by Gina Rotolo, Director of Marketing, PR & Booking, BBVA Compass Stadium
Sporting events, concerts, festivals, food & wine events, conferences and trade shows; we have all experienced our share of events both professionally and personally. More importantly, we have all had great experiences, the kind where you can’t stop talking about how great it was, as well as terrible experiences where all you could do was think, “I could have done this so much better!”
Events happen! The overall experience that is created is all in the details…and there are a lot of details so here are some tips to creating and producing events that will help you make some memorable moments.
- The A Team: Bring in people who you trust and are experts in their respective fields to create your dream team. Getting the right people in the right job makes all the difference.
- Know Your Role: Events don’t happen as the result of one person, rather there is usually a team of people involved so make sure you gather all parties/decision makers together and understand everybody’s role. You’re not an army of one so be sure to get the contact list so you can communicate with the group between planning meetings;
- Timeline: Planning an event means you’re married to one thing, the timeline. The event date will come regardless of whether or not you’re prepared so keeping all elements moving forward requires you to pinpoint key deadlines and milestones.
- Call Me Maybe?: Communication is the key to keeping things moving. It goes hand-in-hand with managing people and time. I’m a huge fan of face time when working with a lot of people as emails don’t allow for real-time responses and tend to leave you with more questions. If you’re working in the same office area, take a walk and engage your team members; if you’re working in a different location, get to know Skype and video conferencing; and lastly, pick up the phone and have a conversation rather than trade information via voice mail or text messages.
- Transparency: Nothing slows a project down more than people keeping their efforts a “secret” from the group or working in silos. A team effort requires the team to work collectively and to share information. As the event producer, you need to make sure each aspect of the event is moving and help trouble shoot areas that have hit a road block.
- Accountability: As the leader, you’re on the hook for making sure everything goes off without a hitch. The last thing a client wants to hear is “that’s not my job so I can’t help you.” Accountability starts at the top and trickles down to your team, including volunteers and interns, so make sure they know this is their event too.
- Celebrate Good Times, Come On!: When the time comes and everything is up and running, you get that moment where you exhale and smile because you pulled off a successful event! It’s as important to celebrate successes so be sure to take a moment to pull your team together and have a collective high five or toast.
- Evaluation: Nothing ever goes exactly as planned but the main thing is to come together after the event and recap successes and talk through challenges. Learn, as a team, from each event and build upon your skill set which will allow you to create opportunities for new successes and future business.
Events come in all shapes and sizes but these basic guidelines can help you manage any events that come your way. Know that things don’t always go as planned but it’s about how you react, respond and recover that count. Use your skills, use your resources and you’ll be on your way to creating a memorable experience!