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Event management; it's all in the detail

Posted by
19 May 2015
This month saw the coming together of the first event I have ever organised, from start to finish (aside from personal events; holidays, city breaks and socials). Sellick Partnership's annual End of Financial Year Awards was not just an excuse to take the afternoon off, enjoy a delicious meal and a glass of wine. It was in fact a chance to bring each of our regional offices together and to socialise with our colleagues in a relaxed and pleasurable environment. Most importantly it was an excellent opportunity to celebrate the recent events, individual and group achievements and future plans. Expectation was high and the pressure was on to deliver an event to remember. The recruitment industry is such a fast-paced working environment that for each person, from all departments, to take an afternoon out of their busy schedule means that it needs to be worth it.

Being a novice in this vast world of event management there was a lot to learn, and quickly. There are some areas I am very aware of including our brand; what we want to achieve and what is expected, identifying our audience, planning the logistics and coordinating the technical aspects and are all these area looked at prior the actual event launch?

In addition, the event planning list is expansive, from budgeting scheduling, site selection, acquiring permits, coordinating transport and parking, arranging speakers, décor, catering and emergency plans. The events industry includes such a range of events of all shapes and sizes from the Olympics to business breakfast meetings, but for every one there is a reasoning behind it and a requirement to run smoothly, meeting all the expectations of the attendees.

I have learnt how to write a project plan (and manage it), develop my negotiation skills, grown and enhanced my contact list and built relationships for future events. I now know how to produce an in-depth budget plan (and stick to it!) which admittedly was a challenge, being let loose on invitation designs, flower arrangements and comprehensive wine lists could have been a recipe for disaster! Luckily, I learnt to reign it in just in time and actually came in below budget! I put my mind to designing seating arrangements, keeping to a timeline of events, ensuring all aspects of the event ran smoothly, on time and to schedule so there was no dead time. I organised the photographer to take some companywide photographs (logistical nightmare!), ensured the food was to everyone's taste and all dietary requirements met, that no glasses were empty and post event drinks arranged.

For someone who is always looking to exceed expectations, to think outside the box and bring a dynamic approach to problem solving, it has definitely generated a creative spark and a desire to give each guest a memorable experience. Luckily, I am a dedicated list writer, planner and have a keen eye for detail - without these traits I think it would have been a lot tougher. You need to be organised, have the ability to set and meet timescales and keep note of everything to organise such a large event.  

There are definitely areas for me to develop in this industry but I think this first event was a good starting point, and so far the feedback has been positive. With many more events in the diary, and plans already coming together, the rest of the year is looking very exciting!

What have been some of the challenges you've faced when planning an event for your organisation and how have you overcome them? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below...
Tagged In: Careers, Events, Marketing
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