Event management. It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but beyond the literal meaning of just managing events, what exactly does it entail? And more significantly, how can it be used in events?
Every type of event requires a unique set of skills and know-how that will help you to mitigate the chaos and run smooth, engaging events for your attendees.
There’s a lot to cover, which is why, in this article, we’re going to walk you through the key concepts of event management, showing you how they can be applied directly to your events.
Event management explained
Put simply, event management is the coordination, planning, organising and execution of an event. The term covers project management across every aspect of an event, which can be anything from finding speakers to sending out post-event surveys. Moreover, event management can be applied to any type of event in any environment.
Although often used synonymously with the term ‘event planning,’ event management is more hands-on and has more to do with logistics and the overall handling in the run-up to and the day of the event itself.
Why event management matters
Managing an event correctly is essential for it to be a success. Simply put, no matter how good your venue, speakers or entertainment are, failure to get the basics factors right, such as budgeting and logistics, means that you could expose yourself to potentially unforeseen challenges.
So think of it like this, the more time you invest in event management, the more professional your event will be.
Virtual event management
The quick rise of online events has quickly forced us to take our know-how of in-person event management and adapt it to the virtual world. Tasks such as finding a venue, creating health and safety protocols and catering have been replaced by finding the right technology and creating valuable content and engaging attendees.
That’s why when managing a virtual event, not only should you understand the logistics behind it, but you should also be adding extra emphasis on creating interesting content.
The five steps of event management
Now we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s dive into the five basic steps of event management. These can be applied to any event and should give you plenty of insight that can be applied directly to your events, in whatever shape or form it takes.
Step 1: Create an objective and do your homework
The first stage of any successful event is to define your objective and create an action plan of how you’re going to make it happen. Start off by identifying what it is you want to achieve, focus on one goal and really go for it. In many instances, this will be self-evident. For example, maybe you want to launch a new product or perhaps you want to generate extra leads.
Whatever you decide, it’s essential to get into the specifics as this will give you a clearer vision of the event, making it easier to manage in the long run. Then, once you’ve identified your objective it’s time to start doing your research.
Microdisect what it is you want to achieve and map out the actions that will get you there. This will help refine the scope of your event and identify the actions required to achieve your goal.
The more research you conduct, the more detailed and refined the event will be. And on top of this, you’ll have a greater understanding of the viability of the event, especially in terms of budget and how this corresponds to your objective.
Step 2: Pick your theme and outline the event
Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to use your initial findings to create a concrete action plan for your event. Importantly, this will give you the foundations to start designing your event so go through every detail, however, small it may be.
To get the ball rolling, here is a list of questions that can help you iron out these details:
- What’s the topic of the event?
- Who’s the target audience?
- Where and when will the event be?
- What’s the format?
- What’s the duration of the event?
- How many attendees can I expect?
- Who will be speaking at the event?
- Am I offering activities or entertainment?
- How can I keep attendees engaged?
- Will you be charging for tickets?
- Do you need to find sponsors?
- What event tech do I need?
There’s plenty of food for thought here and plenty more questions that will need to be addressed. What’s vital is that you get yourself into a pensive mindset whereby you envisage every possible detail and eventuality around the event. Doing so allows you to identify any problems that could arise early on.
Step 3: Hone in on the details
By now you should have a good idea of what the event should look like, which means it’s time to turn this into a reality. This step is by far the most time consuming and consists of a long list of actions (see below) depending on the type of event you’re running.
- Finding venues (or online event platforms), vendors, speakers, sponsors, etc.
- Building an event website and launching pre-event communications
- Event marketing and outreach
- Tracking RSVPs and event registration numbers
- Attendee communications
- Event logistics on the day
- Designing and finalizing critical event documents, such as the minute-by-minute
- Designing the event check-in process and creating signage
- Post-event communications
Step 4: Delivering the event
After all the work you’ve put in by following the previous steps, it’s the day of the event. You’re almost there. Now it’s time to deliver an event that will engage and excite your attendees. Here are some of the action you need to take, to get you over the last hurdle and to ensure that you run a smooth and successful event.
- Making sure that everything is setup
- Guest communication
- Managing unexpected problems and emergencies
- Speaker and guest support
- Social media and audience interaction
Stage 5: Post-event duties
Your event has finished, but it doesn’t stop here. By now you should have a good idea of how the event went and it’s time to start gathering feedback, continuing to engage attendees, and planning for the future.
The first action, done 12 to 48 hours after the event, is to send your attendees a thank you email with a post-event survey. This gives attendees plenty of time to digest how they found the event, providing you with plenty of insight on how to improve.
Then with all the valuable feedback you’ve collected, bring the team together for a debrief. These meetings and conversations are very useful to share personal impressions and identify what can be done to moving forward.
Organising events is a big challenge, but it is an activity that can bring huge benefits. And this is why event management is so crucial, it helps to mitigate risks allowing you to focus on the things that matter most. So the more time you invest in event management, the more professional your event will be.
Discover how Eventtia’s event management platform makes planning events hassle-free.