Anyone who has organized an event can all agree on one point- event management is not an easy task! From crafting the concept, discovering venues, fixing the caterers, marketing of event, and finally conducting it, is a labor of love undertaken by the organizers. But the event space is a fickle mistress; one moment your event is the talk of the town, and the next moment the crowd has moved on to the next event. So how do you stay relevant to your audience and keep them coming back?
We interviewed six industry veterans, who will be sharing at the upcoming Backstage Pass, whose events have become an integral part of their communities. They shared their event management insights on how to create and implement successful events!
#1: Do not be afraid to try something new
No one becomes an expert in event management overnight. Everyone had to start with their first event, and often they have had no prior experience in conducting events. However, they didn’t let their lack of experience stand in their way! In fact, they used this to their advantage to create unique events that became their signature style.
Lizanne from Upsurge Productions shares one of the most important advice she has received, “do not be afraid of failure. You win some, you lose some.” Lizanne and Mae, the founders of Upsurge Productions were in their sophomore year at Republic Polytechnic when they realized that they had a common love for live concerts. They noticed that a lot of alternative rock bands that they loved were skipping Singapore so they decided to take matters into their own hands. They dove head first into creating Upsurge Productions despite the uncertain future! They faced many obstacles including not receiving reply from booking agents when they first started out. But they pulled through with courage and passion for what they did.
#2: Focus on creating great experiences for your attendees
In a saturated event space, how do you stand out? It is the experience that you create for your attendees that will differentiate you from your competitors.
Creating a memorable experience for your attendees lie in the tiniest of details as Michaela, founder of Woolf Works – a coworking space just for women- can attest; she ensures that every single touch point for her audience is taken care of. “I want my event attendees to have a great experience from being welcomed at the door, to having a nice napkin next to the snacks. I want everyone to be comfortable and feel good.”
Creating the experience doesn’t just happen offline, the online and offline experience has to be in line with your brand values, as Marc, founder of InTheLoop explains, “I wanted to translate the same idea and mission of connecting people online to an offline experience. Events help us build and connect our community and also keeps us in touch with the folks we want to be around with. Health and wellness is about the body and mind and what better way than to do it with friends and make new ones along the way.”
You have to create an experience that will represent your brand across all touchpoints, from your marketing collateral, venue space, ticketing processes, food and drinks, activities at event, to post-event follow ups.
#3: Events created should focus on solving a particular problem
There is an overabundance of events taking place everyday. How will your audience decide which event to attend? The solution is simple; find a niche and focus on building a community around it. As we spoke to our speakers, it was apparent that they were doing events that they themselves loved to attend or supported.
Syaheed has had a long history with the music industry, and while working on Good Times, he became acutely aware of the challenges the artists faced – sustainability and career development- and that moved him to support the movement that became SGMUSO.
Marc started actively doing yoga, and noticed that there was no digital space where people could connect, learn, and engage with each other about what’s happening in the community and where to buy yoga pants. So what did he do? He started InTheLoop! These founders found a sweet spot where there was a need for it to exist in the community, and by focusing on a niche, they were able to share a relevant message with their users, who built a community around the platforms.
#4: Love what you do
This might not seem very important to event management tips, but it is in fact a cornerstone of every event mangers’ life! To put it simply, event management is not a glamorous job. You are constantly hustling and putting in insanely long hours into planning every aspect of the event; from venue, logistics, operations, food, drinks, and even to the last detail of how many extension plugs need to be prepared for the event to run as smoothly as possible.
Passion and love for what you do, and the purpose for why you are doing it is the fuel, most of the event organizers run on, while doing what they do. The founders of Upsurge Productions share “seeing a sea of fans singing their hearts out at every concert and having fans thank us personally keeps us going!”
This sentiment is shared by Marc, “the smiles on our participants faces, seeing our clients and vendors link up post event and doing business together and being part of the growth of the community is something that is special to us. The sense of self accomplishment when we deliver a great experience, and getting recognized for it amongst the community, media and a wider audience keeps us motivated.”
Join these event management veterans (SGMUSO, Comedy Masala, Woolf Works, Asian Film Archive, Upsurge Productions, and InTheLoop) on Nov 12, Thursday, for the last edition of Backstage Pass 2015. We will be discussing how you can stay ahead of your competitors in 2016: Discover trends for 2016 from experts in 6 different fields and create unforgettable experiences for your attendees that will surprise and delight them.