While sitting at my desk, staring out at Lake Michigan reflecting shimmering rays of sunshine and promises of warm summer months ahead – I begin to daydream about Summer in the City! You know, sneaking out of the office early for an afternoon in the sun or taking a long weekend for some much needed R&R. Oh yes, those days are on the horizon – quite literally the one that keeps distracting me as I try to write this.
However, if we are cutting corners and trying to maximise productivity while minimizing time in the office, there are some fundamental basics of getting the job done that should be attended to before running out the door. We are a collaborative industry, very hard working, and greatly deserving of a few breather days this summer. So, with that in mind, I’ve created a “Best Practices” checklist highlighting the fundamentals each of us within the industry should check off before checking out!
Best Practices for Venues:
–Be what you are – if you are a warehouse space, you are not a full-service hotel, please don’t try to sell us or our clients like you are…
–Take pride in your space – we are there to enhance it, not put bandaids over the shortcomings
–To that effect: If it’s broken, fix it
–If it comes with, make sure it’s actually there to “come with”
–Please be sure your representative is present to unlock the doors at our scheduled time of arrival
Best Practices for Catering:
–Make sure hot food is hot and cold food is not
–Servers, along with an endearing smile should have knowledge of what is being served
–If “it” wasn’t there when you got there, “it” shouldn’t be there when you leave! (Stains, crumbs, tire tracks from your caves and other equipment, etc….)
–A bite-sized hors d’oeuvre should be just that – bite sized…. Like, 1-bite. Pop-it-in-your-mouth-and-move-on bite!
–If the passed item is served on a stick or a spoon or a vessel of any kind, please have somewhere for us to put the discarded vessel immediately following
Best Practices for A/V Companies:
–The “it” factor pertains to you as well, including zip-ties, gaffers tape and tie-line!
–If someone is onstage, they should be lit – (With proper lighting, not alcohol)
–If they are talking from the stage, they should be heard
–If they are talking from the stage, the tech team at the booth shouldn’t be
–If you need dead case storage, please let us know more than 5 minutes before participants arrive
–If there’s a cable, it should be secured
–If you need a Front of House position, (and you generally always need a Front of House position), make sure it is a part of the floorplan earlier than later
–Your techs and crew are just as much a representation of your company as your sales team, if not more – they are who we actually work with in front of the client!
Best Practices for Decor Companies:
–Respect the venue’s rules, and general rule of thumb – no, you can’t affix that to the wall!
–Don’t quote “custom pricing” when the exact item was tweeted from an event last week
–Prioritize the event’s vision and needs over your need to rotate inventory
–If it needs power – communicate and plan accordingly
–Please see note above regarding the “it” policy back under Catering, as well as the note about your crew under A/V!
Best Practices for us Partner Planners:
–Listen with the intent of hearing all of what’s being said.
–Problem solve with the intent of resolution
–Flexibility: events are like yoga for the mind – they challenge your creativity and your ability to juggle tasks, but you will still be sore from being a tense vertical speed-walking machine at the end of the day
–The true client is the participant/attendee, help remind all stakeholders of that along the way. Their experience will ultimately determine a successful event.
–Communicate thoroughly, often, and with the intent of making clear decisions
–Transparency and communication are the fundamental basic keys to success for all parties involved.
Best Practices for our Clients:
–Know that we have your back
–The more transparency and partnership, the more everyone is invested in the outcome.
–Remember this difference: Event Vendors provide products – Event Partners provide elevated results.
Just think, if we all take a few minutes to remember some of these fundamentally basic items, possibly read as common sense, it can result in fewer emails back and forth freeing up that afternoon for patio drinking or that long weekend on the beach. In the spirit of being a true partner and collaborator, please feel free to toss a few bullet points my way so that I can help you get out of the office as well! Summer is near – let’s go have some fun!