Top 5 Things I Learnt Being Onsite In Barcelona
Two months into my apprenticeship and I had my first big event to be onsite for, witnessing the event being tied together with the 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.
The facts of the event:
Location - Barcelona
Conference - European Technology Conference
Delegates attending - 155
Conference length - 3 days
VIPS - 2 attending plus additional senior level attendees
1. The importance of having Events Managers onsite
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- which for my first on site experience 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?
2. Make a to-do list
Sitting down and writing a to-do list is a day to day essential on my job, but having a list of what needs to get done whilst onsite just simplifies and condenses the buzz of everything going on. Making a list helped me to focus on certain tasks and getting them ticked off before moving onto the next, this increased the efficiency at which I was working and helped me to stay on track and not get lost or overwhelmed by everything that’s going on.
3. At which point a DMC is necessary
The concept of a DMC was initially introduced to me in a client meeting in the first week of my apprenticeship, however it was not until I was onsite in a foreign country that I really understood the cruciality of working with a DMC when delivering an event away from your home turf. Tasked with the language barrier, communicating with the suppliers based in Barcelona was more difficult, luckily enough Vicky and Debbie had a contact from previous work they had done, who 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.
4. Asking questions is ok!
This seems like a simple concept, however, being new to being onsite for an event of this size, asking questions was intimidating. I was concerned that my questions wouldn’t necessarily be relevant or that there was 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.
5. A logistics agenda is essential
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 within its pages, which allowed me to answer the majority of delegates questions along with the questions from the senior team and feel confident when doing so. Furthermore, having the agenda simply meant I felt prepared, if I had a spare 5 minutes I would read it through and check where we were up too, meaning I could be two steps ahead of the actual event.