The menu has been taste-tested, sets and stages built, hundreds of nametags lined up ready to go and guests have started to arrive. For the event organiser, it’s time to put the kettle on, sit back and watch as everything runs smoothly.
Yea right! Just writing that sentence, we can feel thousands of event organisers venting their anger at the screen, once again feeling the need to explain that events are bloody hard work and anything but a jolly.
Because no matter how stringent the planning, how full-proof the risk assessment, or how detailed the contingencies in place, the unpredictability of a live (or even virtual) event means you can never rest on your laurels.
At CWA we’ve been offering our event services in the UK and beyond pretty much since the day we opened our doors, and if there’s one thing that has got us this far, it’s our ability to adopt an agile method to our approach.
Flexibility is key
Even the most seasoned event planner has been put to the test these past 24 months, long gone are the days of a simple planning sheet and a linear process where every part of the day is dependent on what happened before.
Our comprehensive event planning remains intact: we still work with clients to define their strategy, key messages and objectives. This hones in on every single facet, right down to the colour pallet of the environment, and what toppings will go on the bruschetta.
But things can change on the day. Individual guests may bring their own, unexpected requirements. The client may want to make alterations to things now they’ve seen the event in person. Your planning needs to be able to flex. If things are too rigid, then you leave no room for manoeuvre. Calmly shifting emphasis to deliver results at pace will keep things running smoothly.
An experienced events team should be able to change direction as one when collaborating correctly. Members may each be responsible for certain elements of the event, but a good producer should be able to gather the necessary experts to guide clients to the optimal solution calmly and efficiently, whenever and wherever.
<figure="image">Our video and events team at the world's largest after-market competition VISTA, preparing for a full-day shoot.
We saw that one coming
Events are like snowflakes, no two are ever the same, so it’s important to be able to flex your approach for each one.
When planning the logistics behind any event, especially international ones, it’s important to note that every aspect is critical to the success of the event. Good organisers will not just accept change, but anticipate it.
The agile approach to events means communication between venues, staff and clients needs to be more transparent than ever. Our teams are in constant contact through daily check-ins, updates to planning sheets and frequent short meetings meaning teams are more aware than ever of everything happening throughout the event.
This increased transparency also reduces communication errors as everyone involved in the event is aware of what is happening at all times.
It’s not over just yet…
An event doesn’t end when the last guest leaves. For some clients, this will mean a follow-up action plan so that they continue to get meet their objectives in the days afterwards.
Yet still the weary event organiser will not get that cuppa and a lie down. The event debrief will throw up more questions, as the team looks back on the highs, lows and learnings of things that changed from the original plan, and how other ways to be agile can be included in future planning.
Because often, the thing that happened did so to help deliver the event on time. It wasn’t something that had ever been imagined. It was delivered to the client’s satisfaction, but it could be even better when done in the future. Learning, development, and improvement, based on feedback, self-assessment, and reiteration, which allows for enhanced strategies and procedures to deliver even better next time.
Need a helping hand?
Still think organising your own event is a jolly? If not, you could always get some advice from CWA. Get in touch today and see how we can help you: firstname.lastname@example.org.