Once you know what your event will require to amplify your company’s important message you need to ensure that the venue has sufficient access from the area both suppliers and colleagues will park vehicles, to the room/s they will be working in. Firstly, make sure there is adequate ‘safe’ parking without any main roads to cross if large equipment is being delivered, consider movement from outside to in. Is there a large enough entrance for the equipment you need? Is the room you are using on the same floor as the parking, if not, is there a ‘fit for purpose’ service lift, how narrow are corridors, and do they have any tight corners? We have seen all these obstacles catch organisers out regularly, so please do create a roadmap from your parking area to all rooms.
Check Room Size and Height:
From experience, room height is usually the one is forgotten about. We recommend checking the ceiling height in person, but if this is not possible in the first instance, ask the venue for the exact height in all areas of the room. We have experience from the past that some venues can give the highest point but fail to explain that there is a recess around the outside of the room or beams in the centre of the room which are a foot or 2 lower that the centre of the room. When planning such things as stage sets this can have a major effect if not known early on. Never use eyes one ‘general’ size of room, it’s easy to say the rooms ‘huge it’ll all fit easily’, as what you think is huge and what the supplier needs can be totally different scales, crazy we know, but we’ve seen it happen.
Schedule Preparation Time:
It is easy to focus purely on the timings of the conference, seminars, and breakout sessions alone when planning an event, but often preparation time can be overlooked. A good example of this is when you are a planning a team building exercise for the group and it’s taking place in your main meeting room, remember that it’s likely that any activity can take from 45 minutes to a couple of hours to set up, same for a themed dinner in the evening. Make sure you look at the schedule and see if these options have the time available in advance, you do not want it affecting proceedings on the day.
Book Less / Add More:
From our experience it is always best to book slightly less than you need and add more when appropriate. In general any supplier whether it be a hotel or event service supplier welcome you adding things from them to your event, but they do tend to stick with their terms and conditions if you book too many and have to cancel places or items after contracts are signed.
Give Yourself Time:
The less time you have to complete something the higher the risk of human error. In a world where more responsibilities per job role have become common we understand that it’s subconsciously simple to leave things till later and hope for the best, but we do recommend that the solid foundations for your conference or event are planned and in good time for you to make any necessary changes and work through the steps of organisation at a manageable pace without creating any personal stress or anxiety.
Get the Best Deal:
The best deal can mean lots of things. If time is the most precious thing for you can use a specialist Event Management Agency who can arrange everything for you from venue finding to supplier management. Now obviously these guys must make a living and quite often gain a commission from the venue or supplier saying it is a free service to you, some charge you for the hours they work on your behalf, some do both! So if money saving is the most precious thing, you may be able to negotiate with the venues and suppliers direct for better rates as no commission needs to be paid, but of course this will be more time consuming for you. Event Management Agencies are also likely to have used venues and suppliers before so will be able to give you the best options from their experience.
Negotiate Cancellation Terms:
All venues and suppliers will have cancellation terms, but from experience if you have concerns most will be happy to speak with you and be as flexible as they can to ensure that the cancellation terms should they need to be used are fair and suitable for both parties.
A specialist area for sure so make sure you liaise with equipment suppliers in the first instance to find out what level of power is required from the venue. For example, 3 phase is commonly required for larger stage sets using lots of lighting and sound equipment. If the venue does not have the specific requirements for power, but fits the bill for everything else you can always look at hiring a mobile generator for your event, but refer to point one about access, you must look at the access from where the generator will be to the point the power is needed.
All suppliers and venues will be able to supply a risk assessment following the Covid 19 situation. This is essential to have in writing and should be distributed to ‘everyone’ that attends the event asking them to sign to confirm that they are aware of the risks and the precautions taken to make risk as minimal as possible. It is quite often that these risk assessments stay at the organisers level and do not get passed on to all involved, so to avoid any unwanted comeback later make sure that these risk assessments are seen by all.
Try Before You Buy:
The whole event reflects your companies’ brand so we guess you will not want anything to be ‘substandard’, where applicable try a service or venue before you buy. In most cases venues will be more than happy for you to try some items from the menu or spend a night to experience the ambience and service at the hotel for example. You inturn, as a representative of your own audience will now know what your colleagues should expect and you’ll reduce anxiety and stress as you get closer to the event itself, knowing what to expect too.
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