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What to do when things don’t go as planned at your event

Planning an event can be really fun and exciting, but it’s not without its challenges.

Giving guests an experience to remember, something that will leave a positive and lasting impression, is a great outcome to aim for. However, you need to plan accordingly in case things don’t quite go as you had envisioned on the day.

The best way to do this is to prepare your contingency plan well ahead of time. A general rule of event planning is that it’s a good idea to checklist everything and double check items at different intervals leading up to your event. Give agendas and timelines out to everyone that could benefit from it. On the day of the event, arrive early. This will give you extra time should something happen and need immediate attention. Remember, there’s no such thing as being over prepared when it comes to event planning!

Even with all your forward planning, things might still pop up that you weren’t expecting, or that you can’t really control. Here are some of the common mishaps we see at events and how to address them:

Schedule overlap

Giving your event’s schedule some wiggle room will do wonders for the little overlaps that tend to occur. Leaving a little room before and after scheduled items will mean that if something needs to push a little, it won’t make the entire event run late.

Weather issues

It is important to have a contingency plan for the weather as it can be really unpredictable. Depending on your event type, this could be as simple as organising umbrellas for some light rain, or it could mean moving your entire event indoors, away from bad weather.

Vendor issues

You may have a vendor cancel unexpectedly, or they may have resourcing issues. While this is a bit out of your control, what you can do is make sure you are in direct contact with them regularly in the lead up to, and during, the event. Arrive early on the day and ensure they have everything they need for their work to run smoothly. Also, have a list of backup vendors ready in case the unexpected happens.

Technical problems

Technical problems can happen at the most inconvenient times, such as when someone is about to speak on stage. Always make sure you are using a professional and reputable AV provider. This will minimise the chance of technical problems and ensure you can address any issues that do arise. Make sure your AV technicians offer onsite support throughout your event, and that they have their own contingency plans in place too. This way, you will always feel secure knowing the show can go on.

Medical emergencies

Medical emergencies require fast reaction times and leadership. At a minimum you need to be aware of where the emergency exits, medical emergency kits, and fire extinguishers are located in your chosen venue ahead of your event. It’s also not uncommon to have or request that a venue representative conduct a safety and housekeeping speech at the start of the presentation, informing guests of what the fire alarm alerts sound like and where the muster points locations are located.

When (or hopefully, if) unexpected things happen at your event, try to remain calm but react as quickly and effectively as possible. Guests will remember how well the issue was handled, or may not even realise there was a problem in the first place.

We’re always prepared for the unexpected here at AVPartners. Contact us today to work together on your next event.

How to hold an experiential event

All events need an element of interaction to really give them a wow factor. An experiential event is one that offers guests a unique experience that leaves a lasting impression.

This could mean anything from 3D elements to product demonstrations, from physical activities to virtual reality experiences. Instead of just pushing a message out to your audience, an experiential event provides an immersive and interactive experience, enabling people to engage with your brand in person.

Here are our top ideas for planning your next experiential event:

Explore creativity

People come alive when given the opportunity to be creative. It reminds them of a more carefree time. Try something outside of the everyday – such as having a chalk graffiti wall they can draw on, or a photo booth where they can be silly then take home a souvenir.

Get people learning

Giving people an opportunity to learn something new makes a big impact. For example, you could try a cooking demonstration, an origami lesson, or a dance class! Have fun with it and people will be talking about it for months.

Get up close

If your event includes entertainers or dancers, allow them to go outside of the norm and showcase their talent in unconventional areas, such as among the guest’s tables or on the bar. If it’s different, it’s interesting.

Incorporate AV technology

AV technology can create spectacular experiences which resonate with guests. From virtual reality, to creating an immersive look and feel through lighting, AV can make a big difference.

Talk to us about how you can incorporate digital elements, lighting and sound at your event to create a 360 experience.

How to effectively communicate your event message

Events can help make your business stand out against competitors. When holding an event, it’s important to ensure that the message you want your guests to walk away with is presented loud and clear. This message could be about increasing brand awareness, letting guests know about your cause for fundraising, or communicating excitement for upcoming product releases and launches.

We’ve put together a few tips on how you can effectively communicate your event message:

Styling and decor

Visual components like decorations and colours are a very valuable part of any event, so it’s important that these make sense for the type of event and guests attending. You might decide to use branded decorations, themed colours, or modern decor to help convey your event message.

Marketing touch points

Every channel or technique you use to communicate your event provides a marketing touch point for your message. Make sure that every touch point is cohesive and consistent. You want the event message to be registering in a guest’s mind from their first interaction with your event, whether that be online, through an invitation, or when entering the room.

Audiovisual components

The production elements at your event can make a huge impact on the way your event message gets seen, heard and absorbed. Great audio can help build emotion and engagement, and effective lighting will set a mood and create a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Remember that all event elements, when brought together, combine to create an atmosphere and experience which helps communicate your message. If you’d like to discuss this further, talk to us today.

How to make sure guests turn up to your event

When planning an event, even when you know your event is going to be engaging and exciting, you still may find yourself with a sense of foreboding. What if no one shows up?

This fear is fairly common in the event planning industry, so we’ve come up with a few ideas to help you make your event irresistible to potential attendees:

Remain top of mind

The first step to get people to your event is to let them know about it! Send them an invitation, create a Facebook event page, or talk about it in your newsletter – you need to start spreading the word.

Once you have done this, you need to remain top of mind so that people remember that the event is coming up, and can bookmark it in their calendars. You can do this by ensuring that there is an RSVP and other contact information on any invitations or marketing content, along with having regular updates on social media or through email marketing.

Create a ‘Big Idea’

A ‘Big Idea’ is the ultimate pull for anyone to attend the event, and it usually revolves around an amazing experience. This could be in the form of a famous attendee or host of the event, such as an inspiring guest speaker, or a celebrity chef. It could even be the excitement of walking away with a brilliant gift bag. The ‘Big Idea’ lets the attendee know that they are in for an experience they cannot get anywhere else, and you should highlight this in all of your marketing for the event.

Offer a sensory experience

Create anticipation for your attendees by promising and delivering a full sensory experience. You can do this by making the most of audiovisual technology; lighting and sound effects can create atmosphere, and maximise guest interaction and engagement. Add to this experience with amazing food, great music and unique styling. Using a reputable AV provider will ensure your event is executed to a high standard, and that your guests experience the best of the best when it comes to events. After all, a happy attendee means a successful event!

Remember the good times

Good event planners know how to leverage their previous event experiences, especially in the buildup for their next event. They remind past attendees of all the brilliant things that went right with the last event, by sharing images and videos of their success on social media and through other marketing channels. This ensures that there is return attendance from previous revelers, as well as newbies who want to have as much fun as their counterparts.

Excited to use these ideas to plan your next event? Speak to us today to see how else we can help!

Event trends

Event trends you need to know about

Are you planning to hold an event next year? If so, you’re probably hoping that it’s an interesting and engaging one, and that everyone has a great time. One thing to consider when it comes to planning interesting events is what is ‘on trend’ at the time.

There are so many unique ways to impress your guests and give them a talking point during and after your event.

Here are our favourite event trends for 2017:

Creative catering

Unique catering is a great way to stand out and impress, and you can also use it to brand your event. Elements such as signature cocktails using your brand’s colours, or desserts with edible rice paper logos or messages on top, are interesting ways to get creative with catering.

The extreme dessert trend is likely to continue into 2017, with dessert walls (think donuts and Nutella) becoming part of the decor!

Personalisation

People want more than the standard cookie-cutter event, so they’re looking for more personalised options when they scout their venues and plan their events. The possibilities for personalisation are endless, with more simple things such as personalised email or app communications to guests through to more complex data driven elements such as tailoring events to the individual based on their reactions on social media.

According to a study by Eventsforce, personalisation is a key priority for 82% of event planners, with 97% saying they believe that event personalisation can change a guests perception of your brand or event.

Audiovisual technology also plays a huge part in personalisation of events. Lighting effects, colours and staging options can all contribute to a more tailored event. At AVPartners we pride ourselves on fully understanding our client’s event and design briefs so that we can deliver on a completely unique and successful event.

Digital interaction

More and more we are seeing that event planners are embracing digital channels to reduce costs, to be more environmentally conscious and to better engage guests. There are so many interesting ways to deliver information at your event digitally rather than expecting guests to take notes constantly or handing out paper. Examples include leveraging an event app, providing a digital handout via files made available on a USB or having notes delivered by email.

Video content

We all keep hearing that video is the future, and in 2017 we will see a greater role for video at events. One example of where video is being used effectively is through the live-streaming of events. This is where an event is filmed and delivered to online viewers in real time, so that they don’t miss out and can be part of the action as it unfolds. Usually this footage can then be packaged up and shared on a business’ website or social media, or used in-house.

It’s important to note that you don’t need to go overboard with event elements to create an impact. Choosing just one or two ideas and exploring how they can meet your business and event needs will be enough to impress.

Talk to us to start planning your 2017 events!

A team building event

The benefits of a team building event and how to plan one

Team building is vital to the success of your organisation. When you have a team that appreciates and respects each other, they will likely be more productive, efficient and happy. What’s not to love? A team building event is a great way to deliver on your team building goals and enhance the overall performance of your team.

The benefits

Team building events give employees the chance to test out their teamwork skills and have fun by engaging in activities or challenges together. Each person starts the day on the same level as everyone else, despite where they may sit in the organisation, with a task at hand and a novel approach to it. Everyone has the chance to be heard, have fun, and draw on skills they may not have had an opportunity to showcase within their workplace role. These events are also a great way for your team to form better relationships with each other, and truly bond over common ground.

The objective

When planning a team building event or activity, it’s best to determine a goal or objective before you begin. Knowing what direction you would like your team to go in, and what you want everyone to get out of the day, will assist you in choosing appropriate activities and venues.

Usually, team building events or activities aim to provide fun and boost morale, or they aim to solve a problem or a communication breakdown within the workplace. This is achieved by getting everyone out of the work environment and allowing them to relax and get to know each other better in a new setting. This can help people to open up to new experiences and can lead to a better understanding of each other. Additionally, tackling a workplace problem outside of the usual domain can reveal a new perspective on the issue, and potentially, how it can be solved.

Things to consider

Ensure that the activity chosen is appropriate for your team and workplace. A wine and cheese tasting or a trivia night are great options for fun casual events where the goal is to relax and socialise. If you want to take things up a notch, you could arrange a CSI night, where your team works to solve a ‘murder’, or a casino or games night where everyone can let their hair down and mingle with their colleagues. If the aim is to create greater team cohesion, activities such as ‘escape rooms’ or interactive matrix style mazes really test people and require them to pool their strengths to get out of the game.

More ideas for your next team building event include cooking workshops, live drawing, community service, bowling, and outdoor sporting activities such as bootcamp, rock climbing or rowing. These can all be fun activities, but you might find that some are better suited to your team than others.

At AVPartners we love supporting team building events to bring your team closer together! It’s important to think about what technology will be required to make your event a success – from getting the lighting and sound right, through to ensuring you have the right projection screens, or even considering what app technology you can leverage to strengthen communication and engagement – technology can often make or break an event.

When dividing your team into groups, keep the group sizes to a maximum of 10. This will mean that each group member can be fully engaged and it’s far more manageable than larger groups, where people tend to detach themselves.

Keep the momentum rolling after the event by setting action plans at the end of the day for everyone to take back to work with them. This could include making sure employees say hi to a new friend made that day, or keeping tabs on the progress of solved problems. These actions can ensure the team building event has a lasting and meaningful effect.

Keen to bond your team together with a team building event? Contact us today and we’ll show you how!

Why hold an event?

Events are a great way to bring people together, and share a moment, message or idea with a captive audience. They do, however, take considerable time, effort and organisation to execute successfully.

When deciding whether to hold an event, the first step should be to ask why you’re holding the event. This will help you get to the heart of whether an event will be valuable and help you achieve your goals. Here are some of the common reasons organisations hold events.

To build brand awareness

Events bring people together at the one location at the one time, giving you focussed time you can utilise to build brand awareness around your business with target audiences. You might make a presentation highlighting your services, or hold a workshop that builds on your thought leadership, making you a respected and trusted person within your industry.

To humanise the business

It’s usually quite fun and interesting to meet the people behind certain brands, so make sure you give your customers or clients what they want by introducing yourself and letting them know that there are real people in your business. It’s also a good time to thank customers and clients for their support, and offer to answer any questions they have or help them in some way if you can. People buy from people, so make sure your business is real and authentic.

To provide networking opportunities

Events are a great way to expand your connections, gain new clients, customers or referrals, and also to show your existing customers or clients what else you can offer them. It’s also an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals in your industry, and you never know where those relationships may lead!

To fundraise

For not-for-profit and charity organisations events are a perfect way to do drive fundraising efforts. They offer a controlled and focussed environment for you to spread the word and incite empathy and curiosity in attendees.

To launch a new product or service

New products or services are a cause for celebration! Events can allow you to inform guests of this, offer demonstrations, or give away samples. It gives your potential customers a chance to interact with your product or service in person, and in a fun and upbeat atmosphere.

To recognise and reward

Awards ceremonies are a very common type of event to hold, and a fantastic way to recognise your team or others for their hard work. Recognition is always appreciated, and usually makes for a more loyal team.

To offer a face-to-face communication experience

Too often in this digital world, we lose that personal, human interaction. While the internet has opened up a world of possibilities, the feeling of being in front of someone; having a conversation and sharing a laugh, can’t really be replicated online.

So, now that you know some of the reasons and benefits of holding events, you might be wondering just what type of event suits your business. Events vary in style, size and outcome, but some common event types include a sit down dinner, a fundraiser, an awards ceremony, a cocktail party, or a conference. You might like to read more about which events really engage your customers or clients, or how to know which conference type suits your business.

Once you’re ready to start planning your event, ensure you have a solid timeline in place. For tips on this, check out how long it takes to plan an event.

At AVPartners, we love to help bring your event dreams to life! Speak to us today and let us know your ideas.

How to plan a product launch event

A product launch is an event which promotes the launch of a company’s new product. A product launch will aim to introduce the new product to your target market, promote your brand, build brand awareness, boost customer loyalty and drive sales.

Here are a few simple steps for planning a product launch event.

  1. 1. Choose your venue

    When choosing your event venue, the size and location will depend on how many people you expect to attend, your target market and target location. Some additional factors to consider when choosing your venue should include decoration potential and audiovisual accessibility.

  2. 2. Find a food and beverages vendor

    Providing food at your event will provide a drawcard for potential attendees and will make the event more enjoyable for your guests. If the product you are launching is a type of food or beverage it’s important to ensure your product is the feature of the event and all other accompanying food and beverage products highlight your feature product. If you need to acquire an external vendor, considering a sponsorship partnership is a great way to offer food and beverages at a lower cost.

  3. 3. Decide on your theme and develop your event messaging

    Your launch product should be reflected in your theme, event messaging, decor and colour scheme. For a product launch event, the event messaging will reflect the launch product and should tie into your conversion goals for the product and event. Your event styling, including the colour of your decorations and event lighting, should echo the colour and aesthetics of your product. This will help reinforce the memory of your product for your event guests.

  4. 4. Get the word out

    Marketing and promotions are some of the most important components of a successful event. Prior to undergoing marketing activities for your event, it’s important to decide who you would like to attend your event as well as define your marketing objectives. Are you interested in getting media coverage for the event? If so, you might want to consider investing in some public relations for the event. Would you like the event to be invite only? If so, you will need to arrange invite distribution and RSVPs. A few effective ways to promote your event include through social media, event listing sites, pamphlets and flyers, and through media outlets in the lead up to the event.

If you would like some help planning your next event, talk to us today.

Sponsoring an event

How sponsoring an event can help your business

Sponsoring an event can be beneficial for a business trying to build brand awareness and reach a targeted pool of customers. Event sponsorship is a mutually beneficial agreement between an event organiser and event sponsor. Although there are many different types of event sponsorships, generally they involve an investment by the sponsor into the event which leads to brand affiliation and publicity opportunities for the sponsor.

Event sponsors benefit from marketing and promotional efforts leading up to and during the event, they can build brand loyalty through association with highly credible events, and can often tap into a targeted market that is suited to their business goals. Event organisers can benefit from lower event costs and better credibility through association with large brands.

Why get a sponsor for your event?

For event organisers, event sponsorship can help alleviate some of the prohibitive costs that come with event planning. This may involve a cash sponsorship or an in lieu sponsorship. For example, finding a food or alcohol company to sponsor your event may involve the provision of food and drink, or a print sponsor can cover the costs of printing programs and flyers.

Why sponsor an event?

Event sponsorship is a great marketing strategy for businesses large and small. For up and coming companies, sponsorship agreements which showcase a business’ products or services are a great opportunity to build brand awareness and acquire new customers. For larger brands, sponsorship can be a great opportunity to build brand loyalty and credibility. A common type of sponsorship agreement for large brands is the sponsorship of an event which targets their customers. This type of agreement helps bind larger brands with their customers, in turn building brand identity. Event sponsorship is also a great opportunity for brands to sample new products or services at a lower cost than retailing.

How to choose the right event to sponsor

A few questions to ask prior to signing a sponsorship agreement include: Who will be attending the event? What can we expect to get out of the agreement? Are there other sponsors involved in the event? And if so, how might they impact our sponsorship goals?

It is paramount to consider how the agreement will benefit your business, and it’s equally important to try to measure expectations. If your intentions are to build brand awareness and brand loyalty through the sponsorship agreement, your business should ensure that the demographics of the guests attending the event are akin with your target audience. It is also highly important to ensure that the event’s messaging is aligned with your company values. Another thing to consider is whether there might be a conflict of interest between your business and other sponsors.

If you would like some more information on event sponsorship, get in touch with us today.

 

How to expect the unexpected at your event

Planning an event can be both exciting and stressful. You need to make a great, lasting impression but you also need to be poised and ready to spring into action should something unexpected happen.

The best way to expect the unexpected at your event is to be prepared. As a general rule of event planning, it’s a good idea to checklist everything and double check items at different intervals leading up to your event. Give agendas and timelines out to everyone that could benefit from it.

On the day of the event, arrive early. This will give you extra time should something happen and need immediate attention. There’s no such thing as being over prepared when it comes to event planning!

Here are some of the common mishaps we see at events and how to address them:

Weather Issues

At RACV Royal Pines Resort, we hold many events outdoors so when doing so, it is vital you have a contingency plan for the weather as it can be unpredictable. Depending on your event type, this could be as simple as organising large umbrellas for some light rain, or it could mean moving your entire event indoors, away from bad weather.

Timing Challenges

Giving your event schedule some wiggle room will do wonders for the minor overlaps that tend to occur. Leaving a little room before and after scheduled items will give you the flexibility you need to ensure your entire event won’t run late.

Supplier Issues

You may have a supplier cancel at the last minute, or a supplier may have resourcing issues. The best thing you can do is to make sure you are in direct contact with them regularly. Arrive early on the day and ensure they have everything they need for their work to run smoothly. Have a list of backup suppliers ready in case the unexpected happens.

Technical Glitches

Technical glitches can happen at the most inconvenient times, usually right when someone is about to give an important speech!

To minimise the chance of technical glitches and ensure you can address any issues that do arise, always make sure you are using a professional and reputable AV provider. Make sure your AV technicians offer onsite support throughout your event, and that they also have their own contingency plans in place. This way, you will always feel secure knowing the show can go on.

Venue Climate Problems

The temperature at your venue sounds like a small concern but can have a huge impact on your guests’ experience at your event. If it’s possible it may be too cold or too hot, it may be wise to consider hiring extra equipment such as heaters or air con units to combat this issue. Make sure you have access to quickly change the temp on the system too should it become uncomfortable.

Medical Emergencies

Medical emergencies require fast reaction times and leadership. At a minimum you need to be aware of where the emergency exits, medical emergency kits, and fire extinguishers are located in your venue, ahead of your event.

Budget Issues

To ensure you don’t exceed your budget, it makes sense to keep an emergency fund. A lot of Plan B’s require extra funds at the last minute and if you have that available it just takes away so much stress and pressure.

No matter what, when faced with the unexpected at your event, react calmly and quickly. People will remember how well the issue was handled, or may not even realise there was a problem in the first place.

AVPartners is always prepared for the unexpected. To find out more or work with us, contact us today.