I’ve been an Event Manager with Kru Live for over two years and have worked on so many exciting campaigns. From hosting The 2023 Sports Industry Awards to production and managing a private, global networking event for luxury brand Chanel (that’s right, the Chanel)!
Needless to say, no two days are ever the same in this line of work, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My role as Event Manager has allowed me to travel to different cities, work across a broad range of sectors, and has positioned me in circumstances where I get to not only meet but work alongside some of my celebrity idols. It has honestly been the journey of a lifetime, and we are only just getting started!
Simply thinking about how much thought, commitment and organisation goes on to take a campaign from a simple concept to the experience that I am tasked with managing, fills me with a sense of purpose and awe. I absolutely love being that final runner in the relay that takes the baton and races the team to victory. As with any event, you will likely encounter obstacles along the way, and it is the kind of fast-paced environment where if you don’t stay focused on the goal, it can be tiresome, but ultimately, it is one of the most exhilarating and rewarding jobs I’ve ever had!
Over the years, I have built up a reputation for myself, as one of Kru Lives’s go-to Event Managers, so here are my top tips for a successful event:
*Eagerly grabs notebook and pen*
- If you’re not early, you’re late: Trust me when I say, I never thought I would be an ‘arrive early’ kinda girl, but in this line of work, timing is truly make or break, especially when you are the person in charge! Travel can be unpredictable, so my tip is to always play it safe and leave plenty of time to allow for any potential delays, so you can arrive to site before your official start time! That way, you can check-in with the client and your team, assess the site for any issues and feed this back ahead of schedule.
- Communication is key: People really tend to undervalue the wisdom of this age-old mantra. Strong communication is at the core of any and every healthy relationship, and work relationships are certainly no exception. It’s important to establish clear communication channels with your team and the client from the very beginning and to define the various lines of communication so your team know who they need to speak to regarding a particular issue, and who their main point of contact is on and off-site on each live event day
- Do your research: Maybe I’ve watched too many James Bond movies in my lifetime, but I like to view each campaign as a mission and the key to that successful mission, is doing your research. A good way to stay ahead of the game is to check the weather in advance – will everyone need to bring extra layers of clothing or waterproofs? Or perhaps people will need to bring sun protection and extra water to stay hydrated? These small provisions can sometimes be the difference between a happy and motivated team, versus a discontented and apathetic team.
- Inspect the Goods: You’ve heard the phrase “try before you buy” right? Well, in this line of work, it’s also important to check out the stand and the kit and ensure everything is as desired before you commit to launching the campaign. When you arrive on site, always do a thorough assessment of the stand and the kit list. They don’t print those kit lists for decoration, so use them to your advantage.
Any issues need to be fed back to the internal office as soon as they come to your attention, and again, foresight will be your best ally in these circumstances. The sooner you can get these issues reported, the more likely it will be that your agency can find a solution.
- Team briefings: thorough briefings for the team are essential! In advance of the first live day, a training session is recommended to allow for the team to understand their roles and responsibilities during the event. Keep them up to date and they will keep you up to date, which allows for continuous improvements throughout the day.
The morning briefing is also a great way to set the energy levels. As Event Manager, you must be your team’s best hype person. Get them excited about the campaign and about their role. Establish good energy and a safe, secure team environment. I cannot stress the importance of that last point enough! Your team should feel comfortable to be honest with you, and share any issues or insecurities they have, especially relating to the campaign.
- Be adaptable: Inevitably, challenges will arise. It is important to have a proactive approach to problem solving, focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on the issue. Remember, you set the precedent, and if you want your team to remain optimistic and motivated in the face of potential challenges, you cannot allow yourself to become dispirited or have a defeatist attitude.
You must also learn to embrace the chaos and be comfortable with change. In such a fast-paced environment, it’s important to be able to adapt to a changing situation, know when it’s time to deviate from the original plan and search for an alternative solution.
- Make your client your bestie!: In addition to communicating with the team, it’s important to maintain open and frequent communication with the client, after all, they are the entire reason we even have a campaign to work on!
The client should be your number one priority. They should feel assured that you have everything under control and that you will always be communicative and responsive to their needs - why else do you think they’ve hired an Event Manager? By treating your client like your bestie, I don’t mean giving them nicknames or hugging them when you greet them – I mean take the time to get to know them, what they want to achieve and how you can make them happy. By using this approach, you’ll quickly see that they are not as scary and mean and “corporate” as we often like to believe. Most of the time, they are really relaxed, kind, down-to-earth people who share many things in common with us, and the sooner you break through that wall and establish common ground, the easier it will be to work together harmoniously to ensure the success of the event.
- Post-event evaluation: Remember that the campaign or event doesn’t finish once the final day is over. It’s important to take the time to debrief with the team, gather feedback, understand what went well and what could be improved upon, and then you can use this insight for future events.
Take a moment to give the team their due praise, and acknowledge all their hard work and achievements, not only if the campaign was a smash-hit, but more so, if things didn’t quite go to plan. Taking time out of your day to recognize someone’s individual contributions to a campaign and spotlight them, even if it’s just with a few words, can really make them feel seen and valued.
- Think about your footwear! You’ll be on your feet all day, so make sure you’ve got a pair of comfortable shoes on. One of the worst things I ever did was wear a new pair of high heels during a campaign I worked on for Asper’s Casino. Don’t ask me what I was thinking!
- Rest up and eat up: The promo and events industry is filled with long days and it’s important that the team not only get a rest on their break, but ensure they have sufficient food and access to snacks and refreshments as well. This is how we keep the energy and work ethic high. There is no need to skip a break or ‘power through’!
So there it is guys! I hope you managed to take away some useful tips from this list, and if you didn’t, that’s okay too!
One thing I have learned in my time as an Event Manager is that there is no “correct way” of doing things. Of course, you want to make sure that your management style reflects the culture and best practices of the agency you are representing, and that your values align with their core ethos, but outside of that, there no fixed template. YOU are your own template, and the beauty of this industry lies in its diversity.
No job is the same, and certainly no event manager is the same. So be authentic, inject love and passion into what you do, and establish a system that works for you and your team! And most importantly, don’t forget to laugh! Afterall, we do this because it’s fun, rightttttt?