We are encouraged to see many of our clients starting to plan their face-to-face events again after what seems like a very long time working in the online world. So with this in mind, let's take an in-depth look at one of the key areas to consider – the site inspection!
These come fairly early on in the planning timeline. Once you have firmed up the brief and have a shortlist of venues you need to get out and see them. This is so important to ensure they meet your requirements and the flow of space will work for your delegate journey.
Either way, you need to find out whether what looks perfect on paper lives up to reality!
As with any of the key milestones in event management, planning and preparation is critical!
For each and every site inspection we do we always put together an agenda for each venue visit covering areas such as:
We then pull together our site inspection form to use as a reference when at the venue, for example:
When planning your travel make sure to factor in delays – the last thing you want is to be stressed and flushed meeting your client!
As soon as you can after the site inspection make sure you write up your notes and follow up any actions. You can then update the client with a full picture of information to help them decide on which venue is the most suitable.
Inevitably you will see venues that you don’t end up using for that particular event. By having a written record about all venues visited you will be able to refer back to it another time – for example another venue find with another client!
All site inspections add to an event manager’s venue knowledge and should not be seen as a waste of time if you proceed elsewhere.
This article is mainly geared towards venue site inspections. If you are doing an overseas inspection you will likely be looking at multiple hotels, restaurants and activities, however the principles are the same.
If you would like any more advice or tips before your next site inspection, then please do get in touch.
September has seen Team ZiaBia become finalists at the Business Leader awards where we were shortlisted from over 200 companies! In August we were thrilled to find out that we were on the shortlist for 'Business of the Year: 1-10 Employees'.
The celebrations at Ashton Gate Stadium on the 26th September were fantastic and we had a great night. There might have been a glass or two of wine involved!
2019 has been quite the whirlwind, in such a fantastic way, and to be recognised for our achievements is wonderful.
We are so proud of the team we are building, the events we are involved in and the clients that we work with.
Here is to next year!
The team also took off to Edinburgh to support a group of 150 people in the European leg of their annual conference.
Team ZiaBia supported this client with delegate management, production, entertainment, team building, external dinner venues and gifts.
What a great interactive Samba Drumming session…….great to watch everyone having so much fun and working together.
The conference overall was a huge success receiving lots of positive feedback and a very happy client. We are excited for the de-brief meeting and to find out what shape the events will take next year!
Now we are gearing up for a busy October and November filled with events!
Exhibiting, site inspections, event management, tender wins & delegate management have been keeping Team ZiaBia very busy during June!
We kick-started the first week of June with the team being out delivering onsite event management for two different events.
The first for one of our Energy clients who was holding a hosted buyer visit. This involved transfers to a partner of the client for a guided tour, a group dinner at an off-site location and overnight accommodation. Day two then saw return transfers to the client offices for another guided tour, which provided an opportunity to showcase the facilities and build relationships.
The second event was also a customer event for Blackstar Solutions, who are based in Bristol. Blackstar Solutions booked 'We the Curious' as the venue and ZiaBia supported the management of all the sponsors attending the event - their requirements and communications with them. We also organised the production at the event with one of our local Partner production companies. The remit included the stage set, all badging for the event and ensuring logistics on the day all went smoothly.
It was great to see delegates from both events so engaged and the feedback received was tremendous. Both clients consequently have re-booked events with us for later in 2019 and into 2020, which we are very proud of.
We have grown the team this month as well with Paola Davis starting with us as a Project Manager. We are very excited to have Paola in the team along with the wealth of experience she brings with her.
The team all attended the Business Showcase South West event in Bristol. It was a brilliant day which saw lots of visitors to our stand. We had delicious cake and fudge provided by our client Taste of Bath that was very well received. People that visited us also came away with some branded cups and notebooks. It was also great to attend the seminars that BSSW held. A very fruitful day all round.
We have been partnering with our Creative Partner Some Bright Spark on a tender for 2020 and we received the marvellous news this month that we were successful on winning the business. ZiaBia will be supporting with venue find and full event logistics as well as delegate management and on-site event management. We are looking forward to working with Some Bright Spark and building our relationships with them ahead of the event in Germany next year.
The last week of the month has seen Vicky & Debbie travelling to Edinburgh for site inspections of both the Kimpton Charlotte Square and Principle George Street for an event taking place in September. They were greeting by the Great British Summertime Weather (bucket loads of rain) but that didn’t dampen the inspections. It’s always great to complete site inspections with the client and it helps to get the detail in place for the event and make some critical decisions which was all achieved on this visit. Never underestimate the power of a site inspection!
What a month! It has been a fantastic whirlwind of everything that we do and what makes ZiaBia a great partner to our clients. I think we need a quick cuppa to prepare with what July has in store for us!
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!
We thought 2018 as a whole was an epic year… but January 2019 has started off with a bang even bigger and louder for Team ZiaBia!
A new office……
Natalie Gray joined the team in a leading role to really help build on what we started back in 2012. She will define and make our processes even clearer and smoother while developing our team ….
A brand-new sparkling website!!!
On top of all of this we delivered our first ever event for Nurseline Healthcare which was a huge success and we are now planning future events with them…..
We also completed, for the 6th year running, a huge delegate management project for a Financial Client of ours….
And we have new enquiries in for the UK and Europe from new and existing clients….
We can’t wait to see what February will bring!
I had my first big event to be onsite for just two months into my apprenticeship. I witnessed the event being tied together and my hopes of delivering an incredible conference for over 150 people did not slightly prepare me for what it would actually be like whilst being on site.
Prior to being onsite, I was not fully aware of how crucial it is to have events managers onsite, and essentially, how important we are in ensuring an event of this size is delivered in the best possible way. From my first day onsite I had people asking me questions, checking in with me that everything was going correctly and that we were on track. For my first on site experience this was terrifying. Whilst shadowing Vicky and Debbie across the three days of the conference, I witnessed them find solutions to problems that no one else could’ve without having the in depth knowledge that comes with being totally involved in the pre-event planning, raising the question- why wouldn’t you have your events team onsite?
Sitting down and writing a to-do list is a day to day essential on my job. A list of what needs to get done whilst onsite simplifies and condenses the buzz of everything going on. I focussed on certain tasks, ticking them off before moving onto the next. This increased the efficiency at which I was working and I stayed on track without getting lost or overwhelmed by everything going on.
I was initially introduced to the concept of a DMC in the first week of my apprenticeship. However it was not until I was onsite in Barcelona that I really understood their cruciality when delivering an event overseas. Tasked with the language barrier, communicating with the suppliers based in Barcelona was more difficult. Luckily Vicky and Debbie used a previous DMC contact, which made communicating with the offsite dinner venues easier. However, the presence of a DMC would have definitely sped up some processes of communication, which would have reduced the extra work we had to do as a company to contact all of the suppliers individually that were based in Barcelona.
This seems like a simple concept, however, being new to an event of this size, asking questions was intimidating. I was concerned that my questions wouldn’t necessarily be relevant or that there were a million other things everyone could be doing instead; I was quickly reassured that every question is relevant. Without asking all of my questions, I wouldn’t have been able to carry out my tasks effectively and efficiently. I also wouldn’t have learnt from the experience.
I have never been as reliant upon a pack of paper as I was upon our logistics agenda! Every aspect of the event was captured in great detail. This allowed me to confidently answer the majority of delegates' questions plus questions from the senior team. Furthermore, having the agenda simply meant I was prepared: if I had a spare 5 minutes I would read it through and check where we were up too. This meant that I could be two steps ahead of the actual event.