Pain Points: The Big Event Management Decisions

Every events professional knows that there are make-or-break moments in planning any kind of event. There are decisions and moments - before, during and after the big day - that will define the success of your event. Tackling these challenges represents the nub of events work. So, what are they? And what’s the best way to ensure that everything works out alright on the night?

The venue

Despite the sheer variety of spaces available, venue hire in London can be a nightmare without adequate scouting, sensible budget projections and a clear and precise understanding of exactly what you need to achieve.

Choosing the right setting is the first and most fundamental choice you will make to define whether your event works or otherwise. Lighting, transport, facilities, flexibility, scale - don’t be scared to cast your net wide and visit atypical spaces. A bold choice of setting - if it fits your key criteria and supports your message - will certainly be more memorable than somewhere more functional.

The content

Depending on the niche and scope of your event, content should be defined by your target audience. Your first responsibility is to make the schedule eye-catching and varied, but it all comes back to motivating enough to attract the customers and clients that you want to connect with.

If you’re hosting an event about the future of journalism, why not ask an expert in robotics to talk about the threat of automation to creative industries? Building a conference about innovation in health? Spark a conversation with a debate between private and public health interests, or invite a top journalist to tackle the moral question over profit-driven pharmaceutical companies. Whatever your topic, avoid a procession of uncontested speakers - a debate, a panel discussion, or an interview will always cut faster to what’s engaging about your niche or theme.

The user experience

You can fill your room with the perfect content, but if you don’t map out how and when your guests will enjoy the event - planning out alternative user experiences - you’ll be facing a dwindling attendance of unsatisfied guests.

Give people time to get from room to room between speakers and workshops. Deploy clear signage that clarifies queuing and avoids bottlenecks. Position customer-facing events staff at key positions, if your budget allows.

The digital offer

Events don’t just happen ‘in the room’ anymore. Every event manager has to weave an effective digital strategy into what they’re trying to achieve. Particularly in corporate conference and expo environments, there is an expectation that the experience you are offering will naturally extend into the digital sphere.

A fantastic tool for maximising engagement and increasing brand exposure, the online conversation via social media can drive more interested eyes and ears to your event, and consequently, help you reach your targets.

If you need support, don’t be afraid to hit up LinkedIn or your more traditional rolodex of contacts and talk to a digital agency, a consultant, or social media freelancer who can provide you with strategic guidance or indeed come onboard to lead on the digital side. A digital strategy should be part of your initial planning, as it can greatly expand the impact and reach of your event beyond the room, to influencers and new markets.

What are your key pain points when planning and managing an event, and how do you tackle them? Share your thoughts with us via Facebook or Twitter.

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