Here at Hughes Public Relations we’re lucky enough to attend lots of events, and even luckier to organise lots of events.
I say “luckier” because when you organise an event, you get an insight into what makes your client and their customers tick in a unique way. Organising and attending an event for your client shows you what’s important to their business and how their current stakeholder relationships are tracking in a way that six months’ worth of boardroom meetings won’t give you.
I also say “luckier” because you learn a LOT when organising an event. And I don’t just mean about how to hook up a PA system. (That said, learning about hooking up a PA system is one of the most important things on the list. I speak from personal experience! The thing I learned? Don’t stop troubleshooting. You’ve probably missed something very simple.)
Working as a team here are Hughes PR, we have the benefit of learning from each other. Thanks to sharing knowledge and Tim’s spectacular organisational skills leading by example, we’ve pretty much now got the preparation part down pat. On the day, you never know what will happen, but we do our best to be prepared for every possible scenario!
A great event starts with a great date and time. No one is going to show up to your event at 10am on Mother’s Day, so it’s important to make sure you’ve chosen a time and day that’s going to ensure the majority of your target audience is able to attend. On this, Tiffany Farrington from the Social Diary has a fantastic blog post on when not to hold your event.
A great event starts with a comprehensive event brief. From ensuring the event has the right people invited to making sure we’ve got signage pointing people to where the action is, we have a template we use that leaves no stone unturned. Running sheets, speeches, flowers, gifts, photography, weather forecasts, council permits, name tags, parking… the list goes on. We won’t need everything on the list, but it’s an important touch point for all the possibilities.
From here, assigning responsibility for tasks and making sure all organisers are aware of their responsibilities so that nothing gets left out is hugely important.
We also have an event “tool kit” that we can take from the office to an event whenever required. The event tool kit is a little red (of course!) suitcase that contains essentials such as cable ties, gaffa tape, blu tack, permanent markers, spare name tags, a torch, and a audio visual technician. Okay, I’m kidding about that last one. I wish I wasn’t.
And the result of all this planning and contingencies and tool kits and extensive training in audio visual troubleshooting? Hopefully a client event that meets their objectives – gets all the right people together and communicates the right things to them – and has a working microphone!
If you ever need help managing an event as part of your PR plan – we’re here to help.
Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.