Event production isn’t just about event planning.
It’s planning, budgeting and the management of a project, as well as marketing it to your audience.
It’s about the logistics, not just who and what will be there but how to make it happen effectively.
Professional event production is the process of an event manager meticulously orchestrating all the details of a live event to the smallest detail to deliver an inspiring, memorable and spectacular event—an on-time event and within budget from beginning to end.
Event production services are about collaborating with many different entities to create a fantastic experience for attendees that will stay with them long after the show has ended. Whatever the type or size of an event, event production needs to showcase creativity whilst also combining the more rigid best practices of project management, managing budgets and reacting to problems quickly and effectively.
With this in mind, here are ten things you need to know about event production in 2021…
1. Event planning is crucial
It’s best to start with a thorough understanding of the event stakeholders and their expectations for the event.
The first step in any event or conference is defining what it is all about, which will help determine its purpose and how much time and money should be allocated towards producing it. What are you trying to achieve with this event?
Next, establish and set milestones and deadlines so that everyone understands how long it will take to produce the event.
Tip: Allocating plenty of time for testing at different stages in the production process is also a great idea as all too often, people get bogged down in the planning and forget to test the event before it goes live.
Creating a timeline will help you achieve deadlines, which is, in turn, helpful for budgeting purposes so that everyone understands how much money they need and when different milestones need to be met.
Outlining what success looks like at each stage of planning an event helps stakeholders better understand expectations and ensures it is a success.
What’s more, it ensures that everyone is on the same page!
2. Event production is about creating experiences
Anyone can get people to turn up to an event, but event production experts ensure your attendees leave feeling like they have had a memorable, engaging experience. Ask yourself what you want your participants to take away from the event. This will help you understand the event production services you need to satisfy your audience’s time and energy investment.
Event production is about creating experiences that matter to people, both in terms of content and the overall experience.
The event should have a clear message or theme to guide your audience through it: what are you trying to teach them? What do they need to know when they leave? Is there an emotional connection involved in the event? Is it educational? Is it a celebration?
There are so many different types of event production services to choose from, including venue selection, technology, AV equipment, food and drink, sponsorship opportunities, event management, etc. The event manager’s task is to ensure that the entire production process is organised and executed smoothly, including determining which of these services to use to make sure you keep within budget whilst creating something outstanding.
Tip: Make sure you give people time to experience the event.
In 2021 it will be more critical than ever for event attendees and organisers to have a clear idea of the goals, objectives and desired outcomes. A successful event does not happen by chance!
3. Setting the right mood at your event is essential
Connecting to the feelings of attendees is a vital way that event producers ensure an event’s success. Mood and atmosphere are key to this, as they can make or break your event.
A good mood is contagious – if people are enjoying themselves, the whole audience will be too!
The best event production companies will ensure that the audience feels connected to the moment by controlling the mood and emotion by changing the lighting, sound, and performance to match the event’s theme.
To create an environment that is constructive for your audience, you need to be conscious of how they feel about what’s happening on stage. If people are bored or uncomfortable, then it will show in their body language. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that your event production team plans for the audience’s mood and adjusts accordingly.
4. Everything must add value
Any choice that is made during the event planning process needs to add value to the event. If it doesn’t provide value to attendees, it wastes their time and your money.
There are many things you can do to add value to your event in 2021. For example, you could:
- invite attendees to express their interests in advance
- invite high-profile keynote speakers to motivate and inspire
- partner with digital companies to offer live streaming and virtual attendance opportunities
- create educational workshops.
- account for different learning styles so that attendees can choose to learn in the way they need,
- provide networking opportunities for all types of industries.
- utilise technology to increase the quality of your event
- provide access to influencers and experts who can answer questions.
- include a variety of opportunities for attendees so that they don’t feel overwhelmed with choices,
- allow time for creativity to spark new ideas
- host an afterparty where attendees can relax and network
Tip: At the planning stage, think about what value will your event provide; what about it is worth adding? Consider these questions and make decisions down the line in deciding whether you need to add something.
Do you want to create something outstanding?
5. Technical and creative elements are combined, not separate entities
Event production isn’t all about flashy performances or cold tech. Both technical and creative components are combined when planning an event to create the right atmosphere and deliver an experience.
An event production manager’s skills must include a strong technical aptitude and creativity for designing an experience that aligns with the brand and purpose of the event.
The technical skills are needed to plan for the production of an event, including lighting and audio to create stunning visual effects.
Creativity is required when it comes to designing onsite experiences such as branded environments or interactive booths.
6. An extraordinary event will make the audience feel something
A great event production company will ensure that their event makes people think, feel, or experience something. Creating an emotional connection is the most crucial aspect of any production because it leads to memorable moments and a lasting impression on your company and its brand.
The audience should always come first in regards to planning your event for success. What do you want them to take away? What do you want them to remember?
7. Theatre and substance are oh so important in successful events
Events should have a wow factor, and event production services make this happen. They tap into the sense of wonder that everyone has and deliver theatre and attention-grabbing elements that attendees can’t ignore.
Theatre includes lighting, staging, sound, visual design, video mapping, digital signage and virtual reality; substance is anything from education to entertainment. A well-executed event has both.
The more riveting the presentation material is at an event (whether it be educational or entertaining), the more likely attendees will learn something new or remember what they learned.
Knowledgeable event planners know how important theatre is in delivering content with impact and the importance of balancing substance with theatrics.
8. You’ve got to be able to measure the success of the event
Planning and hosting an event takes a lot of time and hard work, so it’s always essential to measure the success of it to ensure that you’ll be able to understand what went well and what could be improved for next time.
There are so many measures of a successful event more than just how many people attended. It’s essential to measure the quality of content, how many people bought any products or services sold at the event, and even if each speaker was engaging.
The best event planners consider planning events that are more data-driven and measurable than ever before. A range of metrics can now be tracked, from the number of new leads collected to the conversion rate, from how many people attended to how it affected their relationship with your business.
8 ways to manage the success of an event:
- Tracking social media activity and engagement
- Event surveys
- Speaker engagement
- Number of registrations and onsite attendees
- Sponsor recognition
- Sales numbers
- Costs for the event
- Marketing ROI
Event organisers need to manage their events with a focus on engagement, sales numbers, and costs. The more successful an event is in these areas, the better it will be.
Tip: In 2021, event planners will be able to measure success in unique ways. For example, you’ll be able to analyse the sentiment of tweets and posts related to your event before it even happens, which is an excellent way for brands to understand their potential reach and engage with people who may not have heard about them yet.
Many of the trends that we’re going to see in event production are just a natural continuation of what’s already happening. For example, as more and more people stop browsing through physical books for research, events will become even more digital-focused. An increasing number of brands are making their booth at conferences an interactive experience with technologically advanced tools.
9. Building realistic mockups and floor plans for events really helps
Realistic stage mockups and floor plans help event planners and their clients to visualise their events while they’re pulling together the design ideas. Creating detailed floor plans showing spacing, set, chair and table layouts, including breakout spaces, make it easy to spot potential issues before they happen.
The floor plan becomes the blueprint for event staff and production management, including lighting designers and audio engineers who will need to know how each space in their venue will be used during your event. The stage mockup can also help you work out whether there’s enough height or width available for crucial pieces of equipment and rough-in the technical requirements you’ll need for each space.
Tip: Another trend that we’re going to see is the rise of modular, reconfigurable spaces to allow organisers and venue managers to create a space that can be changed as needed, for example, if there are multiple events in one day or even just different sub-sections for each type of attendee (e.g., exhibitors vs attendees).
A professional event production company will take care of all aspects of your event, transforming an often challenging exercise into a smooth, seamless operation.
At Surtees, one of the leading UK event production companies, we specialise in event production, conference production and planning, virtual events and AV hire.
Our event services have been helping people turn their fantastic ideas into outstanding events for 35 years. Whether you want to host a conference, workshop, or dinner party, we can help you plan and execute your vision. Our team has experience with everything from intimate gatherings of 10 guests to large-scale events with thousands of attendees.
Let us take care of all the details so you can focus on what matters most – making sure your event is successful!
Contact us today to find out more about how we can turn your great idea into a fantastic event!