What preparations need to be made before approaching an event organiser?
I would say first of all have a budget for your event as this then gives an event organiser a clear indication of what can be done and options to give you. This makes the different in what materials we can use in theming & dressing the room, the type of venue and menu pricing.
Also have a vision of what you want to see on your event and what you want to get out of it, especially if it’s a corporate affair. This is where we then take an idea and turn it into a creative and sometimes fashion led event so up to date with the latest trends.
We never compromise on quality and our personal service as this has stood the test of time for us now in our 11th year.
What are the biggest mistakes you have seen?
It’s generally on the operational side. I am quite lucky as I trained, worked up the ranks and managed hotels for 18 years before setting up my own events company so I know if something looks wrong or is going to go wrong before it even happens. I know, I am a bit psychic too!
On a really large event abroad I was bought in to use my expertise and oversee the catering for 3500 people for a 4 day event. The corporate client had dealt with the convention centre throughout and when I arrived and saw the catering space and layout the night before I just knew it would not work. There was not enough buffet stations or seating as the exhibition layout has taken over extra space and wide walkways. But because the convention centre were used to doing large events, the corporate client said – let’s just leave it for tomorrow and see how it goes.
Well total disaster, not enough buffet stations so long queue for food, no seating so delegates sitting on the floor in parts to eat, food was coming out too slow so I was literally in the kitchen speeding it up. At that stage there was nothing else I could do apart from getting the food as quick as possible. Once lunch was over we had a de-brief and they then listened to what I had said re layout, extra buffet tables, seating for delegates, quantities of food and then it worked without a hitch.
So now, when I know something won’t work even though the client is adamant, I do tell them it’s not something I would recommend and 95% of the time they go with what I say.
What makes a successful event?
Attention to detail, communication & staff.
As the saying goes “the devil is in the detail”. You have to ensure every aspect of the event is covered in minute detail so nothing is missed by chance. Do a check list; call all suppliers the week of the event again to ensure they are up to date with everything. Get all operational staff together, check all front of staff are groomed and in immaculate uniforms, brief them all together so any queries can be answered and dealt with beforehand. Happy, smiling courteous staff win over “bored I don’t want to be here” attitude! Ensure all staff, the venue and suppliers on the day have a briefing document/working agenda so they are all reading off the latest sheet. Then you will have a successful event.
Tracy Lavin Events & LOVEMYweddingplanner.com