Event Management – Getting the Job Done Smartly and EfficientlyEvent Management

Event management has become a promising profession these days.

Santosh Shrestha

Events Management is the art of making any event grand, flawless and memorable. For someone simply attending just a program it might be just another event he/she attends, but for the one who organizes it is an opportunity to deliver to the best of his capability and meet the objectives. Just a few years back, most of the events were managed and executed by the organizers themselves with the help of neighbors, relatives, friends and vendors/suppliers who are in the personal loop. The events that used to be held at home or in any vacant space nearby are now held in venues such as hotels, party palaces and restaurants/lounges with the help of professional event management companies. Nowadays, it has become more of a norm to entrust event management companies to make small to big events unforgettable. If you have the desire and the money to spend, you can employ these professionals and level -up the grandeur of any event/occasion. And now with the development of technology, the scope of things you can do to make any event special is humongous.
However, many things need to be taken into consideration to make any event successful:

1. Place and time
2. Furnishings
3. Cuisines
4. Sound & Lights, LEDs
5. Fireworks, Cold-fire
6. Means of entertainment
7. Program schedule
8. Event attendees/organizers’ dress code
9. Participation of attendees
10. Efficient management

If proper attention and planning are ensured in all the areas listed above, then almost any event can be managed magnificently. However, if the management itself is not up to par, then all the effort, planning, and resources will go to waste. Therefore, nowadays the practice of handing over the management to non-profit organizations has increased significantly.

Event management has become a promising profession these days. One can embrace this profession either through formal education or through rigorous practice at ground zero. A person who can manage events well will also gain the know-how of handling every ups and downs of real life with ease as life is like a chain of events, from birth to death. A skilled event manager is someone who is reliable, mature and a problem solver. Just like a person matures after facing hardships, building a home, traveling around the world and learning various things in the process, an event manager also gets seasoned with the experience gained from various kinds of programs.

Experience is a crucial factor in events. An experienced manager can efficiently move the program forward and make it successful. Since every event is equally important for the organizer, the event manager has to give 100 percent to the work, no matter the scale of the event. In order to make the event successful, there has to be efficient mobilization of the team; after all, it is a team effort. Skilled managers manage the event by dividing it into three stages.

A good start is what ensures a great finish. Pre-event planning takes up a major chunk of the task. Just like the final design and construction of a house depends on the architectural blueprint, the core ideas and concepts made at the pre-planning stage play a big role in deciding how successful and smooth the event is going to be. At this stage, the event manager should make full use of his experience, skills and knowledge. Keeping in mind the purpose of the event, the event manager has to bring together a team and resources that have the capacity to meet and delivers the various requirements of the event. Moving forward with a proper plan in place will not cause unnecessary problems later.

There should also be a sound discussion with various stakeholders of the event, so as to finalize the final plan. A skilled event manager should always explore new ways and means to make the event/program more interesting and memorable. It is always advisable to analyze the feasibility and possibility of any ideas that we propose. And most importantly, you have to pay attention to the smallest of details while planning the overall event.

This is also the stage where we craft the creative module of the event. The creative content and design of an event are what constitute a major chuck of Event Management. After all, how well you manage an event comes only after you have a picture of what you are going to do in the event. Different events demand different kinds of approach, treatment and execution, which largely depends on a lot of other inter-connected factors, most importantly the objective and budget of the event. And this in turn gives one the cue for the design choices for the event.

The creative aspect really helps you conceptualize the core aspects of the event; it dictates the actual look and feel of the event. A good design can impact the whole presentation and outlook of any event. A good design can make everything interesting – right from invitation cards to parting gifts. It can make an event look professional, fun, glamorous, exciting or downright educational, all depending on the use of colors, graphics, copywriting and content creation.

The core objective of the creative aspect of any event is to communicate the core objective of the event and amplify the brand persona. For an event like a corporate conference, the whole design approach will be to give it a professional look whereas for an event like a product launch the design intention will be to make the entire occasion look very glamorous and celebratory.

The creative content of any event is what makes the event appealing, engaging and memorable. It can be getting innovative with a photo backdrop, creating customized merchandising, making the right entertainment choices, strategizing ways and means of audience engagement, etc.
Getting the creative approach right for any event is half the battle won.

In institutional events, it is customary to do a rehearsal or a dry run. This helps you see the loopholes and address them on time. While moving ahead with Plan A, is t is always a good idea to have a Plan B just to be safe, in case things do not go according to plan.

During Event
On the day of the actual event, everything might not work out as planned, and that is where we have to adapt and improvise as per the flow of the event. The execution of the final plan is directly related to how well everyone in the team fulfills their role and responsibilities. If unfortunately, the event is not going according to plan, you have to keep a keen eye, identify the problems and get things sorted out asap. This is where your backup plan, also called Plan B, will come to the rescue.

While the event is rolling you should be able to make the right decision at the right time. Since there will be zero time, there is no room for confusion or inaction. It is necessary to keep abreast of the ongoing activities and take necessary decisions immediately and give out instructions based on the prompt feedback given by the stakeholders. In our case, the initial plan is always good, but the implementation is the tricky part. So, it is important to always be on your toes during the event.

If everyone fulfills their responsibilities without any compromises, the event will be grand and successful. As we all know that there is always room for error and if the dedication and delivery fail by even 1 percent, then this might seriously happen to the final outcome of the event.

Post Event
The conclusion of an event does not necessarily mean the end of event management. There are a whole lot of things that have to be taken care of once the event has been executed. Things like – vacating the venue, assembling the equipment and getting them back to storage, collecting branding materials and merchandise and relocating them to the assigned place, etc. Though this part of the job might not seem important, it sure helps to set a practice among the team members and also make a good impression on the organizer. And no, we are not done yet. The most crucial part still remains – making a good post-event report. Making a report is not always mandatory but its relevance cannot be underestimated. Making a detailed report that documents the entire event with photos and videos can be mutually beneficial -both for the event manager and also the organizer. Many valuable lessons can be learned by reviewing an event. By reviewing the entire event along with the organizers, you can get a better understanding of which aspects were good and which aspects were bad, and where there is scope for improvement. It can be a useful tool for future reference. And in some cases, there is also the tradition of celebrating the success of an event, with the core team members.

Whether the event is small or big, when we work things out in a planned manner, then there is a high chance of success. For many, conducting a big event is a herculean task, but for a skilled event management company, it may not be such a big burden. By entrusting the execution of an event to a professional event management company the organizer can comfortably sit back and provide input only when needed. In the eyes of the organizer, an event can be a cause for a lot of unwanted tension from various avenues, but for a professional event management company, it is a job that they have been constantly doing day in and day out.

When working professionally in a pre-set and rehearsed format, the entire team can work efficiently and also enjoy the work while in the process, minus any unforeseen burdens. At times, several businessmen and corporate houses conduct such events and activations to market and promote their products. It can be a great opportunity to directly interact and engage with your customers, get face-to-face feedback and get a better understanding of their needs and desires directly.

How to do an event is more important than what you do. Deciding how to effectively run your business programs determines the future of your business. Nowadays, everyone has started spending a good amount of money on such events and activations. Some people have started realizing that it is the most effective means of marketing. On special occasions such as Anniversaries and Annual General Meetings, various festivals, the launch of goods and services, any new commercial sales plan, semi-annual and annual dealers meets, programs held after completion of special objectives, company mergers, strategic meetings, special training and workshops, meeting of customers, award ceremonies, any competitive program, road shows, small and big exhibition, trade fairs & fest, musical concert, etc. can be considered as examples of commercial programs.

Like all sectors, this sector also has its own share of problems and challenges. Lack of skilled manpower is one of the major issues faced by this sector. It is no exaggeration that the people who have progressed by working and learning rather than studying events and activations from colleges and universities have adopted this business. Without paying attention to the quality of the goods and services used in an event, if you only try to increase the expenditure unnecessarily, the program itself will be messy, and there will be several hick-ups in between. After the end of any event, there is a widespread practice of not adjusting the accounts on time or not making timely payments under various pretexts. Nowadays the event organizers themselves are very knowledgeable and that is why they dominate right from the beginning. Just to save a little money, they usually do not hand out all the responsibilities to the event manager. They tend to interfere in many areas, which can cause unwanted problems later. And in doing so, they take the credit for a job well done and shift the blame to the event manager if things go wrong. If there is not much communication as there should be between both parties, some problems will arise and that will have to be faced by both parties.

There are cases where problems have arisen due to not doing or not being able to do the necessary rehearsal/practice before the event. Organizers tend to rope in several agencies, get different plans from each of them, get all the necessary information and at the end of the day, they eventually organize and manage the event by themselves. If there is no experience in managing events, then you can surely expect a bundle of troubles when you try to do everything yourself. Many still assume that they can conduct events by themselves, so why hire a skilled event manager? This perception is still largely prevalent in the market. If there is no proper coordination between the client, event manager, vendor suppliers and the representative of the event venue (hotel, party palace or any hall), problems will arise.

Rather than doing programs just for the sake of it, events that are organized to increase business will impact the business positively. By improving its image among the stakeholders, the business organization that grows more and more can occupy more market share. Therefore, it is important for every individual and institution to think carefully about organizing programs in effective and creative ways rather than what to do.

Shrestha is the former President of Nepal Advertising Association and Managing Director of Mars Advertising & Research. He can be reached at santosh@marsad.com.np.

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