Corporate event planning is one of the bread and butter services of a PR company. In this guide, we'll share tips gleaned during our years' of experience in the field to help you pull off a successful event without making it look like you've broken a sweat.
A Very British Affair
The last few years have really cemented Britain’s reputation as a producer of world class spectacles. The Olympics, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Glastonbury and Wimbledon are all admired across the globe as examples of ‘how an event should be done’ and act as the benchmark for many countries when organising equivalent large-scale public events.
Even in these times of austerity, Brits seem to forgive the mammoth spend on public events, welcoming the chance to come together to celebrate ‘a very British affair’.
In the corporate world however, things are very different. We may be starting to see the effects of an economic upturn, but marketing budgets have been slashed and are not showing any signs of returning to the pre-recession heights any time soon (if ever).
As a result, in our game, we are increasingly met with the attitude of ‘that doesn’t look too hard, I think we’ll have a go ourselves, thanks’. PR and event management agencies are seeing more and more prospective clients nominating someone internally to have a go at organising an event (usually on top of their existing role) to save money. More often than not, next time around they come back to ask for help. In many cases like these, the event either wasn’t as successful as they’d hoped or the nominated event manager miraculously hasn’t volunteered themselves second time around!
Brits are known for their modesty and there is no truer representation of this than when they are organising an event. Whether it’s a village fete, a ‘wedding of the year’ or the annual work Christmas party. When the compliments for the well-executed event come rolling in, our default response is “oh it was nothing, really.” But perhaps it is exactly this ‘smoke screen’ approach to event management that makes clients believe they can take these projects in-house and do just as good a job? Do we make it look too easy? And, does our British modesty mean we downplay the skills that are required to make an event a success, to our own detriment?
With the 2014 event season looming, we decided to brainstorm some skills we think are needed to manage the event management process in a way that makes it look ‘effortless’:
- Meticulous attention to detail
- Organisational skills that boarder on the obsessive
- Decisive leadership and delegation skills
- An unflappable nature with a great poker face (for when things go wrong and need to be fixed quickly before guests notice)
- An ability to keep calm under pressure
- And probably most importantly, a willingness to muck in and get your hands dirty!
The Bottom Line
Events like the Olympic Opening Ceremony don’t happen overnight. A lot of hard work, planning and preparation go in to creating an event that has a lasting legacy. Even with smaller-scale events, having experience and knowledge of the potential pitfalls cannot be underestimated. So next time you think you can save a few pennies by taking an event in-house, think twice about what legacy you want your event to leave. A well-planned event can do wonders for your company profile and have guests talking about your business for months and even years after.
We always want to hear your views, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with your thoughts on what makes a good event great. And, if you are in need of some professional event management advice and guidance, give us a call to arrange a no obligation consultation on what we can do to help your event rival the Olympics Opening Ceremony!