Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Art of Event Staging

By Jeannette Button
Many people have a misguided view of PR people as champagne popping, event staging socialites. If only that could be closer to the truth. With over twenty years in PR I have had my share of campaign launches, Lord Mayor “dos”, community events and official openings. My Dad says I would go to the opening of an envelope – but that’s just not true.
I am currently organising an official opening for a client and my stomach is in knots. You would think by now I could do it with my eyes closed but every event is different and comes with its own idiosyncrasies or clients?
There are six things I am reminded of however with every event:
1. Have a clear purpose: What are we here for, announcing or opening and will anyone else be interested.
2. Be organised: There is nothing worse than pulling guests and suppliers together at the last minute. An event template works wonders for me while others prefer a more organic approach. The main thing is to try to think of every aspect of the event from the invitation to the closing ceremony and make sure you have it covered. Step though the event if it helps as it is amazing what we sometimes simply overlook.
3. Consider the timing: What other events will you be competing with? Is it just me or are the Christmas parties held earlier every year? No matter how devoted people are to your cause, be realistic about how much time we can expect of them and what other obligations they will already have.
4. Follow up invitations: RSVPs are not everyone’s strong point. Be prepared to follow up on invitations, especially if sent via email. Despite the benefits of an electronic invite, they are easily lost in the Inbox, are seldom printed out and are often overlooked as junk mail. And everyone in the Top End knows that Territorians are notoriously bad at replying to RSVPs.
5. Be flexible and creative: Even the best laid plans can go astray for one reason or another. Be prepared to reformat, revamp or reschedule an event so that it delivers the best outcomes for your client.
6. Relax and celebrate: Once the event is over take a deep breath, remind yourself that the knots in your stomach were worth it and maybe, in a few weeks or so, you may consider managing another plaque-revealing, champagne-popping event.
Twittercue: 6 tips for successful event staging #topend #events

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