Jenny Eaton

Trust Me, Event Management Is Not 9 To 5

Standing out from the crowd means putting in the hours ...

Posted on: 02/10/2014   By: Jenny Eaton

Our theme for October is Broadway/West End shows. Now, both Jacqui and I love a good theatrical production (musicals by preference), but neither of us imagined we'd have to get involved in one, until the National Entrepreneur's Convention last month ...

Trust Me, Event Management Is Not 9 To 5

We had started preparing for it way back in July, knowing that with my holiday in August it was the only way we would be able to get things done on time. As part of the exhibition package we were given a 'shell scheme' so first of all we started planning our panels.

After some discussion, we knew we wanted to make ourselves really stand out - not just from our competition (who were also in the room!) but from the other 30+ exhibitors that were going to be there.

"With some real 'out of the box thinking' we came up with the idea of a Bedouin tent. Little did we realise quite how much work that would take to put together!"

Our weekend started at 5pm when we offloaded the makings of the tent. We were then not allowed into the exhibition area until 8.30, so we spent some time networking.

Thanks to the lovely Ian Frost of Rainbow Frost and Mark Powell of MPD Creative, not to mention the many tall passersby we happened to collar to assist - it only took us three hours to create the beautiful Bedouin tent you see above.

The two following days, when our stand was manned by Jacqui, Ian, myself and a real live Genie (in full genie costume!) were very, very long. Sunday we were on the stand from 6.30am through to 9.30pm (and Jacqui and Ian were floating around the venue for a further hour at the after party).

Monday was another 12 hour day where Jacqui managed to disassemble the stand with a little help in about 20 minutes! Event Management is not for the faint hearted!

It was a real production and we put on a fabulous show. We came away from the event with 70 warm leads and many more contacts to put into our mailing list, so it was definitely worth it. But planning for an event involved much more than putting up the stand and manning it on the day.

Our wonderful PA Helen had the most important job of event management in the weeks leading up to the convention. It was her job to co-ordinate, source everything we needed, get prices, samples and ensure that deliveries were made to the right place at the right time.

You see, a full fortnight before the event we had to get 'goodies' for the goody bags to the event organiser. Now that took some organising as we had to get fortunes printed, cookies made, the fortune cookies wrapped and delivered to the organisers.

We had to get postcards and flyers designed and printed. We had to furnish our tent with suitable seating (my ottoman and a combination of mine and Jacqui's cushions worked a treat) and we had to organise a prize draw and an offer to get people to our stand.

For the 3 weeks leading up to the convention we were all about event management and that was fine because there were three of us to share the load out and we had the other Genies answering the phones and doing the PA work.

"For small business owners, planning for an event like that can be an impossible task!"

And that is where you can benefit from our Event Management experience. We can help source the things you need, providing you with quotes and liaising to make sure the delivery is on time. We can help you hire staff to man the stand for you - our real live Genie Naomi was hired especially for the event and she did a great job. We can even help you send over the brief before the event so they can hit the ground running.

To find out how we can help you plan, co-ordinate and manage an event, call us on 01604 529170. We are always happy to share our experience.

Until next time ...


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