are complex, yet (with a little creativity and lots of careful
planning) can become memorable, successful and enjoyable
experiences for everyone, including you – the organiser.
The Executive Traveller event-planning tips are designed
to help events organisers to focus on what they must do
to deliver consistently great events.
You will need to think through a logical
process which will include research, design, planning and
Do your research: Before you get stuck into organising your
event, do you know whether anybody else (other than you
and your team) considers it to be a good idea? You must
first conduct some formal or informal quantitative and/or
qualitative research, to identify needs, and then find an
event to match.
Ultimately, you are trying to reduce the risk which you
are taking, through delivering an event which your customers
actually want. At this stage, too, you must decide what
the purpose of the event is – why hold an event? This
information will inform all of your decisions from this
It’s design time: Having established that it’s
a good idea, it is now time to create a blueprint for your
event: what is it going to look like, feel like, the programme,
theme, activities, promotion: in other words, the ‘how’
of delivering an event which will meet your intended audience’s
After you have created your outline event design plan, it
is always advisable to do more market-acceptance research:
do potential audience members like it? Recheck the figures
and see whether it is still feasible, given the available
You simply cannot spend too much time planning your event.
With definitive answers to why, who, what, when and where,
it is time to source and contract everything you will need
to make your event a success.
What services do you require? What sort of expertise do
you need? What type of organisational structure do you require?
Your event project plan will identify critical dates; these
will dictate the tempo of your decision-making.
Place. Your Event’s Venue:
When selecting the venue, know who your guests are. Wealthy
guests require a five star hotel or resort and all the services
provided during the event must be of very high quality.
Do not despair, there are some fantastic venues available,
so do think creatively about your venue choice. A great
venue really sets the tone and sense of occasion for your
event. A thorough evaluation of the venue and what it has
to offer must be undertaken, to determine whether it is
a good match for your event and organisation.
How many people can it accommodate? Will the proposed audience
like it? How flexible and accommodating do you think the
venue’s staff will be? What services and facilities
can the venue offer you?
The programme can make or break an event. It is one of the
vital components of your event – it’s the reason
why your audience is there, so it must be good. The programme
outlines what the audience is going to do, listen to, watch
and take part in.
It has to be interesting, engaging and enjoyable. If you
want your audience to remember your event, for all of the
right reasons, you need to establish how your audience is
really going to get involved in your event.
Audience members always want to feel part of the events
which they attend; when they do, they can get a very real
sense of engagement – something stirs inside! When
this happens, they leave events with great memories and
a strong impression of the host organisation.
Events managers must think about how they are going to involve
their audiences and what they are going to take part in,
learn about, experience, try out and problem-solve.
Your planned event may be the next big thing, but, if your
promotion misses the mark, your event will fail. Your promotion
must seek to draw people to the event: to excite them to
buy, enquire, to talk to you and/or to join.
Your promotion must provide a compelling reason for attending,
promising a rewarding, entertaining, informative, exciting
and not-to-be-missed event. You will undoubtedly have to
use a mix of promotional media to get the message to your
Do you know how your audience typically finds out about
events; if you don’t know, don’t guess - find
Making it happen. Event managers must understand what needs
to happen on the ground to ensure a successful event. Operational
plans must detail all arrival times, staffing levels/roles,
contractors’ build times, arrivals’ sequence,
event-opening times and, of course, must not omit the all
important risk assessments and event management plans, plus
health and safety.
Your people, your team and you: Events are hard work, so
you will need a committed team around you. Consider also
your external team members: what qualities do you require
from them? Match talents to tasks.
Events are a service, so the attitude of
your team members, all of them, will be instrumental in
creating that high-quality event experience which your audience
will remember. What do you know about your audience: Who
are they? What do they do? Where do they come from?
If you don’t know who they are, how can you provide
for them? Events managers require bags of energy and a real
passion for their work; if you spread infectious enthusiasm,
your staff will respond and guests will really enjoy being
around those who love what they are doing.
Check the venue to make sure that your venue can easily
accommodate your expected target audience. It should not
be too small or too large for your guests. If too small,
then your guests will feel discomfort. If it is too large
then you will unnecessarily end up paying more for the venue
Know how many people are attending
Know how many people are attending your event with R.S.V.P
clearly printed on the invitation. The term R.S.V.P is a
French acronym. Its meaning in English is 'Please Respond'.
If R.S.V.P is printed on the invitation then the invited
guest is expected to tell the host whether or not he/she
is attending the event. Since many people don't understand
the meaning of this term or don't bother to reply back,
it is advisable to individually call and ask your guests
about there plan to attend the event. In this way you can
get quite accurate idea of the guest size which will help
you in deciding food and beverage quantities also
Your venue should not be very far from the place where majority
of your target audience live. It should have proper lighting
and ventilation. It should not be in a noisy or polluted
area. It should be absolutely neat and clean and free from
any type of infestation. It should also be able to manage
all types of climatic conditions. Always try to organize
indoor events if possible as there production cost is lesser
than the outdoor events.
Find out how many events have been organized in the venue
so far; whether or not venue and the staff there is event
friendly. If venue has noise ordinance problems in the past
like neighbours calling the cops to shut down the event,
then it is not a good idea to organize event there especially
Make sure venue has its own parking space. It should be
big enough to accommodate your guest's vehicles conveniently.
If parking space is not adequate then look for other venue.
Never compromise on parking space especially if you are
organizing event on a large scale.
Security of guests, service providers and target audience
is a very important issue which should never be neglected
or compromised at any cost. Make sure that your venue has
adequate number of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency
escape routes, sprinkler system (a system consist of overhead
pipes designed to control or extinguish fires), security
personals, handicap ramps, security cameras, first aid kits
and power backup (like generator, inverter, UPS). Your venue
must have separate entrance and exit gates and it should
not be more than 30 minutes away from the nearest hospital.
If your venue is at a remote location then presence of doctor
and ambulance is a must. Also make sure your mobile phone
properly works there. If your mobile phone network area
is weak there or doesn't exist then you must have some other
modes of communication like satellite phone. For large scale
events presence of fire fighters, fire engine, police, paramedical
team with ambulance is a must.
Your venue must have adequate number of staff to serve your
guests. Find out the ratio of servers to guests. The venue
staff must be friendly, helpful and courteous. It should
be decently dressed. Give special attention to there personal
hygiene. Nobody likes to be served by someone who is stinking
and looks like a pirate of the 13th century. Ask you venue
manager whether or not the staff is able and willing to
Every venue has some unsaid restrictions like photography
and videography restrictions, alcohol restrictions, music
restrictions, dress code, decoration related restrictions
(like you can not install your own structure and lights
for decoration or paste/paint anything on the venue's wall),
advertising restrictions (like you can not put a banner
on the main gate of the venue) and other restrictions like
outside caterer is not allowed or outside security service
is not allowed etc. Find out all these restrictions before
hiring a venue.
Some venue provides additional services like catering, floral
decoration, fireworks, audio-visual aids; Staging, Lighting,
props, decor for event production; ticketing, reservation,
transportation and sight seeing tours for the guests; DJs,
anchors, performers etc for event programs.
you need to Ask
Ask following questions from venue manager before hiring
Does it include:
• all other taxes? (Negotiate rental fee to ensure
the best deal.)
Is dance floor
• table, chairs and linens
• Is security and liability coverage included in the
Q5) What is the price range for a seated/buffet lunch and
Q6) What are the Corkage fees?
i.e. fees to server liquor. Make sure that venue has the
license to serve alcohol. Check the license for expiration
Q4) Is there any cost for parking?
Generally parking space is provided free of the cost by
the venue but some venues may charge separately for parking
for what is not included in the venue fee?
Q7) What is the cost of sleeping rooms?
Q8) What is your cost per person and per food item?
Q9) What are your bartending and bar set up fees?
Q10) What are your fees and how do you charge for providing
Such as floral decoration, fireworks, audio-visual aids;
staging, lighting, props, decor for event production etc.
Q11) What modes of payments are available?
Q12) What are your payment, refund and cancellation policies?
8) Venue Inspection
If you will go as an event manager to a venue for inspection
you will be shown the venue as an ideal venue for organizing
your event. So best way of inspecting a venue is to check-in
there as an anonymous guest, stay there for 2-3 days and
deliberately use all the services provided by the venue.
Make sure Air Conditioners, fans, water
tabs work properly, elevators are operational. There is
adequate lighting and ventilation. Check out for sanitation
Find out how helpful, courteous and professional is the
9) Amount of Work Required
Select a venue where lesser amount of work is required to
be done. Lesser the work, lesser will be the production
cost of the event.
10) Contracting the Venue
about other destinations
Dhabi Business Essentials