Preparing For Corporate Event Success By Seeing Events With New Eyes
Have you ever gone to an event or place with a temporary setting and never given any thought to how everything was created or how much planning went into it? I know that I was guilty of that before working in the trade show and event industry.
Now I understand that the amount of pre-planning, in terms of access, labor, utilities and overall logistics, cannot be overstated. In other words, sweating the details is essential to corporate event success.
A great example of this was when we at Holt Experiential were asked to create a trade show environment with multiple exhibits for Apex Tool Group in a tent at a resort in Florida. Three of the exhibits were 16’ tall which added to the challenge to make sure we had a tent tall enough to handle the structures.
Challenges included the following:
- We had three full-size trailers to unload, with shipments coming from Chicago, Indianapolis, and Orlando.
- There was no loading dock, requiring specialized equipment and lots of heavy labor to plan for.
- Freight was offloaded approximately 300 yards from its destination.
- We had to locate and bring in 3 large-scale generators to run power and HVAC.
- The tent required erecting the steel frame, covering the frame with canvas, installation of a level, 66-foot by 66-foot floor, and laying utility lines.
- Additional requirements included ceiling lighting, installation of AC, building an entrance walkway of approximately 200 feet, and ensuring that all AV requirements were met.
All of this had to be done before we could build out 6 exhibits of 20 feet by 20 feet. And, we only had 3 days to complete all of these tasks.
The keys to this extremely successful event were teamwork, planning, checklists, and specific task creation, with benchmarks for completion. All of this started with a site visit since the location was 650 miles from our office.
The Details that Matter
Here’s my well-earned advice on sweating the details to ensure you achieve corporate event success:
- Site Visits – Walk every inch of space that you will be not only creating, but how you get there. Measure heights and widths of openings. Check for access to loading docks and elevators. And identify wherever you may have to protect surfaces such as flooring or exterior landscaping.
- Teamwork – Establish who is best equipped in your organization to address the various components of the job, and work with them to create task checklists. Invite others from your organization to review those lists and do not be afraid to include their suggestions.
- Benchmarks – Schedule EVERYTHING and measure them as you go. Whether creating manual timelines or using a system such as Microsoft Project, it is essential to track all aspects of the project. There is a cascading effect when deadlines are not met and you end up trying to catch up, consuming more time than if done on time.
- Acknowledgement and Pride – Show appreciation for your teammates and their effort and dedication. The goal is a seamless event and the ability to look back and be proud of the team’s work.
Now whenever I go to an event, I look around the venue with a more experienced eye, and fully appreciate the depth of detail required to make the event a success. I hope you also have a better sense of why it’s important to sweat the details to ensure your own corporate event success.
About The Author
Rob Wheeler is a motivated and driven professional marketing specialist from Holt Experiential in North Carolina. He has over 20+ years of experience designing marketing and educational environments in multiple formats. Rob aims to place his clients first in his personal effort and to make them stand out from the crowd of their competitors. Working with anywhere from startups in the Triangle of North Carolina to multinational corporations, everyone receives his undivided attention when planning their next event or 100 events.