September, 2013

Blogspot: Entertainment? Here’s A List Of Things To Consider.

Guest Blogger: Susan Heaton Wright

There are many fabulous venues around and many brilliant people at those venues to help you. If you are including entertainment in your event, it is worthwhile asking the following questions, to ensure you choose the right venue for you.

1. Timing restrictions; some venues have a curfew on sound, for example, no music played outside after 8pm – so if you might need to re-think the idea of having a band outside for late evening dancing! Remember Hyde Park last year, where the microphones were switched off! You want to avoid that!

2. Noise restrictions – decibel limits. Many venues have maximum decibel meters where the power cuts. A DJ or band members are going to look stupid if their equipment suddenly stops working. Being aware of this will avoid disappointed guests!

3. Types of music: there could be restrictions on amplified instruments – so acoustic instruments and voices should be used in those cases, although we have found that occasionally a keyboard could be used – although do check!

4. Preferred suppliers: a few venues will only allow specific suppliers to work there. Check before you plan your event!

5. Loading/unloading equipment : how easy is it? Will you need to have someone on guard to avoid a parking ticket? Will you need additional people to help with the loading. Are there time restrictions of when equipment can be delivered?

6. Getting to know the porter/doorperson/receptionist who will know all the tricks to avoid parking tickets. The saints of any venue know everything about unloading, the easiest route to the performing areas, any top tips. Ask to have their contact details so you can build up a rapport.

7. Any fabric (historial) features that need to be preserved: will equipment need to be put on special flooring to protect the floors? Cellos protective spikes. But also certain venues have restrictions on the mix of sound – one venue we work at has restrictions on the bass levels, because it affects the windows!

8. Power sockets and the amount of power – particularly outside. It is okay for a venue to say ‘We have power outside’ but if there is only one socket, it could restrict equipment used therefore might need to arrange a generator or cabling.

9. Acoustics – some venues are very resonant, or dry: a space with no carpets or curtains can be very noisy; low ceilings create a different acoustic. The challenge is that when your guests arrive, the acoustic alters again. Ask advice from your venue and also your entertainment supplier, to see what will work. If necessary, arrange a recce to the venue – this will show you if they know what they’re talking about too!

10. Type of event: if you are having a network event, remember that people want to talk and hear each other. A noisy room, and one that also has entertainment, might be too noisy. Likewise an event for 50 people which normally holds 250 will have the guests and entertainment ‘rattling round’ the room. Choose your space according to the event as well as the number of guests.

 

About the Author

Susan Heaton Wright is Creative and Managing Director of Viva Live Music.

Category : Blog
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Blogspot: Making an Event ‘Exceptional’

Ok people, here it is, our next blogspot. You may think we’ve already covered Making an Exceptional Event. However, this time we’re looking at it from a different angle…and looking at making an Event Exceptional! Happy reading….

Guest Blogger: Jilly Jones

Exceptional events happen because of the people involved. Right from the initial enquiry, it is vital to establish the event objective and to ensure that the venue can deliver and is the right ‘fit’. To be ‘mis sold’ to at this stage by an over eager events manager that may mistakenly believe that their venue and staff can supply what they want will end in disaster. For example hosting a corporate conference with a serious business element in a ‘family friendly’ leisure environment during school holidays may well have an adverse effect on the success of the conference.
Tools such as ‘Trip Advisor’ and ‘VenueVerdict’ help event organiser to properly research the venue and identify any particular strengths or weaknesses which may be addressed. Investigate any awards that the venue may hold, to identify the strengths of the venue and how this in turn may benefit the event. Awards such as Gold Standard in the Green business tourism scheme will contribute to assessing the carbon footprint of your event. Likewise venues holding awards for customer service will leave your delegates delighted.

 

From this stage on it’s up to the events manager and the client working together to ensure the success of any project. The planning is an integral part of the process. Objectives must be clear and understood by all of the parties involved.

A degree of marketing strategy in the planning process ensures that the audience (whether that be your internal or external customer) is considered fully and will be communicated to in the way in which is convenient. For example, to send out hard copy invitations and information to any delegates that may be field-based will end in catastrophe! Effective communication must exist not only prior to your event, but also during and post event to continually evaluate the event objective. ‘Goody bags’ remain a very popular part of the event: your delegates leave with a ‘momento’ and this can be a great way of ensuring that further branded material and follow up information is distributed.

Creativite and innovative ideas that will engage your audience and keep them talking about the event long after they return to the office benefit the longevity of any event. Keep things simple by inviting external professionals who can deliver those special touches such as facilitation and entertainment. This adds value and rewards delegates who have committed the time and energy to attend.

About the Author

Jilly Jones is Business Development Manager for Farncombe Conference Centre and Dormy House

on the Farncombe Estate and in her words ‘One of the most beautiful estates in the Cotswolds.’

 

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