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The event organising obstacle course

There’s so much to do when organising an event. That’s why you choose a professional - one who can effortlessly create and organise a memorable event, manage their time and resources, schedule their staff effectively, keep you informed, request and welcome your feedback, all whilst displaying transparency and visibility.

Make it special

Is anything ever truly unique? Either way you need to try and make your event as unique, different and inspirational as possible, especially as these days people resemble moths or butterflies and are so easily distracted. Give them something to remember and talk about in the office the next day, next week, month, and when they come back round next year they will ask for you or your company again. Have a look at this article for some good tips on creating a memorable event.

Back up your event with social media coverage and good quality pictures that capture the enjoyment and nature of the event. Don’t miss an opportunity to subtly remind the client what a great time or service you organised for them, especially if you exceeded their expectations

Shortened notice and budgetary pressure

Constrained by ever tighter budgets and delivering memorable and unique events is a pressurised juggling act. It isn’t easy. Ironing out the budget as early as possible helps as well as defining the customer’s precise expectations. Nowadays clients tend to give shorter and shorter notice for events, putting pressure on you, as the organiser, to find a suitably impressive and cost effective venue.

Some of the pressure can be passed on down the line to the event organiser’s suppliers, but not all of it. Absorb it and use that pressure for good. Some people thrive under pressure, but many of us don’t, and for those that don’t plan everything in minute detail well in advance. If you arrange as many aspects to happen earlier than the last minute then if something goes wrong (and something always will) you have just that little bit of extra time to try and solve the problem.

For example, with event and workforce scheduling software, you can check which of your staff is available, schedule yours and your clients preferred staffing options, arrange directions and meeting points, uniforms and sizes (because the system should also hold that information) check any certificates, qualifications (e.g. First Aid) or training is up to date, work out your total staffing cost and best of all, engage with the staff that will be working for you and get them excited about providing good service and a memorable event or service for your client.

Be strong and be skilled

The event Orginising Obstacle Course

Being able to adapt to rising or increasing costs and managing to find ways around these increases whilst trying to keep costs down is a skill learnt through experience and hard work. Managing and reducing the amount of time spent organising and managing your staff, their information and issues is one way of freeing up time and resource to spend trying to keep costs in check.

Offer your suppliers incentives to keep their costs, and therefore your costs, down. If a client insists on something that “breaks” the budget despite your best advice, tell them. Don’t swallow the costs and shy away from the conversation. Remember, it’s their decision and they must bear the extra cost. If you are costing out an event on a disbursement plus staff charge basis, use a time and attendance software system that tracks your staff margin, by hour, by day, by staff member and by site.

Make sure you’re making enough money! Profit is not a dirty word. If you don’t make enough profit and manage your cash you won’t be there next year to give your client another inspirational, memorable event. Good clients appreciate this. Being a good, strong and skilled negotiator is part and parcel of being a good event organiser. Plan, now where you are within the negotiation at every stage. I always draw up and use a negotiation framework that I can then picture in my mind whenever I want.

Environmental concerns or issues

These days, and rightly so, companies are always looking for greener or more ecologically sound ways to work and event organising is no exception. Focus will be on every aspect of the event. Addressing these concerns with a paperless staff or workforce management and event coordination system that also offers the client visibility and transparency must be a way forward.

Use technology as your friend

Move away from spreadsheets and paper timesheets to communication and staff or workforce management software cloud based, app based or if you have to, server based. It’s easier now than it has ever been to keep up to date with new technology, products and services through subscribing to newsletters, setting Google Alerts, social media and marketing push outs from companies.

There are plenty of technologies that are either free or very cost effective that can be used to organise and run your business and the service you provide your clients.

The right people and teamwork

Organising and managing an event normally means many teams coming together in terms of event staff, customer staff and external suppliers. For an event to be successful, there needs to be flexibility and understanding. Get a system that allows you to store and connect with staff.

Keep a bank of staff that you have used and are good, you never know when they may be around (or you might with an availability calendar) but a quick auto email about an event showing shifts and work available pulls people from your staff resource bank and encourages them to stay in touch and engage. Research has shown that people prefer to work for companies that engage them, involve them, maybe even allow them to request shifts at an event or festival. This means that all you need to do is approve the shifts rather than scheduling staff yourself.

Always have a grand plan as well as a contingency plans for every aspect

I would recommend that you plan absolutely everything, that everyone arrives earlier than they need to and that everything is watched, controlled and monitored continuously - but that’s because I would always err on the side of cautious paranoia!

Remember, generally, if something can go wrong, it will, and in a spectacular fashion if you let it get out of control. With a plan B, C & D up your sleeve you and your key staff can remain calm in almost any situation because you have an event plan and you have discussed it. Just before an event, risk assess it so that you can identify any points within your plan that are weaker, then strengthen them or keep an eye on them.

Remember, finding the right product to help you organise and schedule your event workforce, managing your staff’s time and attendance, control staff costs that is cost effective as well will almost certainly bear fruit when you exceed your client’s expectations.

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