So should you work with an event management agency?
Yes, of course you should!!
Especially if you don’t have anyone with event experience in your team. Or if you haven’t used an agency before to know what the benefits are. There is also so much support and experience we can offer.
There are so many benefits to using our services when planning events, not least saving your own team their time, anxiety and stress. By outsourcing elements of planning pre event and on the day itself, we can reduce this dramatically and even help get a better return on investment.
But its expensive to use an event management agency we hear you say!
We have seen and heard many stories where businesses plan their events internally with varying levels of success whether they are corporate, or charity based. We understand the dread and fear that can be felt when anyone senior says
"We want to do a conference, customer event, away day or a dinner"
Our support and experience can alleviate these feelings.
There are instances where, an event is planned and people invited with no clear goals set, other than to get bodies in a room. It is only after the event that the return on investment and the outcomes are discussed.
When we work with you, we do the research, negotiation and communication with all parties involved, including your guests. This gives you time to actually think about what it is you want your event to achieve. And we can even help you with this part as well!
The value-add and experience we can bring to your event, outweigh the cost of investing in our services. We have a huge amount of experience with event delivery – whether virtual, hybrid or live – and a cross section of knowledge of event types and industry sectors which means we can offer a very rounded approach.
We have been around a while – we know what works and doesn’t work and we already have relationships in place to to bring in partners to work alongside us. We carefully select our partners to fit your ethos and culture and more importantly your budget.
Of course, an event management agency is not for everyone and this really does depend on how your internal team want to work – but maybe, just maybe, it is worth a chat!
Any event should have a strong contingency strategy in place – you should always plan for plan A, B and C! This applies to any event format, online, face to face or hybrid.
It makes anyone nervous to think about what can go wrong, however contingency planning is essentially problem solving wherever possible ahead of an event. Always consider the alternatives to ensure there is a strong backup plan in place.
Contingency planning is an important skill for Event Managers. Planning makes you fully aware of all of the things that could potentially happen to steer things off track. It is essential to put plans and mitigating actions in place as to how you could effectively combat a situation.
You may have seen then photos of the O2 in London after Storm Eunice, where the roof had been damaged in the storms. The teams, both at the venue and those organising various events, would have immediately implemented their contingency plans to move planning forwards with cancelling, postponing and rescheduling the various events affected.
In 2021, we were due to deliver a virtual event on a platform we used frequently for events. On the morning of the event, which was taking place in the afternoon, the event platform went down. There was no access to the platform and we did not know when it could be used again.
What did we do?
We went into contingency planning mode!!
First of all we spoke to the client – its always important to communicate!
We discussed and gave our recommendations to put a plan in place. We had a plan for an alternative platform to use, a plan to communicate with the audience and we agreed timescales to implement the contingency plan. This was all done within 30 minutes of knowing the platform was not available.
As it happened, the contingency plan wasn’t needed, however it was invaluable to know it was in place. Sometimes you do not have the luxury of time, so wherever possible, make the necessary plans in advance.
Of course as we have already mentioned, contingency planning is not just relevant to the virtual world, its just as important in a face to face environment.
Following on from the Covid pandemic and restrictions over the last 2 years, a contingency virtual alternative is a potential recommendation for face-to-face events - this could be planned for in the form of a hybrid approach. This also would allow for speakers to attend virually where they may not have been able to in person. There is more potential for any event!
It is not as simple as placing a camera in front of a stage and live streaming to a virtual audience, but this approach could be included in any pre event planning. It can also give the audience options too!
Remember, a 360 overview is important for any and every event and contingency planning is part of this!
To set aside one event from another, there needs to be a ‘WOW’ factor. When planning, we always focus on how we can elevate the project to execute something that will be memorable for our delegates. ‘WOW’ will mean different things to different people, so below we offer some generic elements that we always consider when creating our clients memorable events. A 'WOW' factor doesn't have to blow your budget, it can be showing thought and attention to detail.
The right venue choice goes without saying. The first details that a delegate usually receives regarding an event will be the venue, so you need to make an impact if this is your focus. Something quirky. Somewhere new. Something iconic within the events industry. Or throw your delegates a curveball and send them somewhere they may never have heard of before. You absolutely do not need to have an infinite budget in order to contract a venue that your delegates will remember.
This one is very dependent upon the agenda of your event. Arranging entertainment for your attendees will always go down well; whether it is following an intense day of meetings or to add to the atmosphere of the gala dinner. However if there isn’t an appropriate time for it in the event agenda, do not force it - sometimes less is more! Entertainment is a great tool for encouraging networking and overall good experiences for your delegates. An aspect that can often raise questions is, will there be enough space? With our preferred partners, we are able to work with you to decide what entertainment is most relevant to your event and suitable for the space available. There are many acts that do not require a large amount of room, and acts that need ceilings that are at least 6m high. So there is always going to be something to fit your requirements. Tech crowd? Perhaps entertainment routed in Virtual Reality or something unexpected like a RoboWars experience. Interactive entertainment - no problem, get everyone involved in a musical activity or a photo challenge. Add a leader board and prizes if they are competitive.
We love a theme. It ties together your event and adds that extra refined touch that makes it more memorable for your delegates. Theming is more than just the way the venue is decorated. When we look at theming, we also consider collateral, introducing a dress code, food and beverage and themed content. The possibilities are endless. Even theming less obvious aspects of your event can prove effective. Recently, one of our clients held a Gala dinner in Edinburgh, so for this we researched various Scottish clans throughout history and their respective Tartan to have printed for the table names as a homage to the location. This was very well received by the delegates and the client alike. If you have a limited budget you could use black and white, which is easy to implement, and is cost effective. Use black and white linen, project black and white films, play roaring 20's music - there you have your theme!
These are just a few of the many ways we can work with you to create a memorable event. This is what we pride ourselves on achieving with our clients. Some more simple than others, but it is important to create something that stays with people, and adds value to their experience. This is what we pride ourselves on achieving with our clients. We can make your event memorable!
August has been all about business goal planning and lots of project meetings for forthcoming events.
For any business it is always important to have ongoing and structured goals reviewed on a regular basis. As part of ACTIONCoach we plan our goals every 90 days and revisit them on a weekly basis to check in on how they are progressing.
During August we completed our third round of goal setting for 2019. It was also rewarding to take time to look back and see what has been achieved already this year.
Keeping the team up to date with ZiaBia’s future plans is also vital and setting team members' KPI’s which support our business goals is a brilliant way to engage everyone in the process.
Team ZiaBia have several events in the coming months and through into 2020. Therefore project meetings for these have been in full flow during August.
Project meetings are such an essential part of the event process. As well as allowing all parties to keep in contact they provide the platform to make key decisions surrounding the event. They also help ensure we monitor and meet our deadlines.
Project Meeting must haves;
In the July review we announced that we had another new face joining the team in August and Janette Gallagher has now started with us as an Event Support Consultant! August has seen us conduct more interviews to grow the team again. We have had such a positive experience with Charlotte coming into the team as an apprentice 1 year ago (you can read more about her experience in her blog) that we contacted Professional Apprenticeships to support in finding our newest team member. We are thrilled to share the news that our newest team member will start in September to make us a team of 7! Watch this space for further updates.
April was another amazing month for ZiaBia Events! We started the month off by delivering a small Customer event for one of our clients. Not to mention attending the Business Excellence Forum in Telford listening to some very inspirational speakers. Lots of event management planning also took place this month. There were on-going site inspections and project meetings for events in 2019 and through into 2020.
We all enjoyed the wonderful weather over the Easter break and came back ready for action. We started off planning for the next 90 days in the business. The team also had a great success by coming 3rd in the office Easter Egg hunt!
We now we are finishing off this busy month by attending the Corporate Hospitality Show in Leeds to meet with Partners and Suppliers. Its time well spent to catch up with old friends, meet new contacts and to learn about industry news.
May is going to be keeping us busy as well. Our Delegate Management Services will get four websites going live for Summer and Autumn events!
March has brought the first day of Spring, some well received sunshine and so much positivity for Team ZiaBia. I am not sure where to begin from site inspections to new venue find briefs!
We are thrilled with the number of new enquiries we have received which are due to take place in the next 6 months. It is also great to see the 2020 enquiries coming our way as well.
Team members have been out and about in London completing site inspections and securing a venue to use for an upcoming event. We have also presented to a potential new client which is always very exciting.
Our team coaching session was a great success and has given us lots of food for thought. We have filled our brains with tons of helpful knowledge from all the wonderful suppliers that have visited us…some even really committed and arrived as Easter Bunnies, tails and all!
April looks on course to be just as exciting, watch this space….
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