What does an Event Manager actually DO?
For those who work in the events industry, we know what goes into making an event happen and the difference between a well-managed and poorly managed event. From mass attendance sporting events to a small, but high-end C Suite conference or incentive programme, events take a LOT of planning and attention to detail, not to mention, skill and experience. Events can take months and months, (and sometimes years) to plan and involve many, many different skill sets, expertise, and professions spanning from health and safety, finance, creative design and much more.
Here’s the low down for those not in the know, to provide a bit of insight into what it takes to pull these magical experiences together.
One of the great things about an event, and those who work in the industry, is the pressure to deliver the event, on time, on budget, and smoothly. But regardless of the event type, timing needs to have careful consideration. Who is the audience? When are they able (or most likely) to attend? And what else is happening that you need to avoid a clash with? Getting the date right is often make or break so it’s important to get this right.
More and more, and especially since the global pandemic, the public are seeking value for money and quality. That isn’t to say that people won’t spend money, they will, but they want to know that they get the best bang for their buck. Pitching an event’s value proposition correctly and clearly from the offset is at the heart of getting this perception bang on for the event’s intended audience.
- What does your event offer?
- Why should people attend?
- Why should they attend this event instead of (or as well as) another one that is similar?
- Does the event present good value for money?
Most successful and award-winning events have a great point of difference and excellent content that meets the needs of the audience and delights them. Marketing and designing an event is a carefully considered and detailed process including audience and market analysis and research, financial modelling and often stakeholder focus groups and feedback.
The events industry is one of the most creative industries around, and in the UK we are blessed with one of the most talented pools of creative people in the world. This creativity spans across a wide range of skills from graphic design, to musical choreography, to social media, to lighting design and audio visual, exhibition stand building, marketing and so much more.
Events are experiences. Events make memories. Sporting events, business events, family events and everything in between. When face to face (or human to human) contact is made, in extraordinary ways, it is memorable. The creative elements that carry through an event from the pre event stage to the post event follow up are numerous. From the first time you see some marketing around an event, to the onsite in person experiences and surprises you weren’t quite expecting when you purchased your ticket (think Cirque du Soliel) events oooze creativity. When ‘done right’ by experts, events are unforgettable and build loyal repeat customers.
BUILD THE EVENT
Once your event is designed, you’ll need a team to build it. Obviously, the nature of the event will dictate the people required to do this and it can vary massively. From a festival build in a field that is otherwise empty the rest of the year, to a high-end C suite conference taking place in a prestigious location, skilled event crew will be a massive part of the puzzle. Event Managers will only work with those who they can trust to get the job done and do it well. But what ‘jobs’ are they? This can range from AV technicians, catering staff, carpenters, exhibition designers and builders, electricians, plumbers, translators and the list goes on.
ATTENDEE EXPERIENCE AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
We all love to be well looked after and loved and as an attendee at an event this is the difference to loving it and coming back year on year, to never attending again. Event design is critical to ensure a pleasant, safe and enjoyable experience for all attendees. From the registration or entry point, pre event information and joining instructions, down to people flow, catering and onsite help desks, excellent customer service is the centre of the successful event. To create this it is the Event Manager’s responsibility to ensure staff are well briefed, fully trained and that every detail is accounted for.
It goes without saying that a good event is a safe event. Health and safety planning and crisis management are critical in the event industry. This should be covered at every point of the planning process and throughout the delivery of an event. Many large events have a specific Health and Safety department with a skilled and experienced team of professionals who will take into account people flow, travel and access, venues, emergencies and crisis management.
TIMELINES & FINANCIALS
Other than the day on which they’re happening, events can be a moveable feast; as a result, the planning process is normally extensive and has to account for numerous scenarios so that this scenario is prepared for and can be worked through on the day, as if it was always going to happen that way.
- What if we experience inclement weather?
- What if there’s an emergency?
- What if our key act can’t get there on time for their set?
- What if the technology fails us?
From the weather, to the attendance on the day, to emergencies, travel, ticket sales, emergencies and curve balls, timelines and financials need to be tight and well planned and thought through by experienced professionals. This way, your event will take place in a calm manner and every scenario will have been prepared for, and a plan with how to deal with this scenario, agreed.
So if you ask what an Event Manager does? Now you’ll have a good idea. It’s basically to manage the intricacies of all of these points above, and create a team of specialists to do those ‘specialist’ bits, where needed.
Need some help or advise on your next event? Get in touch with us today or find out more about our Events, Crew and Creative services.