Event success is in the details

Brands that deliver memorable experiences for their customers engender trust and loyalty. We often work with clients on creating hospitality events that help them strengthen connections with current and prospective customers.

While the events themselves might be magic, successful events don’t happen by magic. Happy clients and customers don’t see the countless little details that professional event organizers attend to prior to the event and behind the scenes — nor should they.

Consider the following a how-to guide on executing successful hospitality events, built on decades of experience planning local, regional and national events for big consumer brands, B2B and nonprofits:

• Review objectives with the client. Establish the client’s mission and desired outcome from the event.

• Be strategic about the date and time. Don’t schedule an event the day before Thanksgiving, the day after New Year’s or any other day that common sense tells you to avoid.

• Discuss the budget. What are the priorities? What has to happen? Be realistic in knowing the cost of a celebrity appearance and whether the ROI is worth it.

• Secure a timeline. Work backward to make sure every item on the list will be tackled accordingly.

• Organize a binder specific to this event to have on-site. Use highlighters, Post-it notes, fancy pens – whatever necessary to keep track of the details. Because there will surely be too many to keep track of mentally.

• Know when to pivot. If the food doesn’t arrive on time, prepare a backup plan. Come to the client with honesty and a solution if a problem occurs.

• Be creative. In a perfect world, money and time would be limitless. But in the real world, compromises must be made. If you want that celebrity appearance to happen, chicken might be a more affordable dinner option than salmon.

• Debrief the client after the event. Ensure their happiness and identify key learnings for future events.

Even when you’ve locked down the logistics, any seasoned event planner will tell you there are always a few wrinkles. (See pivot entry above.) At the end of the day, night or weekend, it’s delivering the unforgettable experience that matters most — to brands and their loyal customers.