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The Significance of Seamless Event Execution

May 14, 2024

Is it a coincidence that the word “execution” can mean the process of carrying out a plan and it can also mean…less pleasant things? But executing an event can happen with zero drama if you know what you’re doing and have a great plan. Obviously events, especially large ones, have multiple moving parts and rely on lots of people doing a variety of things well and on time. Not only is this doable, it’s infinitely manageable with the right tools.
An event manager is like an orchestra conductor. If the conductor has excellent musicians who have clear communication about what’s expected from their performance and comes prepared to lead with a thorough knowledge of the music, the performers, and the space, success is highly likely. Executing an event is just the same. At avad3 we seamlessly execute over 200 events a year nationwide! It takes a knowledgeable team of A/V/L experts to pull off an amazing event.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, team unloads gear from truck outside of an event.

Planning & Staffing

Any event starts with planning, months and sometimes even years out. There are lots of ways to go about this, but one efficient process is to consider the three main parts of planning:
1.      Identify event needs What are the goals of the event? Are you trying to get people familiar with a new product? Engage employees? Train industry professionals? It’s much easier to plan when you have named and quantified the needs and goals.
2.      Manage tasks You know there are a thousand things that have to happen for an event to get fully planned. Start a checklist on day one. Tons of event management apps and software programs exist to make this easy. In addition to putting items on the list, consider the people involved in the event and how you’ll collaborate with them throughout the planning process.
3.      Staff the event At minimum you’ll likely need a small team to help you make the event happen but it’s often a much larger group consisting of vendors and event workers. This is your orchestra. Ensuring that you have an event staff that you can trust to do high quality work is essential.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, team member conversation at Walmart Marketplace Seller Summit – Las Vegas NV.

Technology & Tools

Technology has long been a part of events, but its role is more integrated than ever. Every facet of not only the event, but also its planning and execution, can be enhanced by the newest tech tools.

Event Planning Software

If you’re a notebook and pencil planner you may be hesitant to embrace event planning software, but consider the advantages. Your budget, vendor info, and document storage can all be neatly organized in one dynamic space, always accessible by your laptop, tablet, or even your phone. You can allow multiple people access to view and/or edit so you can be notified of changes in real time and you don’t waste valuable planning minutes messaging updates to your team.

Event Apps

An event app can totally transform the attendee experience while it’s simplifying your job. Once participants have the app (easy enough to do with a QR code at check in or in pre-event communication) they can access itineraries, speaker info, registration forms, space layouts and more all in one place and all at the same time. You will be able to make last minute additions or corrections and push out the latest info to everyone easily. There are even features like real time polling, Q and A entry, and lead captures that will truly enhance the event experience for everyone.

Event Technology

When you’re planning the event content, talk with your production company to find out what options exist for incorporating the latest technology. Dynamic LED screens can replace signs; live streaming can greatly increase your participation options. New tech is constantly available and can often make your job easier while making an event more exciting and buzzworthy.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, Audio console set-up

Marketing & Communication

Your event will only be as successful as the marketing that gets people there and interested. Part of identifying your goals is determining who your audience is and how best to reach them. The way you communicate with and market to them up until the event cannot be overlooked or undervalued. Mail, email, social media, and advertising are all options that can be used, but some work better than others depending on the situation. Take time to create materials that will catch their attention and be purposeful about a marketing plan that considers the frequency and methods of your efforts.

Logistics & Venue Management

Here we get to some of the fundamentals of event execution. Often event planners are juggling multiple events at once and the logistics can be overwhelming. It is crucial to select venues and hire vendors that you trust and that know how to handle their part of the work flawlessly. Ideally, the orchestra conductor is not having to correct a violinist’s work during the performance. Everyone is professional, knows their job, and executes it, which leaves you free to manage the flow and handle issues as they arise.
One facet of logistics that shouldn’t be overlooked is speaker or presenter selection. Of course you’ll want people with the right content fit. But make sure they’re also professional and that they clearly understand their role and the goals of the event so there are no surprises.
Speaking of surprises, those are rarely good at an event if you’re running the show. That’s why rehearsals and venue walk throughs are so important. They happen at the busiest time of event planning so it can be tempting to skip them but it’s a big mistake to do so. These are your best opportunities to spot any previously overlooked issues, conflicts, or glitches without an audience and in time to course correct. You can finalize your itinerary with confidence that you’ve walked through the plan and it will work.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, team member manages stream for a live webinar.

Lead Capture & Engagement

Depending on the type of event you’re having, lead capture could be an important goal. Almost certainly engagement is. Spending some planning time considering how to make it happen is worth the investment. There are ever-evolving options for helping your attendees and stakeholders capture leads- especially if you embrace the tech that continues to make it easier and more interesting. Tech also allows participants to be more directly involved than ever. They can give real time input and feedback. A large format discussion used to be limited to the few people who could make their way to a microphone. Now through an app or website, everyone present can participate and add value. Make your best effort to have successful engagement, but make sure you don’t rely on your own perception to assess whether or not it worked. Consider incorporating post-event surveys or other ways to measure the event’s success from other points of view.

Legal & Budget Considerations

The budget is everyone’s favorite part of planning, right? Okay, obviously not. BUT. It actually can be a tool you use to relieve some stress. Developing a thorough, categorized budget in the first stages of planning will help you prioritize the rest of your work. Although it may seem contrary to your instincts, share your budget with prospective vendors. This will help you get a realistic understanding of what you can afford to do, and you’ll realize quickly if the budget needs tweaking.
Throughout planning, paperwork will be inevitable. It might not be fun, but don’t even think about skipping it. Contracts are there to protect you and to ensure that everyone has the same expectations of what will be done. Make sure agreements are thorough and spell everything out.
If budgets and paperwork (or any part of the planning process really) are overwhelming, you might consider choosing an event planning company to partner with. Their expertise can save you valuable time and money while preventing mistakes or overlooked details.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, digital signage at Mastercard’s Excellence in Analytics Summit – Bentonville AR.

Sustainability & Best Practices

It can be tempting to skim over this part, because you’ll get to the finish line without it. It won’t be nearly as satisfying though. Best practices exist for a really obvious reason- they are the best way to do what you’re doing, as determined by the experience of all who have gone before you. Listen to the voices that have already done what you’re doing and the lessons that have been learned. You will save so much time and so many mistakes. Sustainability is almost always included in best practices simply because it is what’s best. These methodologies have been developed for all industries so that planners can proceed with confidence, knowing they’re doing good and ethical work that will likely result in success. For the best results, incorporate the best practices you learn into a comprehensive event execution checklist.

There are no super secret magic tricks to executing a successful event. It comes from careful and thorough planning and using the tools available to you to their fullest capabilities. Learn what your options are. Make goals, a budget, and a to-do list, and prioritize. Communicate with your vendors, stakeholders, and participants to learn as much as you can about what everyone expects from the event and what everyone can contribute. Prepare, rehearse, and assess. And during the event, pause for a moment to look around and savor the success you’ve created.