The responsibilities of planning and executing a large-scale multi-day event is certainly no easy task. There are twice the logistics, twice the details, and is often twice the effort. However, when done right, it can also be twice the reward.
There are hundreds of factors to consider when putting all of the pieces of an event together, (and I could go on about each one), but one of the key components of a successful one is the flow. If an event doesn’t feel like it makes sense and isn’t moving at a good pace, then attendees will notice right away and it can make the whole experience feel off for everyone. Below are some of my tips for keeping your multi-day event flowing in the right direction.
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Like with most things, your success boils down to how well you prepared. About a million things could go wrong at any event, and you’ll want to anticipate every kind of situation, from bad weather to a no-show caterer, and be ready with a backup plan- this will cut down on your risk potential in a big way.
From the beginning, be sure you are setting expectations for all vendors that will be working the event. The lines of communication should be worked out from the moment the contract is signed in order to keep everyone on the same page. It is also important to make sure that you are communicating well with your own team to ensure you are able to oversee every aspect of the event.
2. Distinct Events
When starting to put all of the pieces together, each day and/or night should be distinct and stand on its own, while still remaining a cohesive piece of the overall event theme. For example, if a conference has an overarching phrase or motto they are following, each day could be themed based on one part of the motto. The last thing you want is for it to feel exactly the same each day, as attendees will quickly get bored and you will lose any distinction you may have wanted. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to bring in the creative partners you trust to be adaptable from one day to the next and will meet your expectations.
3. Avoid an Overload
With any event, you do not want to overload guests with so many activities that they feel overwhelmed and exhausted before the next day. Make sure that you are setting a good pace for each day with enough to keep everyone busy with various options, but not so packed that people are running from one place to the next with no time to relax in between. Remember that several of the attendees are likely there to not only be at the event, but to also meet new people, network and see old friends.
4. Team Effort
Most of all, having a great team behind you is paramount when it comes to executing a successful event. As the person who is in charge, it is impossible to be in ten different places all at one time, so you have to rely on others to get the job done and trust they will meet your standards. From the get-go, bring on people you have confidence in and have showed an ability to be an adaptable team player.
Multi-day events can be a big challenge but are also a great way to flex your creative and logistic muscles. Enjoy the process and remember to always be prepared for every situation. Oh, and have some fun with it too.
How do you manage events across multiple days? Join us on Twitter @socialtables or share a comment below to share your thoughts.