What a year! Designing and executing 27 events in 12 cities is why our event planning team dubbed 2017 “The Year of Events”.
The events ranged from grand openings to full galas, book launches, award ceremonies and a 50th anniversary event to remember.
A number of these occasions involved pulling in expertise from all areas of Martin Charlton Communications to bring the best to our clients.
With our last event of the year wrapping up just weeks ago, we’ve now had time to sit back and look at what made everything come together.
Here are the top three essentials we believe are key to successful events:
For an event to be executed smoothly, a plan is required.
To begin developing a plan, we first hold a brainstorming session. At this session, we keep it simple by focussing on the big picture — the feel, the emotions and the goals of the event.
The details are developed later. They include costs, dates and assignments among other points.
One of the bigger projects we handled in 2017 was for a client hosting numerous events across Western Canada. Not only did Martin Charlton Communications handle the events, but also oversaw the creation of a booklet, videos, website materials and a contest all supporting their goals for this important year in the company’s history. This meant bringing together all facets of our team, an opportunity that is right in our wheelhouse.
It means more individuals get involved as we layer timelines on top of timelines and incorporate other processes, such as editing, as we are coordinating with multiple vendors. But with a solid plan, it’s not only manageable, but exciting.
Having a clear and well documented plan is key! Detailed timelines lay out:
- what needs to happen each month
- who needs to be involved
- what elements are interconnected
- who is responsible for each element
- what the estimated costs is
- when each element needs to be delivered
This plan means there are no surprises. Everyone knows who else is involved and what each individual is responsible for delivering.
That plan is how we are able to give clear and concise updates to the client and ensure nothing is missed. It also allows quick changes and adjustments if something is off track or needs to be adjusted.
Effective communication can be one of the trickiest elements of event planning. How we handle it is to appoint one person as the lead contact.
This lead is responsible for ensuring the plan is created, maintained and shared.
It is also up to this lead to best understand what form that communication should take. Some clients prefer emails. Others like calendar reminders. Some request weekly in-person meetings.
All communication with the client, team members, suppliers and venues needs to run through this lead. It is up to the lead to make sure everyone is informed and comfortable with the tasks they are assigned.
Again, having this one person take the lead in coordinating all the people and activities ensures nothing is forgotten or missed. Communication is key to this person — and the event’s — success.
The plan has been developed and communicated. When the date for the event rolls around, it’s time to execute it.
In 2017, for a number of the events we managed, our event team was not on-site for the actual occasions. Behind the scenes, we ensured everything came together by constantly communicating with the venue, suppliers and, of course, the client who were all on-site. They were all guided by an incredibly detailed guide.
That guide included maps of event rooms to describe where to place décor items. It outlined what items were to be delivered, when, where and by whom. Before the event began, we followed up with the venue and suppliers to ensure everything was in place prior to the start time of the event.
When our team was on site for events, we had our guides on our clipboards, watching the clock as each item on our list was checked off once completed.
By being highly prepared ahead of the day of the event, it runs smoothly and creates precisely the impression wanted by the client.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2018
With 2017 wrapped up, now is when we look forward to what 2018 will bring.
Here at Martin Charlton Communications, we tell your stories. Your story supports your success.
Hosting an event is an ideal way to bring together those important to you to share in your story and success.
Your event can celebrate something new, such as the book launches we’ve planned. It can reflect on what has been built, such as the anniversary receptions. It can celebrate the accomplishments of those important to you, such as the awards ceremonies.
All these types of events are further supported by creating materials that celebrate it, allowing for your event to have a life long beyond the date of the occasion. Updating your website, creating a book, sharing your story on social media or generating mementos to be gifted to your guests can add that extra touch to make your event that much more memorable.
Planning an event?
No matter the size or the scope of the event, there are consistent elements in all event management.
We’ve created a workbook that can guide you as you plan your next corporate event.