By now you should have a solid idea of the messages you want to deliver, how you want the event to look and how you want it captured. Your guests experiences will be next to nothing they have ever received before (in a good way)! All your best intentions and heart has been poured into building the best atmosphere, delivering the best food and surrounding your guests with the finest things. Now it’s time to look at your experience.
You’ve done so much for your guests, and now you need to alleviate stresses for the day. Picking your team to deliver on all elements of the plan is crucial in securing success of the event. Make sure the people you are recruiting to support execution of your plan are fully engaged in the Why of your event. They will absolutely be more enthused and able to deliver with your good guidance on why you have chosen to host the event and why you have chosen specific details. Choreographing their roles will be much easier once they understand the why, because what they need to do will align with the main objectives.
You’re going to want people who are passionate about the final result in order to feel safe that your risks are covered and handled with care and consideration. Converse with the team allocated to you if you do not have the luxury to pic yourself – make sure they are as aware of the purpose as you are so they are set up for success and so is your event. Provide them with the planning details relevant to their role so they can really understand what is expected of them. Share details of what other teams will be working on as it relates to their position so they know what support is available, and so they can question any unexpected actions and manage risks on your behalf. Building a community of team players can take time, but provided you give them the same care and attention that you have with all details will encourage fast learning on the event purpose and how they are expected to behave.
Providing all reference images and schedules will eliminate any chances of misunderstandings and communications. If they have a solid document to reference before the day, have signed detailed contracts and understand their statement of work – trust me, you’re ahead of the game and can relax a bit more when it comes to trusting they can do the job.
Essentially you are choreographing a customer service dance that requires partnership between all vendors and staff. You can’t expect them to know all the steps of your fast paced foxtrot if you haven’t first rehearsed. Have regular meetings with all team members before the event to ensure everyone is aligned on the flow. Don’t coddle them with daily meetings, as this will make them think you do not trust them, and will eventually give you more stress than necessary. Monthly meetings on the lead up to the event with the relevant roles is imperative, and on the lead up to the event you may need weekly update calls. If you experience any risks or tasks going off track, set up daily meetings until you have resolved an issue and are back on track, but then give them the freedom to complete other tasks with monthly update calls.
Make sure your team knows who each other are. It’s hugely impactful if you manage to get the gang together for a face to face meeting, or ask them to provide a recent high resolution photo of themselves to share with the team. Giving them the opportunity to know each other outside of the work environment will encourage a better working environment on the day. If you can afford it, hire a meeting space in the venue you will be delivering the event – this doubles up as an opportunity for vendors to see the space. If some team members can’t make it, video call them in. Take them on a team building activity to see how everyone works together and interacts. It could just be a cheap trip to a mini-golf location. You don’t have to break the back, but making them feel valued will inspire a spark of enthusiasm and give you the chance to be more available to them.
On the day of the event, there is no time for panic and emotion. Stay cool, calm and collected when new risks arise and questions come pouring in. This shouldn’t be too daunting if you are confident the team knows their role, but expect a few update questions along the way. There may be some changes to the timings on the day, which will need some flexibility and guidance from you as the planner – do not stress, just push on through and make a decision quickly. If you get emotional because a vendor has not delivered on what they promised, this is where your contracts and statements of work come in handy, especially if it leads to a court appeal. No one wants it to get to this stage – not you, and definitely not the vendor. Provided you have a good relationship and have effectively communicated your expectations, as well as receiving written agreement that this is what will be delivered, you should be fine. There may be occasions where what was agreed is not what is delivered – be assertive on the day but encourage the teams to do a good job, and handle any disappointments more seriously once the event is over.
A majority of the time your event staff will deliver an exceptional experience for you and your guests. It is important to follow up with thanks to individuals, companies and managers of those you have recruited to support. Your thanks will give them pride in their work and make them more likely to support you again in the future. A beautifully worded praise on their company website will really show how much you have enjoyed their support, and the publicity for them will be very warmly received. You should give this activity as much dedication as you do to resolving any issues, because good news is what boosts a business and individuals reputation. Feedback is the best way to help companies grow and work better with you in future. Be constructive in any criticisms by email, not on a public forum. If you are event managing as a job rather than to deliver a specific event, your public comments will also reflect on your business – so be mindful of how you come across on social media.
Building activities and ice breakers for your guests can help create competition, conversation and comradery. Use your team to help facilitate some of these activities – they are there to support and can also have some fun along the way. Giving your guests simple activities such as photos at the table of ‘best dressed’, ‘best smile’ or ‘best decoration’ can start conversation about the best in your guests. Providing table cards of ice breaker questions that can include the whole table and get each guest to know each other will build an atmosphere of conversation. They don’t have to be costly and complex, but can make such an impact on the general experience. Some of your guests may find it difficult to strike up a conversation – make sure you sit them with like minded people as much as possible, but to get them talking give them activities.
If you’re thinking of giving out prizes and building competition against table teams, create a quiz about the event. Your team can host the quiz, or collect the table questions toward the end of the meal and collect points for the winner. Giving each person a bottle of wine or first dig at the sweet cart will encourage everyone to get involved and build stronger relationships with the fight to win.
Are there any tips and techniques you can share on building teamwork and a strong community? Working together and sharing support is always very welcome in our comments, to help your readers grow.