As Event Professionals (#Eventprofs), most of us will have experienced a request to organise an event with brevity of instruction…. ‘We need to organise an event in London for 200 people on 20th June.
For the uninitiated, this may seem like a straightforward request until you start to ponder the type and style of venues you need to research, whether those venues will fit within the company’s budget, and… well, ‘what is our budget anyway?’ And that’s just for starters.
Not all questions relating to the organisation of an event are immediately obvious. So, for anyone new to the world of event planning – and maybe even for some who are not – it can be a daunting experience. It feels awkward repeatedly going back to the boss to ask for additional information that, to her, may appear trivial. ‘Stop pestering me. Just get on with organising the event. 200 people. London. June’ may be the unreasonable response. Okay, I’m taking an extreme, but this can and does happen. As a professional, pride is taken in knowing what you are doing, taking charge of the situation and appearing in control, even if the reality may be a little different. No matter what your level of experience, the support of additional resources and tools will always help make your job easier. We will come back to the #BrevityBoss later.
The scope of a Personal Assistants (PAs) role can be very broad and may often include event planning as part of the remit. The scope and diversity of skills required by todays PA should not be underestimated, despite PAs sometimes not receiving the recognition they deserve. In the UK, it’s one of a number of job functions, like Event Management itself, which is moving through a process of professionalisation, with increased recognition for the skills required and an understanding of the dedication required to be a true professional. To that end, it’s very sad to hear of the closure of the Association of Personal Assistants (APA). It’s extremely important for PAs to have a leading national Trade Association that represents the profession, so we wanted to shine the spotlight on the forthcoming launch of the Executive & Personal Assistants Association, for a number of reasons:
- Founder Victoria Darragh has been very candid in her blog, outlining why she set up the organisation
- It’s a heartfelt & passionate story, which resonates
- Personal sacrifices have been made because of a strong belief in a cause
- Victoria exudes passion for, and has years of experience in the profession, and – having been involved in trade associations ourselves – we know the importance of having passionate personnel that understand the nuances of the profession running the association
Returning to Event Management, and we’re sure many PAs with event planning experience may not be surprised to hear it was voted by a Career Cast poll as the 5th most stressful job in the world in 2014, trumped only by Soldiers, Military Generals, Firemen, and Airline pilots. Therefore, resources and tools that help eradicate stress can – literally – be life-savers. As experienced #eventprofs ourselves, one of our chief goals with the development of Eventopedia was to create a resource tool that aside from boasting all the required information, has the functionality for users to engage with and extract benefit. We worked very hard on the design and user experience aspect for almost 12-months and did not rely solely upon our own 30 years of industry experience. We multiplied our experience to 150+ years through the support of our corporate committee of senior events & communications professionals.
A unique and increasingly popular feature of the Eventopedia site has been the reviews, allowing the community of registered users to share their expertise and rate their event supplier experiences. The long-term objective of which is to provide a resource that professionals can rely upon for purchasing decisions, which helps reduce the time spent sourcing the right venue, and helps drive improvements in the performance of event suppliers due to the transparent, independent and democratic nature of professional reviews.
When faced with #BrevityBoss, you are generally expected to add ‘mind reading’ to your long list of skills and attributes. You’re expected to take limited information, understand the full spectrum of requirements and adequately translate that to suppliers, so that they may provide you with a full and accurate proposal. Qualifying the initial brief and considering all the factors important to the organisation of your event is essential to ensure your expectations are matched, but also to be fair to the supplier. Many suppliers are frustrated with low event enquiry conversion ratios, which can typically be single digits. This is largely down to a lack of information on the initial brief, which – if thorough enough – may have otherwise ruled them out as a suitable venue from the beginning. A lot of time and effort is often wasted on both sides, and when you’re increasingly busy and juggling multiple tasks, no one wants such a scenario. Indeed, those clients who boast higher enquiry conversion because they qualify information and match the right handful of venues, are where suppliers will focus their time and energy, more willing to negotiate to secure the business. To assist event planners with this process, Eventopedia created a Build-O-Brief function, a tool that assists planners in building your event brief by considering all the relevant factors pertinent to the planning of an event. The supplier search functionality is designed with multiple filters to allow you to narrow down your search to the relevant suppliers matching your requirements. And, with video on the rise, our Virtual Site Inspection tool is an interactive video designed to deliver the relevant information specific to the venues’ events space, engaging each user according to the information important to you.
Eventopedia is focussed upon saving you time & effort, whilst ensuring suppliers see you as a client worthy of providing great service. This may be as simple as a quick response/proposal and the offer of competitive rates, terms & conditions. Clients with a history of low conversion can often have their enquiries left unanswered, or receive a proposal that has taken minimal effort and does not offer competitive rates or value. If you are using the right resources to support your existing expertise, you will save time, money and build strong supplier relationships that may just help you out of a pickle when you need it! So, who doesn’t want to make their life easier and look great in front of their boss?