Are you in charge of event operations? Do you always think you are missing something? Gary Gardner provided many key points during his session at #NicheEventFest.
As Co-founder and Chairman of Franchise Update Media (FUM), Gary and his partner have pioneered a successful multimedia organization serving tens of thousands of franchisors, franchisees and future entrepreneurs. FUM operates two of the leading franchise media publications along with several digital properties, including Franchising.com, the largest franchise information site in the world. FUM also produces three of the leading franchising events focusing on development, consumer marketing and multi-unit franchising growth.
Selecting your Venue
- Develop a grid with conference/event requirements
- Highlight negotiable requirements: date, exhibit hall needs, sleeping rooms, remodel plans, etc.
- Determine hotel level/class and price point for attendee base
- Consider multi-year contacts to increase your negotiating position
- Review any other citywide events going on at the same time
- Be sure to have a contingency plan for unseen events that might take place at or near the hotel
Venue Site Visits
- Review hotel condition: room updates, bathrooms, wifi, business center, etc.
- Onsite availably: restaurants, bars, room service, local area, safety transportation availability, airport, room service, business center, hotel management
- Assess all meeting space: updates, internet, power, carpet, lighting contract, any stipulations of using in house AV vs. outsourcing
- Gather references for property of groups that have recently held event here
Pre-pre conference operations
- Put your team together
- Begin sponsor and exhibitor sales up to a year in advance (need some marketing materials first)
- Complete conference/event website and marketing material at least 6-9 months in advance of conference to begin marketing
- Make sure your website includes: online registration, features and benefits of conference, keynote speaker, agenda at a glance, full agenda, venue info, awards, and any other relevant information
- Be sure to provide price deadline information for any collateral they are included in (logos, business descriptions, ads, videos)
- Provide booth set up times and requirements
- Ensure sponsors register for the event
- Send hotel room block reminders
- Continually update sponsorship information on your website
- Create logo loop – where are they included?
- Collect photos and bios for speakers and update website
- Provide details on presentations: powerpoints, handouts, room set up, ensure facilitators are in contact with the panel
- Provide room assigned at
- Preview the power pints to ensure nothing inappropriate or too promotions
- For conference style events – make sure your agenda includes: location of rooms, speakers, sponsors, special events going on, and more
- All print materials should be designed and to the printer 3-4 weeks prior to conference (depending on your printer)
- Conference signage: order at least 4 weeks prior to the event. Tip: Go local and deliver to the venue
- Additional forms that you might need: feedback forms, agendas at a glance, blank name badges, etc.
- Conference badges and ribbons: will you be assembling them in-house or outsourcing?
Post conference operations
- Review feedback forms
- Add presentations to website
- Write handwritten thank you notes to sponsors and speakers
- Creat post conference video
- Have a huge review with your team
Additional touches to make your event outstanding
- Create opening video
- Hire a photographer/videographer
- Create a conference app
- Keep track of registrations refunds and credits prior to the event
- Set up on site registration
- Have on site badge printing for spelling mistakes or new registrants
- Establish policies for onsite registration walk ups
These are a few of MANY things are important regarding Event Operations. Every event is uniqure and has different requirements. Do you have any other things that are important for your event? Please comment below!
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