As a PA/EA you already regularly organise meetings and minor events. You probably organise the social aspects too, certainly the office Christmas party! However, event management is a skill that is a little, ok a lot more specialist. If you have been asked to organise a conference as part of your role, know that this can be a worthwhile learning experience but that it is very time consuming and you may want to consider, if you can, being the project manager to lead on the event and not agree to organise every single aspect yourself.
Organising a business event or corporate hospitality can be a tricky and time consuming task. The art of finding the perfect venue for your corporate event is never easy. When the pressure is on to find an impressive venue to wow your clients, or source the ideal training venue for your delegates, or book the perfect executive meeting room, it’s good to know that help is at hand.
Organising team building events seems to be one task that most assistants are asked to manage, which is not much of a surprise considering we are pretty awesome at organising events! However, team building is actually pretty tricky. There are many elements to consider. Think about it. Firstly, you have to know exactly why your team needs building – getting objectives for any event can be really difficult.
Recently, the OpenMeet team had the pleasure of participating in the annual Practically Perfect PA Assist Conference 2017, where we ran a few workshops. The discussions amongst our workshop participants were so interesting that we decided it would be a shame to restrict the knowledge we gained for the people in the room!
Instead, we are going to share what we learned over the next few OpenMeet blogs, so stay tuned!
We used a combination of iPads and Post-it notes to ask our workshop attendees questions about what makes an event supplier great, and what makes them not-so-great…
What does a good event supplier do?
- Excellent communication skills, keep in touch with their clients
- Upfront about service costs, no hidden fees
- Client-focused service, listen to client needs
- Professional, fulfils agreed expectations
What is frustrating from an event supplier?
- Lack of appreciation for the client relationship, e.g. Not understanding the client’s needs, or not rewarding repeat business
- Issues with deadline management, e.g. Meeting deadlines or having unclear invoice deadlines
- Poor service, being unreliable and not communicating
Event supplier ‘Red Lines’ – things to avoid!
- Asking for the full payment before providing their services
- The supplier can’t prove previous successful services
- The supplier won’t accept feedback
In summary, our 7 key tips for choosing a great event supplier are to make sure that your supplier:
- Has strong communication skills, keeps in regular contact with their clients and provides prompt updates
- Is upfront about what their services cost
- Will respond to your needs and provide solutions
- Will meet deadlines
- Can demonstrate their past successful services (for instance, they can refer you to other clients)
- Does not demand full payment up front (a deposit is reasonable)
- Accepts feedback, including criticism. Bonus points if they display this feedback somewhere prominent for prospective clients to read!
In terms of ensuring that you are choosing a supplier who will do these things, a certain amount can be determined by internet research and by preliminary meetings with the supplier. However, sometimes nothing is better than experience and word-of-mouth, so take advantage of PA networks as much as possible!
Our next few blogs will be based on the insightful information we gathered from our workshop participants at the Assist Conference, covering topics such as how to ensure career development is central to the PA role, and how to ensure organisations value the work PAs do.
So your boss has asked you to find another unique meeting room, locate a cool party venue for the office do and source a screening room for an investor pitch. Your to-do list is as long as your arm and you have no idea where to start. Enter HeadBox.
It is our responsibility to make the changes we can to be more sustainable but naturally we cannot all chain ourselves to an oil rig and declare to stop flying places. We can however use the events industry to make small but significant changes. We can review our venue contracts and make conscious decisions to ask the questions about waste and sustainable resources.
Finding a space for private dining events is a pretty common task given to assistants these days. We are asked pretty regularly to find something different, quiet or impressive. Usually at the drop of a hat and when our organisations have really important clients in town. Private dining spaces are popular and can be booked up month’s in advance so it is always worthwhile having a few tricks up your sleeve when it comes to finding the perfect private dining venue. Here are a few tips…
When hiring external meeting spaces assistants should treat the task as they would a small event. There are many factors that will make the meeting a success. Assistants must ensure they hire a meeting space that contributes to the success of the meeting. Here are some top tips for booking space for your Executive meetings.
A bonded team is a happy team, and happy teams are engaged, motivated and ready to do their best work. Did you know, when employee engagement is high, revenue growth is 2.5 times higher, employee turnover is 40% lower and customer satisfaction is 12% higher? Team Bonding is just one part of Employee Engagement. When a team is aligned, energized and working together towards a common goal, nothing can stop them!