Understanding Event Management
Prepared by Deborah Abrahams
Skilfully executing an event through interactive activities may help enhance an organization’s reputation and retain participants for future events. By understanding event management, it enables organisations to properly handle their events. Essentially, event management is the act of physically and virtually planning, staffing, analysing, and organising an event. As a member of non-profit organisation, you must have been wondering on what are the strategies used in the event management process, right? So, check out this article to learn more about event management including strategies, types, and case studies.
Table of Contents
ThunderQuote recently published an article entitled “Exploring Event Management Systems” that discussed the meaning of event management systems (EMSs). It also discussed the roles of EMSs, and EMS options available on the market. This article is an accompaniment to the previous article, looking at event management in general, strategies to manage an event efficiently, and the different types of events that are available. It will also discuss some case studies of organisations that have conducted events successfully with the help of event management.
Event management is the process of planning, staffing, analysing and organising an event, physically and virtually. Executing an event successfully can help build an organisation’s reputation and retain attendees for future events through interactive activities.
Strategies in Event Management
Event management is not only about planning an event and carrying it out. It consists of several steps, from setting event goals to analysing the event’s performance for the benefit of future events. There are five main stages in the event management process.
#1 Setting Event Goals
The first step in event management is to set specific and attainable objectives. Every event has a purpose and identifying them helps to build a stable event management plan. It also helps to track the event’s performance. For example, an organisation may set a goal of producing 100 leads by the end of its event and achieving that goal would prove that the event was a success.
#2 Constructing an Event Budget
Constructing an event budget is one of the most crucial first steps in an event management process because it provides an outline of what needs to be done to achieve the event’s goals. Furthermore, creating a budget also avoids overspending.
The first step in creating an event budget is taking all the resources needed to conduct the event into account. The size of the event, the venue, and whether it is an online or physical event are some aspects that should be included when developing an event budget.
#3 Planning the Event
EMSs can play a role during the event planning stage because it acts as a control room for the different aspects, schedules and activities of an event. ThunderQuote’s article comes into play here, as it lists the different benefits of implementing an EMS and several EMS platforms to choose from along with some non-EMS alternatives.
There are several aspects to planning a memorable event. These include:
- A digital event registration that allows attendees to register virtually and/or physically.
- An event committee with designated roles such as tech support and logistics ensures the event is properly executed. Having an event commitee is particularly helpful in larger events.
- Tech and production equipment will depend on the nature of the event, whether it is physical, online, or hybrid. It also depends on the activities held during the event, so it is crucial to go through the activities list before preparing the tech equipment. Some types of equipment include projectors, a virtual platform (event management software), WiFi, and a mobile event app.
- Preparing interactive and entertaining activities help the attendees to stay engaged throughout the event and leave with a memorable experience. An entertaining emcee also plays a crucial role in maintaining the attendees’ engagement throughout the event. For online events, virtual classes, online scavenger hunts, polls and Q&A sessions can create an immersive experience.
- Some organisations’ may set the goal of maximising sponsor buy-ins through an event. This is where historical data on past events and sponsor ROI can be communicated as it can be beneficial in creating networking opportunities with sponsors and also for building rapport with the attendees.
- Marketing an event requires market research data that identifies the event’s target audience, followed by the marketing strategy with tactics to market the event. Some marketing tactics include email marketing, social media promotion, print media (flyers, newspapers etc.), content marketing, product placement, and advertising.
#4 Preparing an Order of Events
The next step in event planning is preparing an order of events that covers the logistical elements, team designation and roles. Having an order of events also ensures that sudden changes to the event flow can be made seamlessly.
#5 Evaluating the Event’s Performance
The final step is to evaluate the event’s performance and identify areas of improvement for future events. Post-event surveys are a great way to analyse the attendees’ and sponsors’ impressions of the event and get feedback on how to improve future events. For an empirical approach, data can be exported from the event management system and used to evaluate the event’s performance.
Types of Events
Events typically come in a few different forms. Organisations should try to understand and differentiate the different types of events to better plan out the appropriate event management strategy.
Local events are organised for the community to add fun and entertainment value. These events usually aim to strengthen the community and instil pride among the people. They also help in exposing people to new experiences and cultures.
Hallmark events involve working directly with a specific community and usually focus on spreading awareness and gaining recognition. Event managers have to understand these communities’ practices and cultures to organise events successfully for them.
Mega-events usually garner global interest and can bring in a lot of sponsor buy-ins. These events are effective at spreading awareness on environmental, socio-economic, and local issues. These events are also the most high-profile and sophisticated types of events but can be hard to plan due to their attendance size and broad target market.
In this case study by Sarah Halfpenny, one of the charities she was involved with was organising a fundraising event to get medical equipment with a small budget. During the event management process, they realised that setting attainable and measurable goals would act as a foundation to build their event. Setting a goal of raising £20,000, the team worked with local vendors and producers to organise interactive activities such as wine and beer sampling, performances from a jazz band and magician, and a raffle to engage with the attendees who were mainly from the local community. As a result, the charity raised more than £23,000 in funds for its medical equipment. They built networks with new sponsors that agreed to sponsor future events, and 11 guests signed up as volunteers.
Attendee retention is one of the strongest indicators of a successful event. It is what event management company 24 aimed for while planning the Matt Cariglio Memorial Golf Tournament which had the objective of supporting the education of two local children. A team was formed to handle different aspects of the charity event, such as the food, venue, and decor. This was done to ensure the event management process flowed seamlessly. The team also utilised a custom website and online marketing techniques to promote the event. This solid event management strategy resulted in the charity golf event running annually, with more than 100 attendees every year.
In 2021, the Hands for Holly Memorial Fund approached Tree-Fan Events to help them organise a fundraiser dedicated to children with cancer. Surprisingly, they decided to have a virtual fundraiser, even though people were allowed to gather physically. This is because of the objectives they had set at the beginning of the event management process. They needed to determine why they are organising a fundraiser and what they wanted to gain from it. Both the charity and Tree-Fan realised that to raise $60,000, they needed a way to expand the attendee list, with social distancing measures in place. This resulted in the “Kids with Cancer got Talent” virtual fundraiser, featuring high-profile judges and many virtual audience members who could vote for their favourite act virtually. The fundraiser exceeded its funds’ goal, raising more than $75,000 for the charity. Additionally, the charity organised the virtual event again in 2022, raising almost $130,000. The charity is currently planning to run the event for the third time in 2023.
- Event management is the process of planning, staffing, analysing and organising an event, physically and virtually.
- Event management strategies include goal-setting, budgeting, event planning, order of events preparation, and performance evaluation.
- Types of events include local events, hallmark events, and mega-events.
- Case studies of Sarah Halfpenny, 24, and Tree-Fan events show that proper event management leads to higher engagement in activities and increased attendee retention rates.