Helping Small Businesses to run their Event

Events are one of the best ways to promote your business these days. Who said face to face is dead?! They bring people together, they offer a lot of value and the return can be incredible! More customer contact, more brand awareness and therefore, more sales.

We know however that planning and managing an event is a whole different beast. There are so many things that can go wrong, making the whole event flop and fall flat on its face before it even began. The whole process is stressful, taxing and painful. Believe me we know! But somehow we love it all the same! And that’s our difference I guess!

Fortunately, there are many companies that are specialised in Event planning and that are willing to help make your event a fabulous success. And the best part is that you won’t have to do anything yourself.

Lets take a look at 3 revealing reasons why small business owners like yourself should definitely hire an event planner.

  1. Hiring an event planner makes everything easy

It’s obvious that if you get someone to do something for you, it’s easier than doing it yourself. As we said, planning an event can be a very tiresome and stressful task. Instead of pulling your hair out, consider hiring an event planner instead.

Planning events is their main job, so they’ll most likely be inherently better at it than you are. That’s not to say that you’re bad at planning events, but obviously an event planner will have more experience. They’ll have proven event formats that they can implement in order to streamline the whole process and will be able to suggest creative ideas about your event.

Everything that the event planning company will offer you will save you an absurd amount of time. This is incredibly important and in the long run, you’ll be glad that you hired one instead of going through it on your own!

  1. An event planner can help you save an incredible amount of money

Obviously, the less time you spend planning the less money you’re going to cost your business since your time will be spent doing your day job and this usually far outweighs the cost of an event management company fee.. The less trial and error you go through, the less money it’ll cost you. As we have said, hiring an event planner greatly speeds up the whole process and they are also good at making it as cheap as possible.

A good event planner will have established relationships with hotels, venues, and suppliers because that’s their job. This is why they can provide cheaper services by negotiating against those relationships. They will also know exactly how much everything will cost, meaning that the budget will be tighter than if it was done alone and can be managed much more efficiently.

  1. Professional delivery and safety

As we now know, hiring an event planner means that your event will be professionally handled. This means that the preparations before the event and the planning are perfect, the event itself goes smoothly and everything goes as well as possible.

An event planner will not only create the best event for your business, planning every activity hour by hour, but they will also deliver contingency plans on the possible unfortunate dangers that may occur. Things such as power shortages, medical emergencies, and fires.

Using an event planner will greatly help here as you’ll have access to experienced staff if an issue arises. On the off chance that something does happen, you’ll be one step ahead and dealing with it in a professional manner.

Another overlooked benefit of hiring an event planner is that they’ll have an incredible toolkit for communicating with attendees and making sure their journey is as exciting and easy as it can be. Things such as creating a website for the event with maps, event programmes, the attendee list and much more.  All of this makes hiring an event planner an obvious choice.

So it’s clear that hiring an event planner can be extremely beneficial to your business. Not only do you get the peace of mind that your event will be handled professionally, but you also save incredible amounts of time, money and stress.

At the end of the day, it’s the job of an event planner to plan events (obviously), so they’ll be much more proficient in that than anyone else!

Save yourself from the hassle of planning an event yourself and get a professional event planner. The benefits outweigh the cost of hiring one!

If you would like to find out more about how we can help, get in touch or book a free Hour of Power with us!

5 Revealing Ways A PA Can Use An Event Management Company

PA’s are busy people who thrive on juggling priorities and meeting tight deadlines.  They are often tasked with organising many types of events, all to be delivered on time and on budget.  Sometimes using an event management company is a sensible option, and here our very own Office Manager, Ness, discusses some revealing reasons why …

1. Try something a bit different

People get excited by trying something different, so don’t just go back to the same hotel you went to last year.  Event management companies can help you find a unique venue or choose a theme for your event that will make your attendees want to come back next year.  How about a Bollywood themed gala dinner or a truly memorable venue?

2. Getting a Good Deal

Many PA’s don’t realise the options that are out there when choosing a venue, you don’t need to pick the standard menu’s or packages, you can tailor to your requirements and budget.  Event management companies can take all the hard work away by securing a venue or hotel FOC.  They know all the extra’s you can get to make your event really special and they have built up strong relationships with many hotels that can make a big difference in negotiating rates.

3. Production

For smaller conferences and internal events you may find Powerpoint presentations are probably fine.    If you’ve got attendees coming from outside the company it makes a real impact if you choose a more elaborate presentation style, maybe transitioning slides or building in film clips – you will need professional help to achieve this.

4. Getting Everyone There

Booking transport and hotels for events can be a bit of a headache for busy PA’s.   If it’s in the UK then it’s a matter of booking flights, cars and trains to get everyone where they need to be.

Once events start going abroad, then you need even more help to plan it all.  It’s not just a case of going through a travel agent to book flights – how about transfers, where to go for dinner and what you can do at the destination?

5. Maximising Attendance

It’s not enough to organise an amazing conference or exhibition – you need to get enough people attending.  Event management companies are experienced in generating event attendance through targeted exhibitor, delegate and sponsorship marketing and telesales. Speaking to attendees is the best way to guarantee a sell out event.

 

If you would like some help with an event do get in touch with us – we would love to hear from you. You can event take advantage of our Hour Of Power – find out more here.

 

A Guide For PA’s On Finding Great Event Venues

When your boss asks you to arrange a company event, what do you do first? There is so much to think about and usually very little time. One of the most important jobs is to find the right venue – it needs to match the event strategy, audience, budget and company needs. It’s not an easy task and most likely will be hugely time consuming at first but once secured, a great venue can make an event IMPRESS!

Here, our very own Becky Herbert, Senior Event Executive, discusses a 4-step approach for PA’s to finding great event venues.

1) Location

The location is a crucial element of an event – you need to make sure everyone can reach the destination to make it happen! Some venues have great transport connections via public transport. If you are booking a venue outside of a city or in a more rural location, it is always worth checking with the venue to see if they can arrange a shuttle service. This may be an additional cost, but it could be offered complementary.  If it can be arranged it will avoid any of your guests getting lost on their way and will be peace of mind for you.

2) Try the product first

You may be in the process of communicating with the venue to arrange a site visit, costs etc. Do not be afraid to ask the venue if you can come along to the venue perhaps stay overnight, try the food, leisure facilities or other products and services. This is the only way you will get a true understanding if this is the right venue for your event. Many venues will offer you a ‘try before you buy’ service complimentary. It will also give you the opportunity to raise any concerns or questions prior to confirming your booking.

3) Negotiate

Once you send the initial enquiry to a venue they will go through the full event details and provide you with a quote. Although some of these prices may be fixed it is always good to try and negotiate a deal. There are a few ways you can approach this;

If your dates are flexible this will be an advantage for you as the venue may offer days where the price can be reduced depending on availability at the venue (usually classed as off-peak).

Research some local competitors get an idea of their pricing and what they can offer, if they offer lower – see if the venue can match.

Sometimes there is no movement on the price if you are fixed on your dates and it is a peak day at the venue. However, you could suggest some added extras complimentary to benefit your event or your guests such as upgraded bedrooms for VIP guests, complimentary drinks reception, additional AV/staging or SPA treatments (venue dependent).

There is always a way to get a good deal, don’t hesitate to ask the venue!

4) Work with the venue

If anyone knows what will and won’t work for an event it will be the venue. They would have done many events similar to what you are looking to arrange and will have the experience. Make sure you communicate the full brief of the event so they can get a clear understanding of what you are aiming to achieve. They may have some ideas which have been proven to work at other events and could really fit in with your event. Anything you are unsure of always check with the venue and never assume as each venue works differently. It is always beneficial to go to the venue and arrange a meeting with your co-ordinator this is great during the planning processes. When all event details have been finalised always run through every detail with the venue to ensure every aspect has been communicated and both have a clear understanding so you can work together.

If you would like some help with an event do get in touch with us – we would love to hear from you.

We also offer our #GetMoore Hour of Power – a free hour of our time to advise or help you as needed – so please book in, if this sounds like something you could use!

5 Unique Event Venues in Sussex

By Samantha Reid, Senior Events Manager.

As an event planning and management agency, we are always on the lookout for great venues that offer something original, which are memorable and that will leave our clients feeling content and that they have had a great event experience with us. Here’s a few venues in Sussex that we think are pretty special and who are definitely worth considering for your next conference, exhibition or gala dinner.

British Airways i360

The British Airways i360 is one of the most unique, exciting new venues in the UK. You can host an exclusive event in their futuristic glass pod or in their contemporary beach-side rooms with private terrace for 10 to 1,100 guests. Offering catering for full banquets, private dining, drinks and canapé receptions, the beachside terrace makes British Airways i360 the ideal venue – enjoy outdoor barbecues, summer cocktails and Nyetimber, England’s finest sparkling wine, while taking in the sea views. Unforgettable!

Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens

Imagine the luxury that would once have surrounded the proud owner of this lavish Roman residence. This palace was certainly fit for a king. Fishbourne Roman Palace has several rooms available for hire particularly suited to presentations, meetings, workshops and other events.  The site and gardens are also available for hire for performances and other evening events.

All Saints Chapel

The Chapel is the ideal for events that are looking for a unique setting. The Chapel with the clever use of LED lighting can be transformed into the most extraordinary party venue. There is nothing quite like it in the South of England and we believe offers the best of both worlds, traditional and Modern in a very flexible environment that will make your next event truly magical.

Goodwood Racecourse

Offering breath-taking views across the undulating beauty of the South Downs, to the Solent and the Isle of Wight, Goodwood Racecourse is an idyllic and unique setting. It hosts some of the finest horseracing in the world, including the iconic Glorious Goodwood meeting. For entertaining clients, treating staff, indulging with family and friends or simply sharing a celebration, Goodwood Racecourse is the perfect venue.

Chichester Watersports Centre

Are you looking for a venue to hire for a special occasion or event? Parkers is a unique venue set on the lake side, with panoramic glass doors opening out from the spacious interior onto the large decked balcony with stunning lake views. When the sun sets on the lake it is truly breath-taking. Parkers has facilities to accommodate for 20 – 150 guests, and offer a great service to make every event truly special.

If you need any help finding a unique and engaging venue for your event, get in touch with us today. We’d love to help!

You can also take advantage of our #GetMoore hour – a free hour of our time to help in whichever way you need – whether that’s advice, reviewing a current event format or finding a venue – book in NOW!

5 Key Ways To Secure The Perfect Venue For Your Pharmaceutical Events

by Jilly Bullock, Pharmaceutical Event Manager, McCullough Moore

Venue searching for pharmaceutical clients requires specific things to be considered – you can apply the usual venue-finding processes but when it comes to pharmaceutical advisory boards, investigator meetings and other industry-related events, event planners need to assess some very specific areas.

When a new client requests our help for venue searching or planning for a specific pharmaceutical meeting, we work with them to understand why they need this meeting, and the results they want to achieve from it. It’s key for your event planner to understand the requirements up front as everyone works differently and this helps to ensure the event delivers on all levels – for the pharmaceutical company AND the attendees.

1) Know the budget and stick to it

The first important factor tends to be the cost. Depending on where the attendees are coming from can dictate how much there is to spend. Hotels and venues are very aware that the client has an end budget to work to, to be compliant, and with the right negotiation, hotels can be flexible to your needs.  Event management companies can help with this negotiation and can often bring the costs down using their current relationships with the venue to the advantage of the client. Read here about why event planning companies are worth their weight in gold.

2) Destination is key

On the whole, we at McCullough Moore generally only go for 4* properties when it comes to pharmaceutical events, and so we would start the search based on that. There will be some destinations that pharmaceutical clients want to work with specifically, but you can also draw on the expertise of the event management company to guide you as to where else might be an option. It is always important to go for destinations that are considered ‘hubs’, destinations with good travel links, especially if the attendees are flying in from all over the world, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, London and Frankfurt etc. There are definitely some places in the world that we would love to host a pharmaceutical meeting, but would never consider, such as the Maldives, or the Caribbean, as these are considered to be resort locations and therefore not appropriate for events where healthcare professionals are in attendance!

3) Define the event experience you want

Before sending the RFP (request for proposal) to hotels, it’s vital to know what sort of meeting you are planning and how you want the audience to interact and engage. Advisory  Boards are typically best in a u-shape, as you want the conversation to flow between delegates. The same applies to an Investigator Meeting – these are usually styled in classroom seating so that attendees can write things down, but it’s also nice to offer cabaret style seating, as it encourages people to speak and interact.

4) Natural light maintains focus

As a lot of meeting rooms are on the lower ground floor and therefore have no windows. Where there is an opportunity to have a higher floor or a meeting room with natural daylight then try and secure this first and foremost. Curtains can always be pushed to one side during the breaks to open up the room more, especially when there isn’t much space or the weather isn’t great outside. Attendees need to stay focused, especially in the “graveyard slot” after lunch – this is a good time to move them to an area of natural light.

5) Make sure the space works on all levels

It’s important to consider the ceiling height in a room and if there are any obstructions that could block the audience’s view of the screen or presenters.  This is especially vital for Advisory Boards and Investigator Meetings where the level of detail presented is key to the event as a whole. Another thing to consider is in relation to filming for a live stream – the videographers need to get a good view of the space, the audience, the presentations, and the faculty presenting. Ensure they have some input into the venue brief from the outset.

And lastly, it’s really important to check with the venue if there are any other pharmaceutical meetings in-house at the same time. If there are, then it’s critical you are aware of this and check it is not a direct competitor.

 

If you need help planning an Advisory Board, Investigator Meeting or other pharmaceutical event please get in touch with us.

You can also find out a bit more about what we have done for other pharmaceutical clients by reading our case studies:

PellePharm

Envision Pharma

Using Colour to Transform your Events

It is widely known that companies use colour to enhance people’s moods, so why not use it creatively at an event? Using a certain colour at events can create different ambiances and experiences for your guests.

If you are using strong colours at your event to go with the theme of the client’s brand, it is worth realising what colours can do to trigger people’s memory of the event. You can be quite strategic in colour placement, it could be just a tablecloth in a certain colour, or menus designed to help build that of the client’s brand.

Alternatively, instead of using objects with colour, a mood can be enhanced by using gobo lighting in areas, or uplighters by the side of the screen. Simple touches promoting the event almost subconsciously.

The Meaning Behind Colours

Below is a brief overview of meaning behind each colour and brands associated with these:

Red is a very emotionally intense colour. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. It can be used as an accent colour to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect colour for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites.

Yellow is the colour of sunshine – and hey who doesn’t LOVE sunshine?? It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. Yellow has a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food.  McDonald’s, apparently, use red and yellow because red means fast and yellow means hunger (hence fast food!).

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. Orange also has connotations with travel… Think EasyJet.

The colour brown is a friendly yet serious, down-to-earth colour that relates to security, protection, comfort and material wealth.

Green is the colour of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

Blue is the colour of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquillity and calmness.

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. It is also known that purple is the colour of the imagination. It can be creative and individual or immature and impractical.

The colour psychology of pink is unconditional love and nurturing. Pink can also be immature, silly and girlish.

White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the colour of perfection.

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black is a mysterious colour associated with fear and the unknown. Think black holes…

Safety, reliability, intelligence, melancholy, modesty, dignity, maturity, soundness, functionality, old age and grief all represent the colour grey.

Gold is the colour of success, achievement and triumph. Associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance, the colour psychology of gold implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance.

It is also worth noting that colour is culturally dependant. For example, although black is the colour of death in many countries, in China the colour associated with death is white.

 

For more insight into colour at your next event, come and talk to us at McCullough Moore about how we can deliver your events into outstanding events with colour!

 

6 Key Reasons You Should Be Using An Event Management Company

By Billie Moore, Director, McCullough Moore

 

There are many benefits to using an event management company to manage your event – stress reduction being just one of them, my clients tell me!  Running an event is a complex and costly exercise so the preparation and management of every detail counts. Here are our top 6 key reasons to use a professional event management company:

1) Saves you time and money

By outsourcing your event management to a company that runs events day in day out, you will save time and money.  An event management company has established relationships with hotels, venues and suppliers and can negotiate excellent rates on your behalf. They also know all the added value you can get – getting you more for your money and adding to the experience. All these insider relationships and tips mean you save money on everything you need.

An event management partner saves you time because all you have to do is agree the date and location with the event company and the rest will be taken care of. Additional things you make overlook like insurance get covered as part of the service and it is great to hire a company who you can trust to look after everything from the original concept to the delivery on the day.

An event management company will save you and your team late nights, headaches and the hassles of organising the event yourself.

2) Gives you creative ideas and proven event formats that will work for you

Event organisers will give you new and exciting ideas for your events – formats that are tried and tested and solutions they know will work well and are tailored specifically for you. Depending on your requirements, they will recommend an event format to suit you, your audience and your budget. Wow factor doesn’t have to break the budget! Event managers bring a lot of experience into play which means you can be confident that your event will be a success.

3) Expert planning and budget management to ensure overall event success

The initial brief and planning is critical to a flawlessly executed event.  A successful event requires a detailed master plan and a timeline and budget that is adhered to. An event management company will create these for you and agree from the outset the key objectives, responsibilities and targets.  This plan details every logistical and sales element that needs to take place and is the working bible of any event manager.  It will be a working document and continually updated, and will give you the flexibility and peace of mind to make sure all elements of your event are taken care of. The budget will be created by an experienced event planner who understands ALL the costs involved and the variances that can occur. This will be managed and any variances to plan highlighted and appropriate actions taken. There is no re-inventing the wheel and learning by your mistakes as an event management company will ensure you success from the get-go.  After all event management is a minefield and no-one can afford to make mistakes.

4) Technology that gives your attendees a professional and slick journey

Event management companies use an array of tools and software that allows them to communicate with attendees slickly and professionally. This can be anything from creating an event specific website that showcases all your event details such as the conference programme, map, attendee list, the exhibitor list, speaker photos and biographies – to online registration.  The tools will take the attendee right through to the delivery of joining instructions and finally a text message reminder of the venue postcode the day before. These systems ensure your event is professional and slick for all attendees.

Another key area of technology is the AV requirements of your event and to select and work with an AV team that deliver the best solution with the best pricing. Event management companies will have trusted suppliers that they work with and know will deliver every time – and if you’re on a tight budget it’s essential to know what you can and can’t do without.

5) Professional delivery on the day

The two most vital ingredients to a slick event delivery onsite is firstly preparing a detailed event plan for all to use. This would list day by day, hour by hour what rooms would be used, how they should be set, what deliveries are expected, what time refreshment, lunch and dinners should be ready, which staff are responsible for what and so on.  And secondly having a well briefed and experienced team managed by an event director with responsibility for the overall event. An event management company would ensure both of these allowing you to network and focus on enjoying the event with your guests. In particular business clients appreciate full attention from their hosts and are open to building relationships and planning future business endeavours during an event.

6) Managing your risk and keeping you and your attendees safe

An event is full of uncertainties that might be encountered like power failure, a medical emergency or even a fire. This is where using an event management company pays dividends as you’ll have experienced staff onsite that would know what to do should an incident arise. Prior to the event a good health & safety management plan would have been devised and submitted to the venue. This would determine all the risks and implementation of the strategies to help remove the risk.

Choosing to hire an event management company just makes good sense if you want to have a successful event that you and your guests can enjoy. All the planning and management of your event will be so much simpler when handled by an event management company!

Realise The Power of Experiential Events

By Samantha Reid, Senior Events Manager.

When marketing your brand, product or service in this day and age you have to be a little bit shrewd and very much clever to reach your target audience effectively. With today’s shoppers conditioned to block out much of the marketing noise communicated on the day2day it’s not surprising that more and more brands are turning their attention and their budgets to experiential, to deliver something a little bit special, to enrich the shopping experience in a unique and memorable way. Interestingly, several reports have been released this year which reinforce this trend among brands in what has become a very diverse market, revealing that marketers are expecting to increase spend on experiential by up to 50% in the next three to five years. We have seen a huge increase in companies big and small now starting to think past the standard ATL approach of traditional marketing and have a much sharper focus on how to connect with audiences on a more emotive level, to help forge true customer loyalty.

So what is Experiential?

To put it simply, experiential is a form of marketing that offers consumers an opportunity to engage with brands in a way that ignites the senses and allows brands to become tactile. Using clever creative and strategy, brands are now able to create emotionally driven experiences that leave the consumer feeling that they have become part of the brands story, leaving with an enriched shopping experience that is both memorable and ‘news worthy’ among friends, colleagues and family – therefore driving positive word of mouth in additional to promoting their experience online through social media. Of course, in reality strategy and supporting collateral play a big part in the overall execution, but in a nutshell, this does give an idea of what experiential is and how it works.

Facts don’t lie

There are definitely a number of great benefits of investing in experiential marketing and incorporating it into the marketing mix, but here’s a few facts that tend to stand out. 98% of shoppers interested in a service or product are more likely to convert to purchase following a positive brand led experience, while 65% will actually purchase the product or service directly following or whilst at the event. In addition to this, the EventTrack survey, the largest annual survey of the experiential marketing industry, indicated that 79% of brands are expected to increase their spending on experiential marketing. Interestingly 81% of brands who invest in experiential experience huge spikes in brand awareness among consumers in the market, resulting in 62% of consumers gaining a much greater level of product and/or service knowledge as a direct result of their experiential event. Quite impressive eh!

Want to know more? Here are a few more reasons to consider if experiential is right for you!

Lead Generation

Experiential marketing events provide a brilliant opportunity to generate valuable leads as they put brands and service face to face with their market. In fact, over 50% of companies invest in experiential events every year for this purpose. 

Brand Discovery

Nothing is more effective that allowing consumers to discover information about your company for themselves in an original way. Allowing consumers to feel, touch, taste, hear and smell a product, promotes ‘try before you buy’ and aids impulse purchases.

Positive Direct Interaction

Forging lasting relationships with consumers can be challenging. Experiential however helps to breach that gap, through branded face to face human contact, which is more likely to stick in consumers’ minds and keep them returning to the company.

Brand Awareness

Emotive experiential activity tends to draw audiences in naturally, who are waiting to absorb your brand’s message. Conveying brand values in this way, will help to create organic sharing of your messages, which in turn will bring a certain level of authenticity to the experience.

Word of Mouth

The fact is, that people trust people and with social media playing a huge part in brand awareness, ensuring your experience ‘news worthy’ and easily shareable is paramount. Memorable experiences really do pave the way for organic recommendations and exposure.

Experiential Is Fun!

Everyone likes events – experiential marketing campaigns are fun for the companies that host them, and fun for the consumers who partake in them. Combine the fun factor with the high ROI that can be had, and it’s hard to see how anyone can say that this isn’t for them!

 

Want find out more about how experiential can work for you? Get in touch today.

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Top 10 Things To Consider When Managing An Event

At McCullough Moore, we know that running an event is no easy feat! If you have an agency like us running it end to end, you are lucky. Most don’t – especially smaller businesses.

So, here are our top 10 things to consider if you’re going to run an event:

 

  1. Always consider the big picture. Before diving in it’s worth taking time to explore the broader background. Are there other initiatives this event fits into? What’s the target audience? What outcomes are you looking for?
  1. Clearly define the budget. Whether you’re a cash-rich company, a public sector organisation or a charity there should always be a budget. This is important not only for financial control but organisational discipline, the ability to persuade and also to negotiate.
  1. Measuring success and feedback. This needs to be considered and agreed during the event pre-planning stage and a method chosen e.g. evaluation forms, electronic feedback during the event, attendee interviews etc.
  1. Check the diary before you set the date. The date and time of the event could be influenced by a number of factors: is it a time sensitive launch, end of year, annual conference, availability of key contributors, does it clash with other events in your sector – these are all things to think about.
  1. Choose a great venue attendees will want to visit. Your choice of venue is likely to be one of the largest expenditure items. If your company has it’s own facilities that’s great – if not, you need to carefully choose one. Venue search services are a real time-saver and is often a free service. The good ones will know the venues they suggest, have visited them already and got feedback from previous clients. However, you should still do a site visit to a venue yourself before you make your final selection.
  1. Ensure pre-event admin is robust and processes are easy to follow. There are many options available these days with on-line registration very much the favourite for conferences and seminars. Do some research about “off the shelf” packages and service providers if you do not wish to create your own processes.
  1. Don’t forget badges. Ensure the badging system works. The badge needs to be large enough to include the information needed and for others to be able to read.
  1. Get a good event facilitator or host. Good hosts are like gold dust. If you have a star in your company then that’s excellent news. If not, do some research to source an external agency who can host the event for you.
  1. Get the audio/visual right. People are often surprised how much sound bodies soak up. Unless it is a very small gathering you should consider a sound system. If people cannot hear or see properly they become irritated and pre-occupied. If you can include a professional technician in your budget – do it! If not, make sure sound tests are performed beforehand.
  1. Consider using an event management company for all or part of the event.  If you are time poor then consider using an agency for some of the planning, or all of it if budget allows. It’s not always as expensive as you think and a good agency will work with your budget as best as they can to deliver as much value as possible. Well, that’s what we do anyway! Good luck with your next event!

 

Top 10 Tips For The Work Christmas Party Arranger!

So – you have been given the job of arranging the staff or client Christmas party. Uh Oh. Gulp. Now what? The expectations are high – the pressure is on!

But it’s not so bad – here are our McCullough Moore top 10 tips on getting it just right!

  1. Budget – Your Christmas party largely depends on your available budget, and who will be attending. Always stick to your budget and make sure your attendees know what they need to contribute if they do! Nothing dampens Christmas spirit like a last minute bill they weren’t expecting!
  2. Set a date –  Make sure you inform everyone in good time – remember you’ll never please everyone so at some point you have to make a call!
  3. Venue – Once you know roughly how many people will be attending and an approximate date you can start looking for your perfect venue. Remember most venues will be booked for Christmas parties by late summer, so start planning early.
  4. Get recommendations – Suggestions from friends and colleagues are always a good idea to look into as the venue is tried and tested – but make sure it was from a recent visit as you don’t want to get caught out!
  5. Involve the team – It’s always a good idea to poll the team to see what they would like to do for their Christmas party. One person thinking it might make a nice change to have a curry might not be to everyone’s liking but you might get a general consensus on something else!
  6. Use an event package if you haven’t got the time – If you’re looking for a combination of good food, music and dancing, look for organised Christmas parties, run by most hotels or other venues. Or use an event management company to run it at the venue of your choice. This way you’ll have the benefit of professional organisers and they will take care of everything for you from the room and table decorations, to the entertainment – so you can relax and have a good time too! This works particularly well for smaller companies or teams where costs for an event management company will be cheaper.
  7. Create the right atmosphere – Create the right festive atmosphere using creative lighting, decorations and appropriate music. Alternatively, choose a theme such as Black & White, Fire & Ice, Bollywood, Films, Black tie, 70’s – this will help keep it focused!
  8. Party food and drinks – Depending on the type of party either keep it simple, fun and festive with party hors d’oeuvres. Or, keep it traditional and offer roast turkey with all the trimmings. Make sure you know where people can grab a drink too!
  9. Party games and entertainment – Make sure guests are kept entertained throughout the evening, but that the games are fun, easy and relevant! Games are not for everyone so don’t make them mandatory! Giveaways are always well received!
  10. Keeping it green – In today’s society we should be more environmentally friendly…. make sure ALL bottles, cans and paper gets recycled after the party.

 

Parties are a great opportunity to share a jolly and festive time with your colleagues. Remember, it only happens once a year!  Enjoy the good food, drinks and maybe even the silly games while you can!

And maybe next year use us to manage it for you – so you can enjoy the party too!