Event management involves many facets, from coordinating with a venue, to negotiating with sponsors, to managing ticketing and check-ins.
Here are five misconceptions on event management, in particular reference to managing an attendee’s event experience, and how you can fix them.
- “I’ll think about check-ins a week before the event. It should be a piece of cake, we’ve done it multiple times." A well-trained and organised check-in crew can do wonders. You do not want to leave thinking about check-ins to the last minute. Why? Because it is the first point of contact attendees have at an event! What more, ticketing operations can vary depending on venue, time, and date.
How to fix it: Visit the venue and create a plan of action - decide where attendees should line up, registration start time, number of check-in counters, and how you will segregate check-ins of different ticket categories. Run your crew through the plan, even if they’ve worked with that venue before.
- “The entrance and exit of the venue are straightforward, attendees should be able to find their way around.”
For a smooth event experience, you’ll need to go beyond indicating doorways to thinking about how attendees can move within a venue in the best, least congested and disruptive way possible.
How to fix this: Recce the venue and visualise the flow of movement. Lay out a floor plan on where to locate items like a catering table, a photobooth, registration desks, and stage. It could even mean arranging your seats facing away from the toilets so guests can head to them without disrupting the speaker up the front.
3. “My event’s for a 1000, and this venue can host that number comfortably. Let’s go for it.”
The size of the venue is but one factor to consider. Other factors are location, additional spaces for breakout sessions, catering options, audio or video equipment availability, and vibe. A venue adds to an event’s ambiance, helps to minimise cost, and affect ticket sales if inaccessible.
How to fix it: Sites like Venuerific can help source for a space along multiple dimensions. You could also make it easy for attendees to get to your event by partnering taxi apps.
- “I’ve got my programme sorted, things will run smoothly.”
Not to burst your bubble, but, something will go wrong.
How to fix it: Remain calm and be flexible! If things doesn’t go according to plan, the best way to help attendees feel at ease even if you may be squirming on the inside is to be authentic, fix what you can, and take it easy on yourself (even make a joke out of it!). Hiccups are the stuff of events you’ll remember most anyway.
- “The more sponsors we have, the better it will be to help balance our budget.”
Having sponsors are fantastic for budgeting, yet, caution against bringing on any and every sponsor. Alignment of goals are what differentiates a highly engaged sponsor who will go the extra mile, and one who feels like they’re simply doing you a favour.
How to fix it: Take the time to meet and understand a potential sponsor’s goals and motivations. Meeting face to face is always best, it’s sincere and you’ll be discussing potentially sticky issues. Choose to work with sponsors who are also partners in your event’s purpose and mission. Being aligned results in relevant brands or organisations that your target audience will want to know of.
An attendee’s experience should remain at the forefront of all event management decisions, and soon you’ll be able to iron out any of these five misconceptions like a pro.