Written by NWES Guest Blogger: Troy Whalen of 206 Events
Whether planning a business meeting for 40 or a celebration for 4000, a solid production game-plan can make or break your event. Hiring a knowledgeable team of professionals who can guide you through the planning process will add incredible value to your guest experience. At 206 Events, you can expect the following elements to be front and center as we help you create the perfect event.
1. Know your Audience
“Tell us about your group”, is always the first question I ask when meeting new clients. Learning about past event’s successes or challenges can be a valuable tool in discovering what will work for the future. Is it an energetic group who loves to dance? Maybe your group is more laid back and wants to be entertained. Perhaps engagement and group activities are a better solution to get people involved and excited about what is happening in front of them. Whatever your group is looking for, there is a solution if you are willing to spend some time exploring options. Instead of just doing “what worked” last year, find a way to expand successes to continually create more excitement each year by incorporating innovative and new elements to the show.
2. Engage your Guests
Create an Immersive Experience that people can’t wait to tell their friends about! From the moment your guests arrive, capture their attention by making your theme “pop”. Character actors are always a hit and can really help to jump start the party. Costumed greeters at the front door, directing guests through their experience, Paparazzi Red Carpet Photographers interacting with your “Star Guests” as they arrive, Small Group Entertainment with Magicians or Mentalists working the room during cocktail hour, Dance Instructors leading a group through the most popular dance of that particular era, there are so many options to help build excitement and create energy.
3. Set Reasonable Budget Expectations
You’ve got the perfect idea and now you need to pay for it. Make sure your production team is aware of budget goals to keep the boss happy. Creating realistic expectations is an important conversation that should happen early during the planning process. Ballpark numbers can help your vendors as they begin to plan and paint the vision for your event. Educate yourself on costs and ask questions of your trusted professionals. Key elements need to be funded properly, so highlighting those is incredibly important. If you’re planning a fundraiser and short the AV budget so the room isn’t properly equipped with sound and visuals, you can lose your guest’s attention and in turn miss out on capturing funds you were expecting to raise. Balancing all elements and elevating the most important ones will create more successes in the end.
4. Set an Intention for your Event
Make sure your purpose is clear and obvious to your attendees. Are you raising awareness or funds for a cause? Celebrating accomplishments of the staff? Networking and teambuilding for your group? There are many ways to embed your messaging or brand through the experience. Let’s start by creating a take away for your attendees, a clear message about the purpose of the event. Maybe it’s as simple as a fun celebration to acknowledge your people. Perhaps it’s a fundraiser to make sure your organization can continue it’s important work into the future. Whatever the case, find a common thread and weave it throughout the elements of the event. By asking key questions, and offering creative solutions, an experienced Production Team can help you keep your message focused and at the forefront of your theme.
5. Planning your Guest Experience
Don’t ever forget who you are planning for…your guests. Timeline and flow are critical to the success of your event. Visualize the experience, make sure you plan for areas of congestion and wait times. Give people a reason to move to other areas of the venue, provide an extra bar in the back, create an eye-catching element that will draw people into another space. By giving the event some room to breathe, you will create a welcoming environment for people to navigate, allowing them the ability to fully enjoy the party.
At the end of the day, a successful event is hundreds of little details executed flawlessly. Make sure your Production Team is experienced and prepared to address each and every element of your event. Planning for the unexpected by creating contingency plans, organizing the show timeline, creating synergy with the vendor team and supporting you throughout the process. By planning ahead and hiring the right company, your event experience will be a successful one!
Troy Whalen is the owner of 206 Events, with over 25 years of experience in the private event industry. 206 Events is a Production and Entertainment Company providing Services around the Greater Puget Sound Area. Offering award-winning Event Management, DJ and Emcee Talent, Performance Entertainment, Custom Lighting Design, and Professional Audio Installations to create spectacular Corporate Galas, Holiday Celebrations, Weddings and Parties for all Occasions.