What any event management company should do
At a recent networking event I was talking to a communications manager when the conversation turned to just what does an event management company do that the client team can’t do themselves, given the time and people.
The first few points were easy; professional events companies will have organised hundreds if not thousands of events. Experiencing many things that can go wrong, before, during and after the event. Critically they know which questions need asking at the outset to ensure the answers to those questions are built into the initial project plan.
In many ways, it is the quality of the initial diagnosis to determine what the challenge or need is that defines a professional event management company. Like the diagnosis of a doctor, architect or, dare I say, a bank manager, who will take time at the first meeting to ask questions to understand what you are thinking and what you need them to help you with.
A valid seven questions on organising events and conferences
The conversation then got me thinking. What should a potential client expect me to ask them before deciding to appoint me to manage their important event?
- Firstly, why they are proposing to host an event?
- What is the event intending to achieve?
- Who are the invited audience, what are the key messages, and what do they want your audience to do or feel during and after the event?
The answers to the above questions create the ‘event landscape’. An outline picture of what the planned event will look and feel like. The landscape can now be developed, adding detail and colour to continue the painting analogy.
- How many people will attend the event, what is the event format and duration and what would be the preferred location?
- Has this event or an event similar been hosted before by the client organisation?
- Who are the decision makers and stakeholders that need consulting in the development of the event?
- And as a final question for the initial diagnosis; what will success look and feel like?
This final question might be something to leave with them. It requires some deep thinking to determine what the success factors should be and it makes for a great way to begin the second meeting or conversation. Notice here that we’ve not even mentioned the choice of venue for the event. Choosing the right venue for an event is important but it should never be one of the first seven questions to address when planning your event.