Tonight, it’s the Tank PR Christmas party. Given previous office festivities, the people of Nottingham have a right to be apprehensive.
Because what will start off as a wonderfully civilised affair at Rocket@Saltwater in The Cornerhouse will, by 2am, likely as not involve discussions and acts that even a late-night documentary might baulk at. As Max has organised the evening, this is a certainty.
Max himself is looking nervous. Such is the burden of the party organiser, that any disappointments on behalf of the team will be met with severe forfeits.
Organising an event at any time of year can be a daunting task. Even a luncheon for 10 can feel like trying to marshal an army of Boxing Day bargain hunters if poorly planned, whilst a conference for 500 delegates might make some faint at the thought.
So our savvy lot have come up with some top tips for ensuring your event is memorable for the right reasons. Though they won’t save all your delegates from food poisoning. Sorry.
Be clear on the purpose of your event. Whether to launch a product, showcase a service or simply to have a good time, nobody wants to feel they’re at something half-cooked.
Decide who the event will be aimed at and stick to it. Why do you want them there? What do you want them to leave with? Make sure you invite them in plenty of time, issue proper invitations and chase them up. Many will turn up on the door because that’s just how they roll. This will cause problems if you’ve catered, so make sure you’ve got spares in the oven.
Finding the perfect venue might be time-consuming, but it’s vital. Consider size, location, access, facilities (such as AV equipment etc), catering, transport, accommodation and even noise – especially if you’re a rowdy bunch. I once went to a presentation held in a room next to a pub, which was completely drowned out by a lorry that turned up to deafeningly collect all the empty bottles. Cringe.
National holidays are a no-no, whilst clashes with other major events like the World Cup will leave you looking rather naïve. School holidays and weekends are also a poor choice; even if your event is more exciting than a real-life recreation of Die Hard throughout the streets of Nottingham, people tend to not want business-related activity to clash with their own time.
5: And finally.
Make sure you’ve got enough helping hands on the day. Guests like to be welcomed, and you’ll need people to tick the list, hand out your blurb and pass around the vol-au-vonts. Make sure your reps are clued-up and fully briefed your aims, so they can wow the delegates with their knowledge.
We hope that this means that your event results in lots of happy faces and, of course, many new order slips for your business. We promise not to take any credit if you’ve simply followed this list.
After all, we’ll all be too hung-over and cringing at the YouTube videos from tonight.