December 27, 2014

Event Production – 6 tips for planning and execution

Event Production at MacEwan Hall Ballroom

Organizing your event production can be a daunting experience. Here are six steps to make sure you get the best results from your production team.

1 – Know your attendees.

What do your attendees expect? If they are not avid tweeters, do they really need a social media wall? What type of music do they listen to? What  is their age bracket?

Knowing your audience will help you to focus on the important aspects of your production.

2 – Have a clear understanding as to what type of event you are planning to host.

You should have a clear vision of your event so that you can effectively describe your needs to the event production technicians. A competent technician will be able to translate your description into a fluid technical plan.

If your vision is unclear the quoting process will be more tedious and you could be left with ineffective lighting design, sound reinforcement or video projection.

3 – Set a realistic budget.

Setting a budget can be difficult if you are new to the event production industry, so be sure to gather quotes from multiple sources. By comparing quotes from multiple suppliers, you will be able to discover more precisely what is required from each vendor.

Stay within your budget and know what parts of your vision you are willing to sacrifice should you have too.

Beware of the hidden costs that the vendors may not provide in your initial quotes. Ask the venue’s event services staff if they charge for things like  power outlets, genie lifts and parking.

4 – Work within your wheelhouse.

Hire professionals to take care of the details that you have little knowledge of.  You may not be a sound engineer or a lighting technician, so hire a great audio and lighting production team (ahem) that you can count on to get the job done right.

This way you can be focused on your guest’s experience and let professionals in each corresponding field deal with minor details and troubleshooting.

5 – Use a master itinerary.

An itinerary is the single most important object in your binder, as it will help you manage your entire event.  Be sure to leave buffer room in between scheduled items on the day of so that you will not run behind due to circumstances out of your control.

Your event itinerary should include details such as, the time you can access the loading dock, when the slideshow will run and when the band will come back on stage for their second set.

6 – Go with the flow.

If on the day of for some reason your itinerary is not matching up with what is happening in real time, have no fear.  Go with the flow, inform your guests of on the fly of schedule changes and keep your cool.   If you convey a confident attitude your guests will likely be none the wiser that there are any troubles behind the scene.