Events aren’t cheap, whether you’re setting up a seminar, a celebration or a launch. An entire industry has developed around Event Management, with numerous companies devoted to the task of arranging and managing events. Even for weddings it’s now usual for couples to hire a wedding planner, although the seating plan remains as much of a nightmare as ever!
All PR agencies have an event management department because it’s big business. The most important thing to remember for any event is that you have to pay attention to detail. While you are doing the’ big stuff’, such as preparing your guest list, finding and booking your venue, designing invitations, deciding on your decor and selecting refreshments, you have to remember to be totally guest-focused in all of your decisions. It can be as simple as ensuring you give your guests clear directions on how to find the venue, information on parking facilities, asking if they have an special needs, dietary or otherwise, to that tried and tested measurement- what’s in it for them?
I recently arranged an event for a client, rhg Insurance Brokers, which wanted to celebrate the company’s chartered status as an insurance brokerage, its new website and new logo. As well as having to arrange the event, media coverage was also a key part of the brief. The company actively supports a charity, ReachOut Plus, which has canal boats for people with learning difficulties or physical problems, so they wanted to do a canal cruise.
After three weeks of pretty frantic activity, including a massive ring round to get guest numbers up from three to thirty, the event was a huge success, with every guest enjoying a luxurious afternoon tea while networking and relaxing on the Grand Union canal. Five journalists came and this resulted in extensive subsequent media coverage.
It’s always important to look for marketing opportunities and something to make the event stand out. We created an rhg cocktail for the company in association with the Mokoko Bar in St Albans, which we served to guests on the cruise. The cocktail was in the new colours of the logo. We came up with cocktail name using the company’s initials, resulting in a Really Hot Girl or a Really Hot Guy. We negotiated with Mokoko’s owner and he agreed to include these two cocktails in the bar’s printed menu, stating that each time a cocktail is sold rhg Insurance Brokers would make a donation to ReachOut Plus. This has given rhg Insurance Brokers ongoing promotion to an targeted and affluent clientele.
In order to get people to visit the new website we also set up some games that guests could play after the event. We devised a website treasure hunt that meant people had to visit the website to answer the questions in order to win a new iPad. We also invited guests, including those who were unable to attend, to create some fun acronyms from the letters rhg and to come up with some good quotes that could be used on the website. The prizes for the latter two games were a cocktail masterclass and cocktail tasting at the Mokoko Bar.
We also gave every guest a delicious cupcake with the company’s new logo to take away with them at the end of the event.
Over the years I’ve compiled a useful checklist of some of the many things you need to consider when organising an event and it’s become one of the most popular downloads on my website. Here’s the link to the relevant page for the free event checklist download http://pardellpr.com/services/events/