With my first event behind me, I thought of 10 things that need to be kept in mind all the times for high impact budget events. When you run your own show going forward becomes full power. This is my take on being sustainable in the long run.
1. Set-up arrangements for rain – Come rain or not, rain arrangements are a must which I learnt when the skies opened up second half of my event. You can use a large tarpaulin sheet on top of your roof shamiana which costs much less (naturally water proofs). This can also be re-used for coming events and sustains costs too. If Bangalore based, head to old areas like JC road where these are easily available.
2. Delegating duties to volunteers well in advance – With last minute vendor dropouts, location enquiries, set-up arrangements etc it can get pretty hectic for the organiser on a day prior to do this alone. Make sure you keep a week to designate responsibilities to all volunteers so each one knows what is expected. Hard to come by and when they do, make sure you use their time effectively. Make an excel sheet which lists all responsibilities in the first column, second column carries the timing. The first row can have all the names of the volunteers. Keep merged rows every couple of tasks for general things like ‘checking on facilities’ (water stations, loo’s, etc) This sheet works also works as the day’s schedule. The organiser checks morning, afternoon, evening with everyone to see how things are going. Meet your volunteers at least 3 times, identify the leader amongst them and keep their responsibility of reporting to you on execution day.
3. Marketing your brand on event day – TALK to everyone. As the curator you want to
strut your stuff to grab more eyeballs that makes you stand out. Also it is important to carry an appropriate image of yourself and your company on this day. Potential partners, experts will remember you better and want to contact again. Keep business cards and hand them out to as many people as possible. Promote your brand; invest in some collateral today, do not worry about the costs it will pay off tomorrow. Schedule your event in such a manner that all this is ready in advance either before an event gets fixed or when your event gets over. Keep your collateral simple with your contact details and online digital marketing tools mentioned.
4. A Good sound system is a must – Which I ticked off on my list. It might set you back if on a budget, however the last thing you ant is crisis managing when it comes to tech and equipment. Light music is great or event better setting it up with a small stage at the entrance of your venue to snag higher walk ins.
5. Manage your own waste – Be it any event, you are responsible for the waste being
generated. If you cannot recycle, segregate wet from dry and keep with 2 bins only at one food counter. If you can segregate successfully hand over your waste to the ragpicker in the area, its two birds with one stone here for you. Get your food stalls to use areca plates which are easier to recycle (Available in city market or avenue road). For beverages like water, keep water cans in a few corners with a steel tumbler. For coffee/ tea/ juice ask your vendor to carry only plastic cups and keep a tub of water so its clean before tossing into dry waste. Planning your event well in advance gives you time to work on these vital features which add character and depth to the entire show.
6. Announcements and Emcing – I found it expensive to hire one for my launch, so carried out all the announcements with the help of a resident volunteer. We interacted with all vendors, partners and experts which gave chance for them to market themselves, their expertise or product. Remember it is important to interact with your vendors and experts as much as your partners as EVERYONE is a stakeholder here.
7. Register, register, register – Always have your registration counter right in front at the entrance. Databases are tickets to ensuring footfalls reaching out to your desired audience at your next event and golden data that you will need to pitching to the right audience next time around.
8. Buffer when you budget – You will always cross the estimated costs when you make your budget, keep a 50% buffer of your total to understand if you can afford this and then take it from there. Your first event will give you the biggest lesson and make you plan better next time around.
9. Behavioral best – Remember on this day all eyes are on you, unfortunate as it may sound general crowds can be quick to point and blame without knowing the whole story. You need to keep your cool and deal with matters later once the show is over with patience. On D day you need to put all your energy into smooth operations of the event and ensuring that things run on schedule.
10. Sleep well the previous night – Do not keep anything for last minute that makes you run helter, skelter at the last minute. You will need your sleep for the event day which as your energy will be on an overdrive.
Hope these tips were useful! For any comments, suggestions or feedback you can email firstname.lastname@example.org