Create Your Perfect Event
How To Produce An Event
How To Plan An Event Successfully
Your client is expecting you to take away all the stress from them and to deliver the perfect project to them.
Producing an event is normally a massive task and you are going to need all the help you can get…
There are 6 stages to planning your perfect event, namely:
1. Plan it: Turning ideas into an action plan
2. Produce it: Executing the plan
3. Announce it: Letting everyone know
4. Showtime it: Hosting the event
5. Thank it: It’s all in the follow up!
6. And Finally!
In our previous training we discussed stage 1: Plan it ! (To revisit the training click here)
Today, we’ll focus on the second stage of the cycle: producing the event.
Stage 2: Produce It !
A plan will never evolve into anything, unless you take action.
Today we will take a deep look at how to plan an event successfully and getting the early stages of your perfect event ready.
1. Lights, camera…. checklist !
You want to have an easier life?
Create an event planning checklist template that you can use for every event.
It’s amazing how easy it is to forget things that need doing.
There are different checklists needed. In fact I would suggest that you create a different checklist for each day of this training.
The checklist should include:
☛ The task that needs to be done
☛ Who will take responsibility for it
☛ How long it will take
☛ When it needs to be completed
This may sound like a massive project and yes it is…
But how do you eat an elephant?
In small bites…
You can use any spreadsheet to do this.
Write down in your spreadsheet the list of things to do.
You can rearrange them at anytime, but as much as possible put them in the order you think they will happen.
At this stage, you can decide the following and add them to the spreadsheet, such as:
☛ Who will be responsible for each task?
☛ How long will it take to action the task?
☛ Is the deadline for each task?
I colour the tasks as follows:
Red: Not yet started
Orange: Being worked on
Once you have finished, you should see something that looks a bit like this:
I also use Trello, it’s a great resource and you can use it for free to get started.
This event planning checklist will really help you to see how to plan an event successfully.
2. Production Meetings
As you discover how to plan an event successfully, you will soon discover that production meetings are the communication channel between you, suppliers, performers and clients.
Plan to have a few meetings during the production process and include it in your event planning checklist.
The bigger the event the more complex they will be and the more often you will have them.
There are internal production meetings and external production meetings.
Internal production meetings
These should happen on a regular basis. Sometimes daily.
They are essential moments for you to communicate with your team, find out the status of progress and discuss all parts of the show without the client.
These meetings should focus on:
☛ Review since last meeting
☛ Present status
☛ What needs to be done before next meeting
One area of coordination that needs special care is the relationship between the different suppliers.
Very often you will have a number of suppliers.
If suppliers don’t communicate honestly and clearly disaster can easily happen. You need to monitor the conversations going on between them so you can identify any issues that might arise.
External production meetings
This is between you and client.
You will not need your whole team there and you should only invite the required staff for that particular meeting.
It is good for the client to meet all your staff. A team gives them confidence.
Clients don’t need to know every little detail, but they will want to be kept up to date on a regular basis.
You should talk freely about issues and delays. Don’t try to cover up things.
Be honest if there are issues that threaten the event in any way.
Generally clients will want to see some kind of visual progress of the event, so prepare Powerpoint presentations, videos, etc.
Keep the meetings brief as possible and lively.
3. Book The Venue
One of the elements you will need to confirm first is the venue.
Almost everything hangs around the venue.
After analysing all the criteria you will need to make a list of possible venues.
Approach each venue and get a full list of requirements.
You must consider, venue style, size of venue, cost, restrictions, etc
Here are a few points to consider before choosing venues:
☛ Is the venue easy to get to?
☛ Is it big enough? (Consider capacity safety issues)
☛ Has the venue hosted a similar event before?
☛ Does the venue fit your budget?
☛ Can you bring in your own catering team?
☛ Are there noise restrictions?
☛ Are there ingress and egress restrictions?
☛ Is there an event the night before?
☛ Is there a cancellation policy?
☛ What are the deposit arrangement?
☛ Does the venue have insurance or do you need to provide?
☛ Does the venue have all the licenses and permits for music / video etc
☛ Can you do dry runs before the event?
☛ Do they have their own technical team or can you bring your own?
☛ Can you drink alcohol in the venue?
☛ Are there time restrictions?
☛ Are there extra rooms available for the talents and crew?
☛ Is there sufficient parking? Is it free?
These are just a few of the questions you need to consider.
If you need help getting answers about the venue ask us for help here.
4. Booking the artists, performers and speakers
Once you have decided upon a venue, one of the next big elements to decide upon are the artists and performers.
Your client should normally have an idea of the performance they are looking for.
Obviously high profile sought after artists will be booked weeks, if not months, in advance, so make sure to book early as possible.
Also high profile artists can be expensive, even for a song or two as they have large entourages and security teams.
They will often have special requirements, such as extra rooms with air-conditioning, food and water, etc.
Expect to pay more for special times such as Christmas, New Year and other high demand dates.
Remember to add these into your budget.
Matching your audience to your artist is important.
Make sure that you have the right artists.
You obviously would not book ballet dancers for a reggae show…
You wouldn’t book a speaker who talks about dog care to a cat lovers association…
Make sure your performers are aligned to your audience..
Reach out to the artists either directly or via their management team or contact a professional events producer to look after this for you.
Before booking the artist, make sure you know:
☛ What kind of show do they provide
☛ Do they require deposits?
☛ What are their cancellation fees, etc
☛ Do they have special requirements
☛ How many people will be in their team?
☛ How long will they be at the venue?
☛ Can they stay for photos or autographs?
☛ How long do they need for set up?
☛ Are they available for rehearsals, etc?
You must also inform the venue of the artists requirements so it can all co-ordinate smoothly.
5. Hire The Suppliers & Technical Team
Before I start on this topic, I do want to say one thing…
Having worked in the entertainment industry for almost 30 years, I can definitely say, you will get what you pay for…
Do not be one of those clients who get the cheapest, just because they are the cheapest…
“If it is cheap, but it doesn’t work, then it’s expensive…
If it’s expensive and works, then it is great value for money…”
Choose based on past performance, quality of support, ability to deliver and also consider price.
One of the big mistakes is that clients typically do not have realistic budgets for the events they want.
They forget about food for crew, transportation, venue air-conditioning, diesel for generators, shipping and other essential elements.
When talking with suppliers ask for all the ‘hidden costs’ to be included in the price and not to add the essential extras later.
Also check that the venue will allow the suppliers.
Some venues won’t allow pyrotechnics, lasers or loud music.
Others won’t allow you to bring in your own food and that you must use their suppliers.
Same with lighting and sound.
Many hotels have contracts with their own suppliers and will charge you a premium if you bring in external contractors.
Make sure you are dealing with professionals who have business permits, licenses and are qualified to provide the services they claim to provide.
Take the time to explain exactly what is expected to each supplier, have agreements in place that clearly identifies what they are to do, inclusions and exclusions, what happens if things don’t work, etc.
Do this well before the event as it will be impossible to resolve after an event.
6. Plan For The Worst To Happen
If you really want to know how to plan an event successfully, you must think about the things that could go wrong.
Let me give you an example:
“It was rainy season in Manila and the client wanted a late night outdoor music festival…
There were about 20 bands all lined up to play…
No matter what we said, the client, just would not pay for a stage roof and tents for the performers.
They thought it was an unnecessary cost as they said “it wouldn’t rain!”
Of course it did…
Like a hurricane…
All the equipment was deluged, the bands, soaking and everything had to be turned off…
It was a total failure, because the client didn’t want to ‘waste money’ (as they put it) or listen to the experts…”
Things will go wrong…
It’s part of life…
No matter how much you prepare…
But if you are ready for them, it makes it so much easier to handle.
☛ What will you do if the special guest is running late?
☛ Or the food doesn’t turn up?
☛ What if some of the equipment doesn’t work?
☛ Do you have a generator in case of power failure?
☛ What if someone gets hurt?
☛ What if there is a strike at the hotel or a political rally happening?
Take time to go through the possible scenarios and how you will solve them should they happen.
If you are new to event management, make sure you have a couple of experienced consultants on your team to support you.
By now you should have a better idea of some of the requirements needed when it comes to knowing how to plan an event successfully.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though.
As you become more accustomed to handling events, it will become easier for you, however in the meantime, let s help you.
These other posts will help you:
If you are planning an event, you may need help…
Argon Animation Inc can help you create dynamic live events. With almost 30 years of experience we can help you create your perfect event.
Get started today with the experts. Contact Argon Animation Here
This post “How To Plan An Event Successfully – Produce Your Event” was written exclusively for Argon Animation Inc ©2019