You have got to love event management

Event management has been one of my favourite roles at Astley Media over the past 18 months. I have organised:

  • Four business breakfasts
  • The ‘Road to Resilience’ event at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum for more than 70 local business leaders with speakers such as as Polar Explorer Ann Daniels and Professional Rugby Player Gareth Steenson
  • Tech South West ‘show and tell’ event for 100 businesses within the technology industry.
  • An event for Flourish with 40 business leaders at Anran Manor
  • The annual Fast Track to Growth day for 60 businesses in 2017 at the Deer Park Hotel
  • A ‘meet and greet’ event for 60 FT2G members and partners
  • Most recently the 2018 FT2G growth day at Rockbeare Manor for 120 businesses.

Further details and images from these events can be found via this link:

These are my top event organising tips to planning and delivering a great event!

1) Plan your event for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. This gives you 1-3 days to do last minute event preparation at the beginning of the working week. I also find that businesses are more likely to attend on these days as more people take a Monday or Friday off as annual leave for a long weekend.

2) Stand out! Design a memorable invitation via Canva to showcase your event to the maximum effect. It should be included in the first email you send to your guests and be marketed on social media:

3) Use Google Spreadsheets to organise your attendees. This allows you to share a live and editable version across your team. This has been an absolute godsend with regards to filtering attendees on attendance and dietary requirements.

4) Produce a list of contacts that you would like to invite which is at least three times bigger than the number of guests that you would like to attend. People are busy and can’t attend everything! Declines or cancellations can sometimes be as high as 70%.

5) Set your event up on Eventbrite. This really helps you manage the quantity of tickets on sale and improves conversion of bookings from newsletters and social media posts as people love to book and pay quickly without the fuss of emailing or calling. You can also add questions on the booking form, such as special dietary requirements and what business support the guest is particularly interested in.

6) Aim to have all printed material produced the week before. This helps reduce the stress of managing last minute calls and emails from the attendees and speakers that inevitably come through on the eve of the event.

7) Send an email to your attendees 1-2 days before the event to remind them of the venue address, timings, car parking and Wi-Fi. This preempts many of the questions that guests may have on the day (saving you and your team having to repeat yourself over and over!) and acts as a reminder for guests to let you know if they cannot make the event, to reduce ‘no-shows’ on the day.

I think that’s it with the top tips but feel free to get in touch with us at Astley Media should you need any help or advice with your event planning. Email or call 01392 267391.

By Susanna Ward