This article originally appeared on our website in 2017 and even in two years, the events industry has evolved. Today, savvy marketers know the power of events and experiences for their consumers and are focusing on the guest experience first and foremost. A space that was once occupied by AI and showing off the latest flashy technology is now all about personalized, super-VIP guest services. Read on to learn what the event planners of 2020 want you to know...
You are eternally grateful to your event planner or agency for pulling off great events, but are you really giving them everything they need to help your event succeed? We’re going to walk you through four things your event planner wants you to know.
The Concierge.com team has spent years pulling off large-scale events — like AT&T's Super Saturday Night and the iHeartRadio Music Festival — working for hospitality giants and major brands. Our experience gives us the insight to understand both the client and the event-professionals equally. We’ve seen plenty of miscommunication go down (we’ve even been the cause and recipient), so we’re going to save you the trouble by sharing what we’ve learned.
1. Know that your event pro is a trusted partner
You probably hired this person to join your team or as an outside consultant after much researching, budgeting, and praying to the event gods. You know they're capable. You know they're invested. Don’t fall into the tempting habit of excluding them from important communications as your event evolves and changes take place. They’ve probably been immersed in the minutiae of events longer than you have and may have valuable suggestions to make as issues arise. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own teams, but remember you hired this person not only for their skills in executing and organizing, but also for their experience! Use it!
Tip: Keeping them in the loop is easier than you think. Schedule a brief weekly check-in to review to do's and cc: them on *all* internal emails about your event.
2. Know that timelines are everything
Event planners live and die by your timeline, but brands often consider these dates to be flexible suggestions. Commit to the timelines your company sets for your event and deliver on your end of the deal when approvals are needed and to-dos are due. Of course, there are undoubtedly times when things change and everyone has to adapt, but holding fast to the deadline you set whenever possible gives you more understanding to cash-in when things really do need to change. Event planners will stick to your timeline and will appreciate and respect when you do, too.
Tip: From the beginning, create a shared calendar or Google doc that you and your event planner can access at any time to see an up-to-date timeline. It’s transparent, efficient, and updated in real time.
3. Know the value of your investment
Event planning is around-the-clock work. There are fires to put out in the middle of the night, Plan Bs (and Cs) put into place at the last minute, and days spent rechecking every detail so that you can focus on the big picture. And that’s just the set-up! The actual event is an especially intense time for your event pro since they’ll be everywhere at once and responsible for every detail. Keep in mind when you’re lamenting the cost of event planning that you’re paying for empathy, diligence, and integrity with every dollar. When you’ve hired a good event team, they are going to pour themselves into your project, often going above and beyond what you’re paying them to make sure everything is perfect.
Tip: This is a two-for-one deal. During your brief weekly calls (mentioned above), ask for clear updates and challenges from your event planner. We’re confident they’ll be happy to outline the ways they’re going above and beyond for you throughout the process.
4. Know that issues will come up. Then trust your team
Issues come up. They just do. Celebrity event planner and producer Jung Lee even said, “Just because you have planned something doesn’t mean it is going to happen.” Resist the temptation to blame your event planner for every little issue by understanding that stuff happens out of everyone’s control. Instead, hire someone you trust to handle problems professionally and gracefully. When mishaps pop up, event pros will get your event back on track faster if you give them the trust and power they need to do their job successfully.
Tip: Always set time for a post-mortem on an event to discuss what issues came up, how they could be avoided/better handled in the future, and what you’ve learned as partners from the experience.
Event pros, what did we miss? We’d love to hear your thoughts!