The Gold Coast, the city I live in, is about to stage the biggest event in its history, The Commonwealth Games. Preparation, planning and various teams of producers and project managers are busy ensuring all details are fine-tuned to bring the event to a successful culmination.
During these final months the City is also staging a number of other events and openings including, restaurants, hotels, welcome events at the Gold Coast airport and the launch of the outdoor stage at Home Of The Arts (HOTA), with a fabulous, free concert starring Tim Minchin.
So what has this got to do with you?
Well these “special events” come under the umbrella of public relations and are a great way to promote your brand whether your own personal brand or that of your business.
Many oganisations hold events of all kinds, such as conferences, being part of trade shows, educational seminars and networking functions;making the events and meeting industry big business and worth millions of dollars to the Australian economy. Business whether large or small, value the impact of a well-planned and staged event on their clients, customers and in turn their own brand.
If it’s done well you may gain media coverage, raise the profile of your brand and increase awareness of your products or services. If nothing else it is a great way to get clients, prospects and influencers together to help spread the word about you and your business.
Over the years I have been involved in planning events from staging and compering fashion shows in shopping centres, to client cocktail parties, seminars for sixpeople through to television show launches, hotel openings and even a “Big Day Out for Dogs”.
Every event is different but here’s a brief checklist of how to manage an event, from the largest scale to the smallest. It could be a networking event, a media conference, seminar or workshop, fashion parade, open day, product launch or even a cocktail party.
Paying attention to every detail creates a professional image for your business. Begin with the basics by developing your message and branding, choosing the venue or site, date, start and finish times. Organise the legalities – check council permits, contracts, letters of agreement and insurance – if it is something as large as a community event. Set budgets, organise sponsors, suppliers and venue facilities.
Entrances and Exits
Give detailed instructions to your guests on how to get there – public transport options and parking stations. Be aware of emergency exits, disabled access, location for unloading of equipment and equipment storage areas, ticketing, queuing, registration and name tags and event site map.
At the Event
Staging – design and decoration. Power, audiovisual, lighting, video or PowerPoint presentation, speakers or entertainers needs. Marquees, tents or stalls, toilets, waste bins and water. Administration, information and lost children area; ambulance or first aid, security, crowd control. Have a contingency plan for wet weather and a crisis management plan. Include a manual and run sheets for all personnel. Event tool kit –consider things like blue tac for posters, blank name tags, first aid kit, torch and gaffa tape.
Book speakers, models/entertainment and accommodation. Organise food and catering, kitchen and bar facilities, hospitality, dressing rooms, hair and make up, media area, alcohol and beverages and any licenses needed. Sort money collection and float; table settings or seating arrangements; merchandise and souvenirs; signage including t-shirts or uniforms.
Communication and Promotion
Contact the media for publicity. Organise media releases, photographic images for press usage on television, online and in print. Have a photographer and/or video producer at your event. Letterhead and invitations printed, newsletters and emails issued or mailbox drops. Flyers, posters and programs with telephone numbers and website addresses. Contact numbers in your event manual of organisers, staff and entertainers. Send letters/emails to confirm details. Walkie-talkies for instant communication or mobile phones. Have research and evaluation strategies in place.
Pack up equipment and organise staff to “bump out”. Have a clean up plan in place. Arrange collection of equipment. Analyse research and assess budgets. Have a debrief to know what worked and what didn’t for next time. Send thank you notes.
An event can create “buzz” and goodwill for your personal brand, business, product or service and perhaps result in extra sales and profits.It is one way to “hook” people. Learn more in my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her professional development and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.