Rhys Blumberg, Sales and Marketing Director, joined Genero towards the end of 2015, at a time of real excitement and prosperity in the events industry. With some major projects under his belt, Rhys has taken the time to share his ideas on what it takes to get an event picked, planned and perfected.
1. Kick off quickly
Begin planning as soon as you possibly can. If you have a large event on your hands, you should be booking in venues as early as you possibly can. To keep the final run up to the event flowing smoothly, try to ensure that all vendor contracts are completed as early as possible.
2. Stay low, keep moving
Things are going to change. Whether it’s timing, locations or even the reason you’re hosting. Ensure you’re flexible and your suppliers have the attitude to meet changing demands.
3. Walk in their shoes
Event planning is a fast and furious occupation, and at the heart of everything is user experience. Taking some timeout to put yourself in the visitor’s shoes dedicates your planning to the person that really matters. What’s the very last thing they see before leaving? There’s no such thing as a small detail — and taking an actual physical walkthrough ensures nothing is missed.
Whether it’s an exhibition stand or a party at your house, it’s a basic human need to feel comfortable in ones’ surroundings. If you, as host, can deliver this feeling then you’re winning the hearts and minds of the people you want to impress.
5. Trust in your techie
I’ll be honest; I’m not the guy you want setting up a sound rig. Perhaps I’ll learn over time, but I definitely know my strengths currently lie far away from the electric box. The utter belief clients have in our tech team has astounded me, but then, so has the team’s ability to second guess every eventuality and equip for it.
6. Prepare for everything
Preparation can only be as good as the brief, but years of experience has taught our team that, if someone asks for an extra mic at 10pm in a rainy festival field, the answer “I didn’t think to bring one” is unlikely to result in much back-slapping. It takes time to build up trust in this industry, and above all else, you should definitely feel that your events company has your back; that it means as much to them as it does to you.
7. Who’s doing what?
Avoid the ‘that’s not by job’ comms breakdown by identifying various elements of the event by section (e.g. registration, catering, transport), and assign each to a member of your team. Create a shared project document, literally keeping everyone on the same page; detail everything to do with the event, including vendor contacts, guest information, and the build plan.
8. Somewhere for the stuff
A sales rep at an exhibition, standing next to a suitcase from the night before puts him on an Arthur Daly level to potential customers before he even opens his mouth; and who wants even the most glamorous of samples, if they are given away from a ripped cardboard box opened at someone’s feet? Even when budget is tight, provision for storage gives maximum polish to any event for truly minimum outlay.
9. The power of music
Setting the overall tone of an event with music is a quickly achievable win; and can even make it run smoothly. If a dinner crowd senses a shift in sound before the speeches start, then you’re less likely to give out the first four awards of the evening to the backdrop of people returning from the bar. Similarly, setting some VT to a great soundtrack can convey company success better than an evening of dry speeches ever can.
10. Combine complete honesty with good ideas
In a world where possibilities are endless, the reality check is one I highly recommend buying into. But here’s the thing — discussing what could be done elevates your ideas from ‘this is what we’ve always done’ to ‘what’s the best thing to do’. Before rebooking for next year in the same place, doing the same thing, let us chat through the possibilities and elevate your next event from ‘has to be done’ to ‘got to be there’.