“Money’s too tight to mention,” sings the Britpop band, and so does every business that has to hold an event for some reason or other. When it does, the temptation to just do everything in-house rears its ugly head—after all, why pay someone else to do something you can do just as well?
Or can you? Event planning and management are marketing and communications specialities. As such, events require specialists who are well-versed in all the ins and outs of every launch, function, ceremony and celebration.
While we’re not saying that businesses can’t master the requisite skills, we do urge them to consider the following factors that affect the event planning and management process. These factors demonstrate the value of engaging event specialists, particularly those who pride themselves on their track record and expertise.
Executing an event on your own should pose no problem if the event were a simple dinner or party to be attended by a small group of people. But once attendees are expected to come in the hundreds, sheer numbers may very well make it difficult to keep track of everything involved.
Planning an event in-house may seem less expensive at the outset because the actual planning and management services are free. A good event planner and manager, however, is able to work within budget parameters, which is not always the case when tapping in-house staff.
Event professionals have access to suppliers and venues with lower rates specifically for event companies. They will also be able to help you save in terms of knowing where the event budget may be adjusted as needed, and in terms of avoiding or explaining hidden costs.
A specialist who does something for a living is likely to be better at it than someone who only does it ad hoc. Their connections with industry professionals enable them to know the best places for getting equipment, materials, help with logistics and other requirements. Such connections may also include resource persons or personalities able to contribute or participate in an event.
On top of that, it is a specialist’s experience in executing several other events that allows them to make suggestions as to concept or improvements, or even to pre-empt or prevent possible problems. Where a relatively inexperienced in-house staffer might take longer to research and canvas for suppliers, for instance, a specialist’s experience also makes him faster and more efficient during the event management process.
Visual impact, or the overall look and feel has much to do with the success of an event. Event specialists either are or have access to designers who can bring your event concept to life, and suggest creative ways for the event to make even more of an impact. They will also know what is feasible and what can be worked with to achieve the desired effect.
A specialist’s knowledge and training is often inextricably linked with his experience because specialists hone their skills in the field. Events require all sorts of specialists, such as designers, writers, producers, directors, fabricators, marketers, accountants and logistics managers. By engaging the services of a good events company, you can be sure that the people working on your event are bona fide specialists.
When an event company outsources or taps suppliers for their expertise, it will know the strengths and weaknesses of each supplier and know how to leverage or work around them for the good of your event.
Hosting an event often requires special equipment such as lights, a sound system and computers with the appropriate software. Such equipment, and technicians to operate it, are standard with good event management companies, who thus save you the trouble of finding, renting or even buying it for the use of a single event.
Choosing the ideal place to hold an event is also a skill that may not come naturally to someone tasked with planning an event. An experienced event professional will not only suggest possible venues but will be able to help you book them, and find ways to maximise a venue’s salient features.
Businesses have enough to do without having to worry about everything that goes into planning an event. Having someone else take on the stress of an event is arguably the winningest benefit of engaging a professional planner and manager.
The event planner does all the worrying on the business’ behalf, which means all the sourcing, preparing, marketing, executing, documenting and so on will be taken care of. This includes any making sure any paperwork involving insurance or health and safety is done. The event manager likewise remains on top of things during and after the event itself—all the client has to do is to attend the event and enjoy.
Planning an event is a full-time job that requires a person to be focused entirely. It also involves a lot of attention to detail, which is not always easy or even possible when done in-house. There are many people, as well as requirements, that need to be met and managed all at the same time such as venue personnel, videographers and decorators.
A dedicated event manager is free to spend as much time as required to contact, follow up, coordinate and check, freeing up a business’ own staff to focus on their main responsibilities.
Large-scale events, particularly those open to the public, require much more than simple invitations. Marketing is another full-time endeavour that is essential to any event. Professional event managers will know the right channels for reaching guests, and be able to keep tabs on who and how many are going.
An event planning and management company worth its salt knows that its responsibilities don’t end upon the departure of the last guest. Events are a goldmine of data that can help a business plan succeeding events, and even gain valuable insight into its main product or service offering. A good event company will be able to help collect and organise that data for its clients after the event ends.
But the single, overriding factor that affects the event planning and management process is, to our mind, the risk a business takes in hosting a poorly executed event. Branding and image are everything to a business, and for a business to be associated with a failed event in the public eye is tantamount to corporate suicide. Depending on how badly an event of a large enough scale plays out, a business can lose credibility and the loyalty of its customers—both difficult to win and well-nigh impossible to win back.
Unless your business has adequate resources or has enough confidence in its in-house capabilities, entrusting your brand and image to event professionals just might prove to be the wiser choice. Talk to the event specialists at Pride Events today, and discover how working with a tried and tested team makes all the difference in hosting a great event.