Successful Event Planning is about a balance between Planning and Delivery, Vision and Budget, form, and Function.
While the feeling, tone and experience of an event are vital, you can’t dismiss the importance of the practicalities. Yet, at the same time, you can’t focus solely on the delivery and logistics, that create the most stress and risking not being able to connect with your guests on an emotional level.
Therefore, it’s important to work in a collaborative way with your event planner, which starts with a comprehensive briefing exercise before your event. A Brief serves as the starting point for a successful event experience and that covers every aspect from planning to delivery and beyond.
While every event will be different, each covers four broad areas of consideration.
Let’s start at the top.
An event without purpose is costume jewellery – sparkling and impressive from afar, but ultimately without substance or value.
This is the desired outcome? This sets the tone and drives the event to the desired destination and sets a basis for measurement of success.
Why are you undertaking the event, and what do you hope to achieve? Is it a once-off tactical activity, or is it part of a long-term strategy? Does it form part of an existing campaign, or is it a Launch? Is it about retaining your existing clients and building relationships, or acquiring new ones? Is it about team building and buying into your Vision?
Who is your Audience?
What are the key demographics and interests of your proposed guests and what is appropriate to your B2B relationships?
What image do you want to portray for this event? Bold or friendly? Techy or approachable? The tone for a particular event may even differ from the perception of your company‘s brand personality but we still want to ensure it resonates with your guests.
You also need to be clear on what your ultimate goal is. Is it about client appreciation, building awareness, or shifting more product? Or is it something as disruptive and fundamental as a complete image change?
3. EVENT PLANNING LOGISTICS
Logistics connects the fun creative side with Delivery.
As they say, “The Devil is in the Detail”, well this is where the detail lives, and your event can succeed or fail on the detail.
What are the features you want to include, be it digital displays, corporate cookies, or somewhere to park a Supercar?
Event Planning Word of Caution
It’s important to be careful of assumptions. It’s best to cover every aspect you can think of, rather than make assumptions. While your event planner should have a checklist, it’s vital to be clear on expectations on both sides.
One of the key advantages of the collaborative and consultative approach to event planning is ensuring that there are no surprises for either party.
Gaps in knowledge and expectation can be filled quickly. The consultative approach also gives the planner a view of the bigger picture.
This is the reality check! If the creative is the fuel behind the event, and the logistics are the engine driving it along, then the practicalities are the chassis: solid, a bit dull, but essential for holding it all together.
The creative and fun side of events flinch at the shackles of constraint, it is when constraints are not taken into consideration that delivery can revert to form over function. This results in everyone having a wonderful time with little, or few objectives being met.
The most obvious practical considerations are the technicalities of an event, i.e. the nature and size of the venue, and any building regulations or architectural limitations. Also important are any business constraints you may face, i.e. the availability of your key staff, hours of operation, location. The potential logistical constraints associated with moving large amounts of equipment, product or people should also be considered.
The “B” Word
The most important consideration of all is the BUDGET. How much are you prepared to spend?
Without having an idea of your budget in advance, it’s virtually impossible for an event planner to present a practical solution. It could be that your vision is in danger of overreaching your budget, demanding a tricky balance between innovation and cost.
The best option is to have a detailed brief and a defined budget, but with the flexibility to be creative.
A great brief is more than just a set of instructions; it is a recipe to ensure that the outcomes deliver on your expectations while building a foundation for creativity and innovation.
ABOUT BLUE VELVET EVENTS
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Blue Velvet, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. We conceptualize, design, and execute inspirational events, experiences and stylish travel itineraries for corporates and private groups. Our signature is a blending of original imaginative concepts, with a practical approach that leaves a lasting impression.
We are in the business of making memorable moments.
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