Planning an event can be a daunting task, thankfully you are not the first person to do so. Here at Trixstar we have team members that have been executing and event planning for ten years or more. In that time as a group we have learned from our fair share of mistakes and successes.
Here are ten tips that we thought were worth sharing:
1. Begin planning at least 6-12 months out:
To create an event work talking about, you need to plan all aspects in great depth and put together a strategy. Understand that you will be spending a lot of time making phone calls, sending emails, signing contracts and just doing general run around that you need as much time as possible to accommodate for the time consuming and the unexpected occurrences. Also remember that your partners, suppliers and staff have other projects on their plate so give them enough time is just courtesy.
2. Talent buying:
If you are unfamiliar with purchasing entertainment, Agency’s can be very challenging to deal with. If you are not from a reputable company, some agents/managers are a little reluctant to call/email you back in a timely fashion. Then when you do connect with them about your event you will be paying a premium price for your one performance unless you are looking to schedule the same act over multiple days.
3. Beware of venue fees:
Some venues have in their contract that your event must have an intermission or allow them to open their bar or you will pay an additional fee to compensate for lost revenue. These are large hidden fees but a simple one to look out for as well is a corkage fee on an open bar.
4. Commit to an exclusive media partner:
Media outlets are always in competition with the opposition so they need ways to stand out from the rest. Media outlets are willing to offer more of their services at a discounted price if they become an exclusive partner, getting the added stories of the event. Depending on their level of involvement and how big the event is, they may do it for free for onsite promotion.
5. Entertainers crossing the border:
If you want to hire that TV personality to host your event or have that hit band play at your function, its not as simple as just flying them in. When foreign entertainers come into another country to work there is numerous legalities to have arranged or border patrol can send them back to where they came from. Entertainers can be inquired about any of the following: Work permits, withholding tax, personal discrepancies on their file and their temporary residency.
6. You need security:
Having security at your event is not just to keep the peace its about ensuring order. Whether your party has alcohol, you want to prevent unwanted guests, a dispute breaks out or to prevent theft, security is a must. It also covers you in all liability concerns that arise from patrons, insurance and the municipality.
7. Safety is bigger than you think:
An injury can ruin your event and could ruin your company. No one wants to be sued so having suppliers that are reputable and have the proper insurance is key. Also doing frequent walk throughs of the area to tuck, tape, remove any objects that could be hazardous to you, your staff, entertainers or patrons is suggested. Be sure to also follow all bylaws, structure capacities and legalities of your contract.
8. Have a runner:
A runner is basically there to do whatever is asked of them by other, more senior members of the production team. In the days leading up to your event, you and your team will be swamped with work, delegations and questions that if something is needed who has the time to run out and get it? Having a runner will to pick up some forgotten or last minute necessities will make your life easier.
9. Add extra expenditures into your budget:
You may have planned for the lights, sound, catering and entertainment but you could run into concerns like requiring an overflow parking area/attendant, transportation costs (add extra windshield wiper fluid on a slushy day, parking fees, fuel, etc), tipping, print or last minute items for the entertainer.
10. Clean-up will cost you:
Venues just don’t clean up themselves, so that may fall back on to you and your team to do. At the end of your event, you are exhausted and tired and no one looks forward to cleaning up. Some think that they can get volunteers to step up, but normally volunteers aren’t always reliable when the show is done. We suggest budgeting for a clean up crew to take on this task so you don’t get dinged for the mess from the venue.