FOLLOW US

A Flawless Performance-2

Isabel-Blog-Flawles-experience

A FLAWLESS PERFORMANCE

This Festive Season, I was fortunate enough to attend a wonderful Festive Concert by the great Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, an evening which can only be described as a flawless performance, not only from the performers’ point of view, but for the total experience.  The entire evening flowed seamlessly starting with the parking arrangements on arrival, through the entire evening until the audience of a full to capacity auditorium reluctantly exited the venue.  It made me stop and reflect on exactly what contributes to a successful event.   A room full of people enjoying themselves? A full programme of entertainment?  Gourmet food and free flowing beverages?  Pages of coverage in the local press?  The answer has to be a carefully planned, rehearsed, choreographed event with the greatest attention to the smallest detail.

PLANNING to ACHIEVE OBJECTIVES

It would be fair to state that the starting point should be to define your event  objectives and to start planning the steps well in advance in order to achieve those objectives.

So it is all in the planning and while this statement may seem like stating the obvious, it still baffles me how many professional managers and companies will  try to organize an event without sufficient advance planning.

In total contrast to the above seamless experience, I was recently invited to attend an event where a large sum of money had been spent on various types of entertainment, hostesses and artists, but sadly, only half a dozen people turned up to enjoy the evening; and even more baffling, when it came to serving refreshments, it appeared that not enough serving staff had been allocated to the event……  the organizers, it seemed, were determined to stage an event, irrespective to whether anybody actually attended the event. I later found out that the event had been organized in 3 days.

A week later, arriving at another event, I was encouraged to see a great turnout of beautifully dressed ladies eagerly awaiting the evening’s programme and entertainment…. which never materialized!  The organizers, it seemed, were gauging their success on the attendance of the event, irrespective to their guests’ experience and the ultimate impression those guests carried away with them at the end of the evening.

Guests left this event bewildered as to the point of the invitation and needless to say, highly unlikely to attend future events organized by the same organization.

Thought needs to the be given to the decoration of the venue, colour schemes, dress codes, entertainment, audio visual equipment, food and beverage, gift bags, etc.  All very obvious….. But the one thing that is often forgotten is the “guest journey”; i.e. the guest experience from the moment they arrive at the venue, to the moment they leave.  This guest journey needs to the thought through and managed in detail.  Who will greet the guests?  What will they do on arrival?  At what point do speeches start and finish?  When is food and beverage available?

  EVENT MANAGEMENT
 It is essential to appoint an Event Manager who will orchestrate the timing of the event and ensure a seamless flow of the Programme.  The Event Manager will have a Team working with them, each person responsible for one aspect of the event;  F&B, Media, Entertainment, A/V, etc.

 So what makes an event successful?

It is all in the planning of the finest detail; both in the planning stages in the weeks and days running up to the event as well as on the day itself in the execution of the event.

TIMING

Exactly how much time is needed to plan an event?  Well, this of course, depends very much on the type and size of the event.  I always find that it helps to work backwards; so once you have set your event date, start planning your Timeline/Project Management backwards.

Setting the right date, time and venue for an event are in themselves important points to consider and will determine the number of guests accepting your invitation.

Once you have established the date, time and venue, it is time to develop a Project Timeline.  It is important to include all items within the Timeline, even the most obvious, as more often than not, these are the small things that are forgotten but contribute so much to the ultimate success.

Typically, you would include the basic Headings, together with columns for Due By and By Whom.  A Timeline review meeting should be held at least once a week, in the weeks leading up to the event, and daily in the final days.

GUEST LIST & INVITATIONS

Once the venue and date have been decided, invitations can be designed and a guest list drawn up.  Do send out a “Save The Date”.  This triggers anticipation for the event and your guests will be expecting to receive the invitation, while their availability to attend the event is already determined.  If you are organizing a public event, do use social media to create a teaser and build anticipation.

Depending on the event and the venue, you need to calculate how many guests need to be invited in order that you end up with the right number of guests at the event.  This is particularly relevant for corporate events.  In the UAE, you would typically invite 4 times the number of guests you wish to have at a corporate event.  After a follow up telephone call, approximately 50% will accept the invitation, and 50% of these will actually attend the event.  Attendance increases if you have a celebrity attending or if you are holding the event at the hottest venue in town.

THE GUEST JOURNEY

Thought needs to the be given to the decoration of the venue, colour schemes, dress codes, entertainment, audio visual equipment, food and beverage, gift bags, etc.  All very obvious….. But the one thing that is often forgotten is the “guest journey”; i.e. the guest experience from the moment they arrive at the venue, to the moment they leave.  This guest journey needs to the thought through and managed in detail.  Who will greet the guests?  What will they do on arrival?  At what point do speeches start and finish?  When is food and beverage available?

EVENT MANAGEMENT

It is essential to appoint an Event Manager who will orchestrate the timing of the event and ensure a seamless flow of the Programme.  The Event Manager will have a Team working with them, each person responsible for one aspect of the event;  F&B, Media, Entertainment, A/V, etc.

 MEDIA  COVERAGE
 Corporate and high society events require media exposure and if you are organizing an event where media coverage is required, it is essential to hire an experienced PR Agency.  The media will respond to an invitation from a respected PR Agency and for those media unable to attend the actual event, the PR Agency will follow-up with a Press Release and Media Kit to ensure coverage.  An experienced PR professional will manage the media on the day, introduce them to the VIPs and ensure that relevant photographs are taken which are suitable for the various different needs; be it to accompany a Press Release or for society pages of the local media.

 

Once again, advance planning is important, as a PR Agency will need time to prepare Press Releases, a Media Kit and organise interviews if required.

ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS

A successful event is the result of planning, time and attention to the smallest detail.  Choose strong characters to manage your event, who will not accept second best and who understand the importance of quality and detail at every step of the journey.  The result of such attention to detail is a seamless, flawless performance which will remain in the memories of your guests for a long time to come.

Author:  Isabel Tapp

December 2014

Isabel Tapp is the Founder & CEO of Luxury PR & Communications Agency AllDetails Middle East based in Dubai, UAE. Isabel offers a broad range of international experience within PR, Marketing, Branding & Events having spent over 25 years in Senior Management positions with some of the world’s most prestigious hospitality brands in UK, Switzerland and Dubai.

During the last 10 years, Isabel has set-up and grown AllDetails Middle East, culminating in June 2014 with winning the PR Award for Best Tourism & Hospitality PR Campaign at the Arab Luxury World PR Awards in Dubai, UAE.

 


JOIN DISCUSSION

error: Content is protected !!