cases, organising events is not our client’s main day job; we often work with people who are asked to organise an event on top of their usual role, which can have a huge impact on workload and stress levels. This IS our day job and what we are here to do. We can therefore act as an extension to your team, supporting you to make decisions, managing timelines and making sure everything stays on track.
Working so closely together with our clients means we become part of their team and this is backed up by the number of clients that trust us to run their events and return to us year after year.
We can provide support on all elements of your event management – everything from finding the perfect venue to organising coaches to get your delegates from A to B. We offer a modular service, which means you can select the level of support you require from us – it’s a fully bespoke service.
We’re good fun! We genuinely love what we do and take personal satisfaction in running successful events. It’s hard work and long hours but the job is never the same two days running. We get to visit some beautiful places and work with some fantastic people so we feel very lucky to do what we do.