The practical guide to organising events

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The Practical Guide to Organising Events The Practical Guide to Organising Events is a short, accessible and practical guide on how to successfully plan and organise a variety of event types in a wide range of contexts The core sections of the text are logically structured around the key stages of event management – pre-event, on-site and post-event – offering essential practical insight and guidance throughout the whole process Topics covered include proposal writing, budget, funding and sponsorship, health and safety, security and evaluation This is a fundamental resource for all events management students running and organising an event as part of their degree programme It is also a book for anybody who just happens to be tasked with organising an event such as an office party, a social networking event, Christmas party or family wedding Based on experience, using real-life case studies and anecdotal examples, The Practical Guide to Organising Events ultimately makes the business of events management appealing, understandable and achievable Philip Berners graduated with a degree in hospitality management from the University of West London where he later returned as a lecturer in events management He is presently teaching events management and researching for his doctorate on the development of the events industry in a post-communist society: a case study of Poland Philip spent ten years in Poland as an events consultant and founded an events training school in Warsaw He also taught event management for Collegium Civitas University at the Palace of Culture and Science Philip has organised every genre of event in the UK, Italy, Portugal and Poland; he was venue manager at the London Hippodrome, Camden Palace and Thorpe Park; and he has been the in-house event manager for corporations including the Daily Mail Group His client portfolio includes the Queen, Prince Charles, Bon Jovi, Shania Twain, Jennifer Lopez, The BRIT Awards, MOBO Awards, The Publican newspaper, London Fashion Week, the British Red Cross, Xerox, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Formula 1, Panasonic, Max Power magazine, PC Zone magazine, Alternative Hair Show, Kent Institute of Art and Design, Schweppes and Diageo Philip’s qualifications are as follows: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hospitality Management; City and Guilds in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management; Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice; Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy; and he is about to commence his PhD The Practical Guide to Organising Events Philip Berners First published 2017 by Routledge Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2017 Philip Berners The right of Philip Berners to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 All rights reserved No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-0-415-78998-1 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-415-78996-7 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-21363-7 (ebk) Typeset in Iowan Old Style by Florence Production Ltd, Stoodleigh, Devon, UK I dedicate this book to two inspirational artists who entered my life: Olaf Olenski and the late Whitney Houston Contents List of contributors Preface Acknowledgements xi xiii xv PART Introduction The culture of events 1.1 Developed markets 1.2 Undeveloped and developing markets 1.3 Sustainable events The structure of events 2.1 Types of event 2.2 Sectors of the event industry 12 2.3 The structure of an event 14 The role of the event organiser 18 3.1 Types of event organiser 18 3.2 The ‘real’ event manager 19 3.3 The ‘real’ client 21 3.4 Risk and control 23 3.5 Staffing 25 VIII CONTENTS PART Management pre-event The enquiry to confirmation stage 37 39 4.1 Enquiry 39 4.2 Brief 40 4.3 Proposal 43 4.4 Budget proposal 44 4.5 Confirmation 48 Management of the lead-in 49 5.1 Lead-in 49 5.2 The venue 52 5.3 Marketing 71 5.4 Funding 76 5.5 Theme 81 5.6 The client file 82 Catering and beverages 84 6.1 Catering 84 6.2 Beverages 92 Client liaison and communications 101 7.1 Tickets and invitations 101 7.2 Client liaison 104 7.3 Event checklist 105 7.4 Administration checklist 105 7.5 Production companies 105 PART Management on-site: operational event management Event organiser responsibilities 109 111 8.1 Checking 112 8.2 Hosting 113 8.3 The running order 114 8.4 Sequence 117 8.5 Production office 118 8.6 Rehearsal 120 CONTENTS IX 8.7 Caterers 121 8.8 Theme and decoration 122 8.9 Entertainment riders 122 8.10 Staff briefing 123 8.11 Pre-event briefing 124 8.12 On-site briefing 125 8.13 Security 125 8.14 Final walk-round 126 8.15 Fire, health and safety 129 8.16 Aesthetics 133 8.17 The front door 134 8.18 Cloakroom 135 Inside the event 138 9.1 The guest experience 138 9.2 The press 140 9.3 Event photography 143 9.4 De-rig 144 9.5 Get-out 145 Management post-event 147 10 Debriefs and reports 149 PART 10.1 Debriefs 150 10.2 Complaint handling 154 10.3 Guest feedback 156 10.4 Final report 158 11 Case studies 160 Case study by Philip Berners: Garden party hosted by Queen Elizabeth II, Windsor 160 Case study by Philip Berners: Artist and VIP hospitality at The BRIT Awards 162 Case study by Philip Berners: Worldwide launch of the Bon Jovi album, Crush 164 Case study by Chantal Dickson: The 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ, Leeds 167 Case study by Paul Glover: A circus celebration event in London 169 Appendix IV Administration checklist ADMIN PROCECURE Enquiry form Proposal Confirmation Contact report Contract Signed contract Invoice Deposit Menu choice Final invoice Supplier Quote Order Deposit Balance Additional items DATE SENT OUT DATE REC’D BACK DONE Appendix V Example function sheet (running order) Event: The Happy Event End of Year Conference Date: 29 November Brief: The annual conference for Happy Event suppliers and contractors, to say thank you for their help and support during the year, and in preparation for the forthcoming busy Christmas season Guests will receive welcome drinks and canapés upon arrival, followed by a one-hour stage presentation After the presentation, more drinks and canapés, and an informal networking party until the end EXAMPLE FUNCTION SHEET 199 DAY / TIME ACTIVITY WHO Friday 20:00 Production Deliver stage set to venue Saturday 06:00 Get-in Build stage 06:30 Sound installation 07:00 Light installation 08:00 Event Organiser on-site 08:00 Catering on-site 08:15 Commence table set-up 09:00 Theme and decoration 12:00 Lunch 12:45 Standby for rehearsal 13:00–14:00 Rehearsal 16:30 Casual staff arrive 17:00 All areas ready 17:15 Staff briefing 17:30 Final venue walk-round 17:45 Security standby 17:45 Background lighting 17:45 Background music 18:00 Doors open 18:00 Reception drinks service 18:30 Reception canapé service 18:55 Five-minute call 18:58 Two-minute call 19:00 Show start 19:45 Standby 19:45 Standby 20:00 Show end 20:00 Drinks service 20:15 Canapé service 22:00 End 22:30 Commence de-rig 24:00 Venue clear Production Production Production Event Organiser Catering Catering Decoration All All Catering All Event Organiser Event Organiser Security Production Production All Catering Catering Production Production Production Catering DJ Production Catering Catering All Production All CHECKED Appendix VI Final report See next page FINAL REPORT 201 EVENT DETAILS Name of Event / Code No.: Date of Event: Venue: Event Organiser: List of Suppliers and Contractors: POSITIVE ASPECTS TO REMEMBER (Venue / Suppliers / Timings / Pre-event management / Operational event management / Post-event management / Catering / Bars / Staffing / Access / Get-in / De-rig / Payments) NEGATIVE ASPECTS TO REMEMBER Glossary of technical terms AAA (Access All Areas) A security pass or bracelet that allows someone access to all areas of the venue, including technical areas, front of house, backstage, kitchens and production rooms Backstage All areas of the venue behind the stage which are not visible or accessible to guests Band truck The moveable platform on a stage that houses the electronic elements of a band, most usually the drum kit Banqueting rounds / rounds Round tables with folding legs for easy storage Used for banquets ft rounds will seat 6–8 diners, ft rounds will seat 8–10 diners, ft rounds will seat 10–12 diners and ft trestles will seat diners BOH (Back of House) All areas of the venue which are out of sight and inaccessible to guests Break-down The clearing-up period after the event Breakout room Meeting rooms used during conferences for splinter meetings or workshops Separate from the main conference hall, but can be adjoining Cans The colloquial name given to headphones used for backstage and production crew Casual staff Temporary staff hired on an hourly basis, such as waiters and bar staff Catwalk The long section of stage for models to walk along at fashion shows Chafing dish A covered service dish used for keeping food warm on a buffet A bath of water is heated by electricity or paraffin heaters underneath so as to keep the food hot GLOSSARY 203 Comfort break The traditional period of relaxation towards the end of a formal meal (usually after coffee is served), when guests can visit the restroom, exit the venue to smoke, and gentlemen may remove their jackets COSHH Care of Substances [that are] Hazardous to Health Delegate rate The all-inclusive charge per person (per delegate) charged for conferences Typically, the delegate rate may include arrival coffee, midmorning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and room hire fee De-rig Dry ice (see Break-down) The fog effect used on stages Entertainment rider performer Facility fee The contractual requirements of an artist, presenter or The charge for hiring a venue F&B Food & Beverage FH&S Fire, Health & Safety Flats/silver flats Trays from which to serve food Used by waiters to serve canapés, or to display dishes on buffets Fog The fog effect used from above the stage or auditorium, mainly to enhance laser and lighting effects FOH (Front of House) All areas of a venue which are visible and accessible to guests Follow-spots Lights that follow a person around the stage, or onto the stage Operated by crew known as follow-spot operators Foreign consultant A consultant with knowledge of the locality, particularly where events are held in foreign locations Genie The machine that creates fog effects Gobo A glass or metal disc which is inscribed with a logo or pattern and gets inserted into a light to project the effect Green room A holding area backstage (and close to the stage) where guests are held before they appear on-stage The green room is usually a hospitality area, but is also required to gather stage guests from other areas, such as dressing rooms Ground agent (see Foreign consultant) HACCP Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Hire fee (see Facility fee) Lanyard A neck strap that holds a pass or identity card 204 GLOSSARY Lead-in The time leading up to the date of an event from confirmation to execution Load-in/Load-out (see Break-down) MC (Master of Ceremonies) The person who presides over the formalities of an event and announces the speakers The MC, or Toastmaster, should be a member of the Toastmasters International (TI) group and be liveried in a redjacketed uniform Microphones Desk mic Handheld Head mic Lapel mic Lead mic Lectern mic Radio mic A A A A A A A microphone standing on a desk or table radio microphone held in the hand microphone worn on the head microphone worn on the lapel of a jacket microphone with a cable microphone affixed to a lectern microphone without a cable but with a short antenna Monitors Comfort A television monitor that allows a speaker to see the screen monitor presentation behind him (also known as a ‘Stage vision monitor’) Ear monitors Speakers worn inside the ear for a vocalist or musician to hear their performance Floor Speakers on the floor of a stage for a vocalist or musician to hear speaker their performance Floor speaker monitors are referred to as monitor ‘wedges’ because of their triangular shape Vision A closed-circuit television screen, usually used backstage to see monitor what is happening on-stage Pitch / Pitching Open competition for winning an event job The proposal will be pitched to the client Plate service The style of food service whereby waiters serve diners with the meal ready-plated Playback The backing music for a vocalist Sometimes includes the voice in which case the vocalist will be miming their performance POS (Point of Sale) The place where a sale occurs POS materials or POS merchandising are branded items placed where people make a purchase, such as on the bar top Production box The area where the production manager, sound engineer and light engineer are positioned It is always positioned in front of the stage, so that these key members of production crew can view the stage Production manager The person in charge of the technical and stage elements Recce Reconnaissance Rental fee (see Facility fee) GLOSSARY 205 RFI (Request For Information) A speculative request from a client to receive information from prospective event organisers RFP (Request For Proposal) A targeted request from a client for a proposal to be submitted by an event organiser Rider (see Entertainment rider) RSVP Répondez s’il vous plt, or reply if you please in relation to requesting a reply to an invitation Runway (see Catwalk) Show-caller The person (usually the production manager) who ‘calls’ instructions to the technical crew during a show Silver flats (see Flats) Silver service The style of food service whereby waiters serve with a serving spoon and fork Sky tracker A skyward searchlight placed outside a venue to attract attention from afar Smoke (see Dry ice) Sprigs Offshoot tables from a top table Stage director (see Production manager) Stage wedge (see Monitors; Floor speaker monitor) Strike, or Striking (see Break-down) Talk-back The communication system used by production and backstage crew, consisting of headphones and headset microphone Tech spec (Technical specification) The list of technical requirements Toastmaster (see MC) Tray service The style of food service whereby trays are placed onto the table for guests to help themselves Treads Steps that lead up to a stage Trestles Long tables with folding legs for easy storage ‘Triple A’ Pass VIP (see AAA) Very Important Person Voice of God The public announcements made through a microphone or Tannoy system VVIP Very, Very Important Person Wedges (see Monitors; Floor speaker monitor) Index ‘access all areas’ (triple A) passes 103, 202 aesthetics 133–4 alcoholic drink: common practices in supply of 97–8; ‘one-for-one’ arrangements for 97; restrictions on provision and advertising of 84, 95–6 annual events 40, 69 appearance fees 122 Asda (company) 168 attendees: number of 67, 91, 101–2; organisers’ knowledge of 71–2 banquets 9–10, 88–90, 93, 124 bar vouchers 98–9, 101 bars and bar bills 47, 61, 92–100 Bee Gees, the 185, 188 Berners, Philip (author) i–ii, xiii, 160, 162, 164; career path 183–8 birthday parties 66 BMW (company) 16 Bon Jovi, Jon 164–7, 186–7 Boy George 128 breakout rooms 11, 202 brief for an event 40–4 briefing of staff 33, 123–5 BRIT Awards 162–3, 186–7 brown-field sites 64 budgeting 44–7, 77 buffet catering 87–8 buffets 87–8, 121 business cards, exchange of 59 cabaret-style seating 89 canapés 86, 90, 121 cancellation of a booking 67–8, 102 ‘cans’ 106, 202 careers in event management 177–88 casual staff 121–5, 202 catering 84–91, 121–2; briefing of staff 124; in-house or external 85–6; logistics of 90–1; types of 87–90 catwalks 12, 202 ceiling height 60 celebrity attendance at events 70, 96, 122–3, 133, 140, 142–3, 180 celebrity endorsements 13–14 chafing dishes 87, 202 chairs, positioning of 89–90 challenge events 26 Chaplin, Charlie 185 charity events 13, 26, 70, 79 checking by event organisers 112–14, 127, 134–5, 170 checklists 105, 193–7 chief executive officers (CEOs) 119–20, 181 Christmas parties 54, 56, 81, 178, 185 client files and client contact reports 82–3, 105, 158 client relationships 41–2, 47, 104–5, 159 client retention 154 client satisfaction 112–13, 152–4, 158 208 INDEX clients, multiplicity of 21–2 client’s working environment 41 cloakrooms 62, 135–7 coffee, serving of 89 cold platters 87 comfort breaks 89, 203 commission 46, 56 committees, reporting to 36 communication, medium of 73 complaint handling 154–6 conference centres 16, 51, 63–4, 70 conferences 10–11, 144, 172 confirmation of an agreement 48–9, 66 contact lists 82–3, 115–16, 142 contingency 46–7 contractors 21, 35 contractual obligations 48, 65, 122–3 control exercised by the event manager 23–5, 77, 106, 128, 141, 144 corporate events 13 creativity in event organisation 180–1 credit bars 99–100 crisis management 170 The Crown Estate 160 date of the event 43, 49 debriefing of staff 33, 150–5 delegate rates 11, 203 delegation 23 deposits 65 developing markets 5–6, 178 Diana, Princess of Wales 185, 187 Dickson, Chantal (contributor) xi, 67 disaster planning 8–9 discounts 155 donors to events 78 ‘doors open’ time 120, 124, 127–9, 134–6, 139 dressing rooms, sharing of 122 enquiries about possible events 39–42, 189; responding to 41 entertainment riders 122–3, 203 Euro 2012 football tournament Eurovision Song Contest evaluation after the event 114, 116, 150, 153, 157 event management companies 3–4, 47 event management industry 3–5, 48, 150, 171, 178; sectors of 12–14 event organisers 5–6, 15, 17; experience of 175–8; expertise of 5–6; glamorous image of 108; and the hosting of events 113–14; management fees charged by 45–6; outlays by 65; reasons for working in the industry 179–80; relations with clients 41–2, 47, 104–5, 159; responsibilities of 111–37; rewards and drawbacks of the work 180–2; role of 18–36; skills required by 23; when things go wrong 141 events: structure of 8–17; types of 9–12 exhibitions 11, 79 expectations: of clients 172; of guests 139–40 experiential events 81 external specialists employed to organise events 18–21 facility fees 70, 203 family service 89 Farnborough International Airshow 14 fashion shows 12, 16, 94, 106, 132, 185, 188 feedback 153–8; from guests 156–8; from suppliers 153 fees of event organisers 45–6 FEMIS research conference 172 final report on performance 158; example of 200–1 finger buffets 87 fire risks 122, 127, 129–32 ‘floating’ approach to event organisation 114 flyers 73 food, legal requirement for serving of 84 foreign consultants 56 fork buffets 87 forward planning 51 functions (as a type of event) fund-raising events 13 funding for an event 76–80 INDEX 209 galas and gala banquets 10, 88 Garlick, Ashley (contributor) xi, 27, 33, 71–2 get-in and get-out times 68–9, 112, 116, 145 Glover, Paul (contributor) xi, 169 green-field venues 64, 86, 131 ground agents 56–7, 203 guaranteed minimum number of guests 91 guaranteed minimum spend 69 ‘guest experience’ 138–40, 159 hashtags 75–6 Health and Safety Act (1974) 35 hire fees 66–71, 96, 203 hospitality industry 178 hospitality packages 78 hosting of events 113–14 hotels: as learning environments 179; as venues for events 54, 59, 70, 179 in-house catering 85 in-house event organisers 18–19, 180 in-house event departments insurance 67 international standards for event organisation 5–7 invitations, mailing of 101, 103–4 Jagger, Mick 128 John, Elton 79, 86 key personnel, listing of 116 last-minute jobs 50–1 launches 11 lead-in time to an event 9, 17, 23, 49–52 learning opportunities 150–1, 155, 179 legislative restrictions 7, 35, 84, 101–2, 127, 132–3 Leicester Square 68, 142–3, 186, 188 Lengyel, Ariane (contributor) xi, 170 liaison with clients 104–5; see also client relationships live happenings, management of live-streamed events 133 location search and location scouts 53, 57 London Fashion Week 185, 188 London Hippodrome 181, 183, 185, 188 McDonald’s restaurants 139 McEntire, Reba 186 Malek, Amira (contributor) xii, 171 Marie-Antoinette costumes 170–1 Marinakou, Evangelia (contributor) xii mark-up 45–6 marketing: by companies 181; of an event 71–6 marketing companies 4, 36 marketing databases 157 ‘meal experience’ 138 media sponsors 78 media walls 133, 142 menu tasting 86–7 ‘message’ of an event 72–3 ‘mop-up’ 149 Natural History Museum 68 new clients 47; pitfalls with 43–4 ‘no-shows’ 101 number of attendees at an event 67, 91, 101–2 objectives of events 15 The Odeon, Leicester Square 142–3 Olenski, Olaf 183 Olympic Games on-site event management 111, 125 operational event management 135 ‘out-of-house’ penalties 69 overhead projectors 173 parking facilities 62 parties 12; see also birthday parties; Christmas parties ‘paying guests’ 76, 80 payment terms 152 photography at events 142–4 pitching for a job 43–4, 77 placements for students 173–6 planning by event organisers, importance of 108, 111, 137 plate service 89, 204 210 INDEX portfolios of photographs 143 posters, use of 73 post-event management 149–59; importance of 149–50 pre-event briefing 124–5 pre-event management 37–48 premieres 12 press attendance and facilities at events 140–3 press events 14 prestigious events 79 The Prince’s Trust 186 proactive management 51 production companies 4, 9, 105–6 productions and production managers 9, 117, 145; see also show producers production offices 118–20 proposal for an event 41–4; presentation of 44 provisionally holding a venue 65–6 public events 13 public relations companies 4, 36 public venues, private hire of 69 qualifications in events management 171–8, 184 The Queen 160, 186–7 questionnaires for feedback from guests 156–7 radio handsets 126 red wines 62 regular clients see repeat clients rehearsal, need for 68, 120–1, 122, 128, 163 reimbursements 152 repeat clients 41, 44, 53, 83, 154 reputation for event organisation 150–3, 178, 180 revenue streams 80 rigging and de-rigging 68, 112, 144–5 Rihanna 140 risk assessment 130–2 risk minimisation 9, 23 The Ritz 139 Royal Bank of Scotland 174 RSVP invitations 101, 205 running order 106, 114–17; example of 198–9; technical 117 safety regulations 129–33 sales conferences 81 satellite sponsors 78 screenings 12 search engine optimisation (SEO) 75–6 security passes 102–3 security staff 103, 123, 124–6, 129 segmentation 72 sequence, order of 117–18 sharing of hire costs between clients 69 shell schemes 79 ‘shopping lists’ 47 show-calling 106–7 show producers 106–8 sightlines 61 silver service 89, 205 sit-down dinners 88–90 social media 73–5, 172–3 spending on events 180–2 sponsorship 77–9, 95–7, 153, 191–2 ‘spotting’ the lights 121 stakeholders 154 steering the client 42 Stringfellow, Peter 185 suppliers 153, 156 support staff for the event organiser 25–6 sustainability issues ‘Table No 1’ and ‘Table No 13’ 88 table-centre decorations 121 talent 122 talk-back 106, 205 targeting 74, 76 technical arrangements and technical management 20, 25, 117–18 television broadcasts 133 templates: for preparing briefs 42–3; for recording enquiries 39 theatre-style seating 89–90 themed events 81–2, 84 theory versus practice 175–8 Thorpe Park 181, 183–5 ticket sales 67, 75, 80, 101–2 Titley, David (contributor) xii, 173 toastmasters 89, 205 toilets 62 INDEX 211 Tour de France 167–8 trade events 14 training programmes 30–2 transient role of the event manager 20–1 tray service 89, 205 trust 24, 25, 159 turn-arounds 144 Turner, Tina 62, 187 Twain, Shania 186 Twickenham Rugby Stadium 173–5 two-lane way of admitting guests 142 undeveloped markets 5–6 University College Birmingham (UCB) 173 University of West London (UWL) 174, 184, 186 variable costs 67 venue events managers 19–22 venue show-rounds 57–9 venue walk-rounds 126–9 venues for events 16–17, 52–71; capacity of 61; deposits for 65; drinks supplied by 98; green-field sites as 64, 86, 131; hiring fees for 66–71, 96; legal responsibility for counting guests 101–2; libraries of 55; limitations of 60–1, 63; previous experience of 63; searching for 53–6; unusual 53–4, 63–4, 131, 179; visits to 60 Versace, Donatella 167, 187 Versailles, Palace of 170 VIPs 88, 125–6, 134, 136, 140–3, 205 ‘Voice of God’ (VOG) 89 volunteer staff 26–36, 168; legal issues for 34–5; management of 32–4; recruitment and training of 29–32; working in teams 34 weddings 56, 66, 88, 93, 144, 172, 177 welcome drinks 94–5 ‘word-of-mouth and ‘super word-ofmouth’ 74 World Cup football .. .The Practical Guide to Organising Events The Practical Guide to Organising Events is a short, accessible and practical guide on how to successfully plan and organise... Figure 1) The events industry in developed markets can be likened to the medical profession An optometrist does the eyes and a dentist does the teeth You not want the wrong one to the other thing... is easy to employ marketing tactics to pretend sustainability and the guests will never know the true ‘cost’ to the planet Legislation is the true motivator, but the law on sustainable events
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