Don’t build your events on sand

As soon as you have packed up that final box on site there is an almost magnetic like pull to start to manage your next event.

Your mind drifts.

You see new targets.

You will of course tie up the budget, send out the links to the event questionnaire and fill out your post event report before moving on, but inevitable as night follows day you move on.

The wheel starts turning again.

This is the typical “go get ’em” attitude of an event manager; you can’t hold us back!

However when your top notch planner is on this endless cycle of event planning and delivery where do they find the time to strengthen the foundations of their events department?

Finding the time is only the start

Make no bones about it templates, processes and procedures are the backbone of your events. But when do you find the time to review, re-write or create them? Event planners must find that little bit of a window wherever they can to take the opportunity to review the health and readiness of their events and their events department. But we know that clock is always ticking and there are always so many things to do……

How to build your events department

If you want to build your events department we think that having some simple guiding principles will help. Here are the three simple principles that we think most event departments should be built on:

1. Information is easily accessible to anyone who needs it

2. Stakeholders are always dealt with consistently

3. Decisions are guided by objectives

If your event department concentrates on these three areas you are likely to deal efficiently and effectively with the events you manage. These are your guiding lights! Before you look at how to build your event department you have to make sure that the foundations are strong – in fact bullet proof – and this focus will help. This might be a bit too simple for most planners in events departments so let’s break this down into some more practical guidance.

When our event consultants are assessing the readiness, effectiveness and efficiency of an events department we request the following documents:

1. template documents used to brief speakers/chairman
2. procedural documents like standard operating procedures to cover any aspect of the event
3. event timeline for an individual event including key dates for other stakeholder engagement
4. event budget for an individual event
5. objectives and goals for any individual event
6. overall objectives and goals for the events department
7. content marketing strategy for an individual event
8. contract of engagement or arrangements with speakers/chairman/exhibitors/performers
9. contract of engagement or arrangements with other partners (for example media partners)
10. briefing notes or guidance for onsite staff

What have you got?

It’s very rare indeed that we receive all of these documents. Sometimes some of them do arrive but they haven’t been updated for a while or they lack a level of sophistication. But that’s much better than not having them at all. Having these documents demonstrates an awareness of the three principles that lead to a highly functioning events department.

When conducting our consultancy we use this “test” and it has been a very good initial guide for Gallus Events to gauge the health of an events department. Looking at the documents which arrive allow us in the “blink of an eye” to get a feel for the culture of the team, the event department and the organisation. If the department has several of these documents and they are updated regularly it is generally a good sign that the appropriate foundations of an event department are in place. If they are missing or piecemeal it’s a sign that the foundations need strengthening.

This test works for us and we think it will work for you too. Test your events. Test your event manager. Test your team. Test your events department. Taking the test and improving that score will create better events. Before you grow your business make sure the foundations can take that growth.

Published On: September 24th, 2014 / Categories: Behavioural Change, Conferences & Congresses, Exhibitions /