1. Foster relationships, the client is key. Get to know them, find out what makes them tick. You could be working with each other for the best part of nine months at a time so you need to like each other. Be transparent with them, you don’t want them to think you’re hiding something. It makes the experience a lot more enjoyable.
2. Be meticulous. We’re talking the finest of fine detail now. Look into every eventuality that you can and make sure everyone from the artists and coach drivers to the speakers and cleaners know what is expected of them. Once you’re on the event site there’s only so much you can arrange. Find the answers to as many questions as you can and give suggestions. What time will this arrive? What is the plan for that? Has anyone thought of this? It makes sure you’re fully up to date with the event and shows the client that you know what you’re doing. Keep asking!
3. Take the problem and own it. Clients hate problems and don’t want a chapter and verse about how you overcame a problem, they just want it sorting. Hopefully it doesn’t need escalating to them however if you need to, make sure that you let them know that you and your team will sort it. Don’t give them a headache if there is no need for one. Problem solving gives you more experience as a person. Embrace them.
4. Something will go wrong, just acknowledge it now, there will be problems. It happens on every event site but it is how you deal with it which is crucial. Don’t crumble, rise above and sort it. Make sure you don’t keep all the issues to yourself, delegate them to the rest of your team. Before the event talk it and walk it through with whoever you need to and scenario play if necessary, this way fewer problems will arise on the big day. Do this and it will make the whole experience a lot less stressful.
5. Have fun. You’re possibly spending a few weeks and longer on site so you need to enjoy yourself. You get to view things which ordinary folk don’t usually get to see so soak it in. Take as many pictures as you can for the next years event as you won’t believe what you’ll forget. Listen to the music, speak to the punters and people watch. It’s amazing what they get up to after a few ales.
By Phil Moorhouse
Phil Moorhouse is a senior event manager for STORM events. STORM have managed large, complicated and successful events including Liverpool Pride, Liverpool Sound City and Southport Flower Show amongst many others.