The Ribyt team has spent years pulling off large scale events (think AMC’s Talking Dead Season Premier event and the MTV Movie Awards) and working for hospitality giants and major brands, which gives us the unique position of seeing both the client and the event pro side of the equation. We’ve seen plenty of miscommunication go down (heck, we’ve been the cause and recipient of it plenty of times), so we’d love to save you the trouble by sharing what we’ve learned.
1. Know that your Event Pro is a trusted partner.
You probably hired this person to your team or as an outside consultant after much research and budgeting and praying to the event gods. You know they are capable. You know they are invested. Don’t fall into the tempting habit of keeping them out of the loop as your event evolves and changes take place. They’ve probably been immersed in the minutiae of events longer than you have and may have valuable suggestions to make as issues arise. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own teams, but remember you hired this person not only for their skills in executing and organizing but also for their experience! Use it!
Tip: Keeping them in the loop is easier than you think. Make it a habit to Cc them on internal emails about the event and schedule a brief weekly check-in.
2. Know that timelines are everything.
Event Planners live and die by your timeline, but it is often seen by brands as a flexible thing. Commit to the timelines your company sets for your event and deliver on your end of the deal when approvals are needed and to-dos are due. Of course, there are undoubtedly times when things change and everyone has to adapt, but holding fast to the deadline you set whenever possible gives you more understanding to cash in on when things really do need to change. Event pros will stick to your timeline and will appreciate and respect when you do, too.
Tip: From the beginning, create a shared calendar or Google doc that you and your event planner can access at any time to see an up-to-date timeline. It’s transparent, efficient and updated in real-time.
3. Know the value of your investment.
Event planning is around-the-clock work. There are fires to put out in the middle of the night, Plan Bs (and Cs) put into place at the last minute, and days spent rechecking every detail so that you can focus on the big picture. And that’s just the set-up! The actual event is an especially intense time for your event pro since they’ll be everywhere at once and responsible for every detail. Keep in mind when you’re lamenting the cost of event planning that you’re paying for empathy, diligence and integrity with every dollar. When you’ve hired a good event team, they are going to pour themselves into your project 100%, often going above and beyond what you’re paying them to make sure everything is perfect.
Tip: This is a two-for-one deal. During your brief weekly calls (mentioned above), ask for clear updates and challenges from your event planner. We’re confident they’ll be happy to outline the ways they’re going above and beyond for you throughout the process.
4. Know that issues will come up. Then trust your team.
Issues come up. They just do. Celebrity event planner and producer Jung Lee even said “Just because you have planned something doesn’t mean it is going to happen.” Resist the temptation to blame your event planner for every little issue by understanding that stuff happens out of everyone’s control. Instead, hire someone you trust to handle problems professionally and gracefully. When mishaps pop up, event pros will get your event back on track faster if you give them the trust and power they need to do their job successfully.
Tip: Always set time for a post-mortem on an event to discuss what issues came up, how they could be avoided/better handled in the future, and what you’ve learned as partners from the experience.
Event pros, what did we miss? We’d love to hear your thoughts!