Planning the perfect event

Published: 03 Jan 2014 By Suzanne Roach

Working in communications and marketing often means that you’ll have to plan an event at some point during your career. Events can be incredibly stressful, resulting in long hours at the office and on-site, but you can make things a little easier on yourself if you follow a few key tips…
Know your audience – Why are they there and what do they want to know?  Do your research, find out what matters to your audience and make that the focal point for your event.
Relevant content – When you’ve researched your audience’s needs, and know what they want to hear, stick with it. Organising an event with multiple speakers can be difficult to coordinate but it’s your job to ensure everyone is on message – even if that means having difficult conversations with senior management.
Don’t forget the basics – Logistics, refreshments and rehearsals may seem like someone else’s problem when you’re pulling together an event for thousands of people, but they are key to ensuring your event is polished and remembered for the right reasons.
Have a plan b – Crisis management is essential in event planning.  Think of all the possible hazards that could arise from the very simple - what if it rains and your event is outdoors? - to the more major such your key speaker missing their flight, or your host being locked in their dressing room when they should be on stage. Anything could happen – be prepared and if the worst does happen, don’t panic!
Don’t be a diva client – Events are stressful and micromanaging your agency isn’t going to make things easier. They are the experts, trust them. Also take the time to get to know the production crew, from Steve the sound engineer to Clive the cameraman – they will all work much harder and make your event the best it can be if you treat them as part of the team.

Suzanne Roach is International Communications Manager at Chivas Brothers.

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