How To Start Hosting An Event
Create Your Perfect Event
In our previous training, you have discovered 3 of the 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: How to start hosting an event
5. Thank it: It’s all in the follow up!
6. And Finally!
Today, we’ll focus on the forth stage of the cycle: How to Start Hosting An Event
Stage 4: How To Start Hosting An Event
So by now, you and your team have probably been working on your event for at least a few weeks, if not longer.
And now the big day has arrived…
And in this segment about hosting an event, I am not discussing being the host (Or EmCee), but rather being the one who puts everything together…
The week before the event is a crucial week.
I recommend that you call each supplier, each artist, the venue, everyone that is involved and confirm all the points of the agreements, arrival times, show times, etc.
The day before the event, you should go through the day with your team, step-by-step.
Do a trial tech-run on paper where you and the team walk through each part of the event.
Make sure that everyone knows their individual roles.
Get plenty of rest and do not party or have any alcohol, so you have a very clear head for the next day.
1. Getting the venue ready
How to start hosting an event starts with getting the venue ready.
This can often begin the day before the event, or worse case scenario at 00.01am.
However, as mentioned before now, the venue may be busy the night before and be prepared for them to run late and cut into your setup time.
You should have already discussed this with the venue and also got a plan B if it happens with the setup.
One of your team should be acting as stage manager and controlling the flow of the ingress of equipment.
You should have a time schedule and everything ready to go in the right order.
Set up a work station for yourself and organise the day from there.
You should not be running around like a headless chicken.
You should have a cut-off time for the setup.
Stay calm and let your team do the running.
Don’t forget to feed your crew.
They normally work all through the night and nothing upset them more than no food and water and coffee. (I know I used to be crew)
They should have a midnight snack, an early morning breakfast and then another morning snack.
Look after them well and they will love you and work double time when you need it.
Professional Tip: I would advise that you do not let staff sleep under the stage, but better to give them a holding room so that you can find them when you need them.
There is nothing worse than having a problem of some kind and you cannot find the staff because they have found a hide-away place to sleep.
It’s ok if staff sleep on their downtime, but you need to know where they are.
Once everything is setup, do a quick technical run with everything running.
Every now and then do a venue walk through to do checks.
You are looking for potential issues such as:
☛ Delays in setup
☛ Health and Safety issues, such as cables that are not safe
☛ Lights and sound are in their correct places
☛ Table and chair positions
☛ Fire exits are unlocked and clear
☛ First aid station is setup
2. Testing and rehearsals
Knowing how to start hosting an event starts with a lot or preparation…
One of the most important parts of the day is to allocate sufficient time for a few rehearsals.
You will need to test all the equipment, test it individually, then all together.
Also remember to test any music / videos / slides, etc
Do not accept any last minute material without release forms, especially if you have not had sufficient time to check it.
I was once at an event where the playback section were given the wrong CD and the audience got to watch the company President’s family on the beach instead of the event presentation.
Good job it wasn’t anything more revealing!
But it does happen so check everything!
Rehearsals will then begin.
Often you will need 3 or 4 dress rehearsals, stopping for editing and making changes.
I recommend that you do at least two full dress rehearsals with everyone involved as if you were doing the actual show.
This will highlight any errors or parts of the show that need attention and it also allows everyone involved a chance to see timings and show flow.
Never try to do a show without a full rehearsal.
3. Test guest registration
The first experience a guest has of the actual event, very often is the registration.
I am sure you have been to many events where you stand waiting in a queue for ages and it is really frustrating.
Make sure you do not have this.
You should have sufficient registration desks for the number of guests you expect to pass through smoothly and speedily.
Do a test run with your staff to make sure it really works.
Better still bring in a profession registration team.
Consider things such as:
☛ Do the guests need name tags?
☛ Are there any freebies when they register?
☛ Do you have a cloakroom for hats, coats, umbrellas?
☛ Will you use a barcode system?
☛ Will you serve welcome drinks?
☛ Where will the guests go after they registered?
☛ What will the guests do after registration?
You should have a team of people dedicated specifically to registration.
4. Look after your artists / speakers and VIP’s
I know every part of the event is equally important…
However, your hosts, artists, dancers and performers need special love and attention as they dictate the whole mood of your event…
If they are not happy, it will reflect in their performances…
So treat them well.
You should have already attended to their special needs and requirements and you should have someone from your team looking after them.
From the minute they arrive to the minute they leave, they should feel special.
If they have asked for special equipment it should be ready.
Go through the list and check that you have everything they might need.
As the host of the event, you should personally greet them and let them know that you appreciate what they are doing.
Be approachable at all times to them.
5. Look after your guests
If you don’t take care of your guests…
Someone else will…
They won’t want to come to your events again…
☛ Have you ever attended an event and been totally lost?
☛ You can find the venue entrance because there are no signs and it’s dark?
☛ Or the is no where to put your coats or umbrellas?
☛ How about a massive queue for the toilet?
☛ Or one small bar with one bar staff looking after all the guests?
And puts you in a bad mood!
And if it does that to you…
It will do it to your guests…
So don’t do it!
Your guests are like gold nuggets…
They are your customers who show their gratitude by giving you money for your products and services…
Let me say that again:
“They are your customers who show their gratitude by giving you money for your products and services…”
Make sure that there are sufficient signs and staff to make the guests happy.
They should also feel special…
Because their mood affects how they receive the artists…
You want to keep them happy and excited…
On top of that make sure you have:
☛ Free wifi – it’s second to air
☛ Cell charging stations…
☛ Enough clean toilets…
☛ Smoking areas…
☛ Enough food and drink stations…
☛ Cloakroom facilities…
It’s really important that guest know where to go…
They know what to do…
And they have fun while they are waiting…
Make sure you spend time mingling with the guests…
It’s great to introduce yourself to them and get feedback…
You should have a great time..
Your artists should…
And your guests should too!
6. Be on Time…
Your clock is going to be your best friend today…
Your event plan should have a time allocated for everything
And you certainly don’t want to get delays.
However, I can pretty much predict that at some point in the day, you are going to have a panic moment…
Your DJ will be late…
The stage won’t be up in time…
One of your speakers doesn’t turn up…
The food isn’t ready…
Something will go wrong, so be ready for it!
Remember also, that many venues have a time limit, so if you do run late, your event could be cut, or you will face financial penalties.
Your artists will get agitated…
Your guests will get really upset if you delay them…
Make sure that your ingress starts on time.
Keep the crew setup running smoothly and be aware of delays as they happen.
Keep good communication lines open so people are not scared to tell you what is going on.
Ensure that artists, speakers and performers on time.
They love the stage and won’t mind going overtime.
Discuss this during your pre-production meetings with all the suppliers, event crew, artists and performers.
Be on time!
7. Record the day
There is nothing much better than seeing yourself on the silver screen…
If you have ever experienced the thrill of watching yourself in the video at the end of the day as they do a recap of the event…
Then you know how your guests will feel.
It’s a fun moment for you and a record of what happens for you.
|”It might also help you in disputes! I once had a client demand a refund because they said we didn’t project their logo, but we had video footage to prove that we had… It saved our day!” Tim Bennett|
Unless you are a professional videographer, I suggest that you get a professional to do this.
You certainly do not want to be worrying about it.
And you want the footage to look the best it can as you will be able to use it in your corporate presentations.
You can also upload the speakers segments to social media or as gifts to the speakers.
They will surely appreciate that (make sure you have that in your pre-show agreements and that you have content release forms).
Use your video and camera crew to create excitement as they walk around taking photos of the audience.
If you can get your special guests involved in the photos it would be great.
If you do have photo opportunity with guests, then make sure you have security for this and areas where the guests can line up.
You do not want a mass stampede happening in the venue.
8. Spread the word
Setup social media campaigns before, during and after the event.
The more you can get others to shout your message, the greater the result.
You have to, however, give everyone a reason to shout out for you.
Create an event # hashtag and use it to promote.
Setting up photo booths, vip, speaker and guest photo opportunities is a great way to get people to post.
They will do it without you asking anyway.
9. Encourage participation
You didn’t work so hard on getting everyone here only to have your guests become bored and quickly lose interest.
The last thing you want is them being glued to their phones or checking their watches.
Or worse still falling asleep…
When the audience go home, they almost certainly won’t remember the speeches and f they take notes, most never get read again…
What audiences remember are special moments…
I call them the WOW moments…
You will hear the comments as people are leaving…
“Did you see the mirror dancers?”
“I never laughed so much in my life…”
“That’s the best car I have ever seen…!”
If it’s a conference or speaker-focused even, the program should be built around audience participation.
Your speakers might consider a Q&A session at the end of their speech and maybe incorporate interactive quizzes into their presentations.
I would suggest you place questions with specific members of the audience, so there are no cold moments where no questions are being asked.
People are shy to go first, so if you start the ball rolling, other questions will flow.
If it’s a casual event, try to arrange for an ice-breaker game or a friendly competition among your guests.
Prepare some areas with activities they can engage in on their own time while walking around the venue.
If you live streaming your event on Facebook or even go high-tech and jump on the virtual reality bandwagon and let people “attend” virtually, don’t forget to include them.
Its easy for them to click off and go and get coffee and never come back!
10 Leave last
At last the event has finished…
You are on your last legs and probably feeling amazing, but tired…
But your job is not finished yet!
Say goodbye to your artists and performers.
Thank them for their participation and get photos with them.
Say goodbye to and see off the remaining guests.
Work with your crew to clean up and dismantle any physical equipment, sponsorship banners, signage, etc.
Make sure the venue is handed back in the same condition you got it.
Accidents will happen, so if you have any, make a record of them, take photos and statements from anyone involved.
If you agreed to pay people at the end of the event, now is the time to do that.
Do this is a safe environment, so that people cannot see cash being handed over.
If anyone in the event, including guests and artists have lost anything make a report…
Do what technicians call an “idiot check…”
You will literally walk around the venue to see if the “idiot” has left anything behind…
You will be amazed at how many items get forgotten!
You did it!
Pat yourself on the back.
Now you can finally slow down and catch your breath.
How To Start Hosting An Event…
There is so much to do.
Today is the day, your team needs to really support you.
Delegate as much as you can, so that you can watch the day unfold from a higher prospective. Look in on the event rather than being sucked into it.
Have a “Host an event checklist” and go through it step-by-step.
Above all remain calm and enjoy the day.
These other posts will help you:
☛ How to Plan an Event Step by Step, check it out here
☛ 3 Reasons To your Clients Should be hosting live events, check that here
☛ How To plan your event, click here to produce it
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 Start Hosting An Event – 10 Event Hosting Tips” was written exclusively for Argon Animation Inc © 2019