It is now end of July 2018 where the first month for the second-half of the year is almost over. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the event industry survey report we received and conducted by EventMB earlier on this year.
A total of 2,233 people from the event industry participated in this survey where 52% are in the planning role. This survey will give a useful insight into the event industry and the collective opinion of those in this industry. We are going to share with you some of the information found in the report here.
Regarding event marketing
When asked what is the most effective event marketing tool, social media has the highest number of votes. It seems that people in the event industry like to use social media to market their events. E-mail marketing came in second and using website to market events came in as the third useful option to market events.
Event professionals use videos as part of their media strategy. We create video advertisement to advertise our event services and also to advertise our events. You may view our video advertisements which we have created, for example to advertise our products here and also one of the videos we did for events.
From the survey, event professionals usually use social media for pre-event engagements. Social media is also used during events to engage audience. If you are interested, we can create blog posts with videos or pictures about your event, be it pre-event, during event of post-event. Here are some blog posts we did previously to promote St. Nicholas’ Home Penang’sCarnival (pre-event) and during event for Gurney Plaza‘s Fashion Month.
What Is Social Media Used For
SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE
Engaging attendees during the event
Interaction with speakers during educational sessions
The eventtech that is mainly used by those in the event industry is online event registration platforms. Examples of online event registration platforms are Eventbrite and Cvent. E-mail marketing tool ranked second most used, then followed by survey tool.
There are a few methods used by event planners to find venues with the most common method by word of mouth. Next, they use search engines and also online venue listings to find venues for their events. Social media is also one of the methods used. It would be useful if you have a website or social media platforms about your venue as event planners will surely go online to find out more about your venues, so it would be great to have a social media presence. Upload some pictures or videoes about your venue, what you have there and any events held. Having some blog posts about your venue would also let potential customers know more about what you have at your venue. We have written blog posts about venues like hotels before, so if you are interested to be featured in our blog, do keep in touch with us.
The number one problem listed regarding working with venues is the slow response event planners get from the venue. Prices and poor wi-fi are the next two matters that frustrates event planners according to the survey. Problems on site and also venues not delivering what they promised are definitely on the list of what frustates event planners. Who would want to work with someone who do not deliver what they promise and cause problems to you, right ? No one would. It would just be great if everyone carries out their own responsibilites and be accountable for their own part. It is important that every party involved in an event communicate with each other properly and individually be responsible for their own part so that the event can run well.
Myle Enterprise is an events business focusing on adult social events, which also provides emcee and blogging services. A major part of our event services is in the event organising side, which is planning, management and sourcing for vendors or venue but we also provide simple decorations.
Simple decorations are like cake cutting table set up, balloons, streamers and small decorative items like decorated candle holders. We do not provide lavish decorations like chandeliers or event equipments like LED screen, tables and chairs. We have vendors that we work with to provide that.
In the past, we have done simple decorations for some of our events. Our owner has personal experience working in a team to provide decoration for a ballroom event back in 1999 and moved on to supervising decoration set ups from there onwards. Our owner’s experience in event planning is more extensive where she has personal experience planning and being involved in private events for about 25 years, whereas her experience in dinners and public events is over 15 years.
During the first few events after our business set up, we provided simple decoration and venue set up along with our event planning service. There was one venue which had their VIP room totally empty apart from tables and chairs because their restaurant were newly renovated and they did not manage to set up their VIP room in time for the event. Our owner managed to set up curtains and decorations in the room on her own within 1.5 hours. The VIP room was not too big and could fit about 2 big round tables with walking space. Some of the decorations items were prepared before the set up. With events, the preparation for the decoration and set up of the venue can take time. Sourcing for decoration items and raw materials as well the preparation of the items will require a lot of time with also some driving around to find the materials or time to source online. If you have to flip a room from a lunch reception to a dinner reception, it requires the event team to work very fast as there is limited time. For events, time plays an important part especially during the event and it is crucial that you keep moving to get the event flowing.
We are going to touch on one event in the past which we organised and included simple decoration. We hired event crews and an event manager to let them handle the decoration, set up of the venue and provide event services. These event crews were part-timers but we chose and hired them because they have experience in events. There were others that applied for the position but we turned them down because they did not have events experience and since this event had a short time frame for us to prepare, we wanted people who have experience so there is less hand-holding required. We have worked before with the event manager and previously he could lead an events team well, which was why we paid him a higher wage as compared to the others who were event crews.
In fact, the event manager and event crews were paid higher wages as compared to the market value. We know the market rate because we keep ourselves updated with knowledge about events. Our owner herself sometimes volunteers for events or have previously worked for event jobs that is below her expertise just to get a feel of the events field at that moment. In the past, she has worked alongside with her event teams/volunteers for her events and even walked with them throughout the whole event when she could have just sat down comfortably at home and let them do all the work. We do not have such a big ego that we think working alongside our hired crews are such a no, no and we wanted to pay them a wage that was higher than the rest because we believe that employees should be paid well according to their experiences plus to appreciate their time. Unfortunately, we are wrong.
We met some of the most uncapable, disrespectful and terrible employees from this team. The manager who previously did well could not even deliver his responsibilities well. Of course there were other employees we have encountered in the past which made mistakes or were not too good in the past but we could still accept it as long as the event turned out fine. Some crews who were volunteers for our events and were not paid in monetary term but in kind performed even better than those who were paid, and paid well in this case. It is not like our owner cannot lead, which she has lead teams throughout her younger years especially for events and even achieved an award for the best society under her leadership in United Kingdom. It seems like it does not pay to be kind, generous or friendly to employees. Perhaps we should hold a whip and be real strict with them.
We will just give you an example of how screwed up this team was. Take a look at this picture of a ribbon curtain they made.
This is just one part of how they screwed up. We gave instruction to the event manager to source and purchase the raw materials for the event items and decorations. At the same time, we met one of the event crews and gave instructions to her to take some raw materials which we already had to the venue and we showed her the sample picture of a ribbon curtain. It was a ribbon curtain with ribbons neatly in a row and all the ribbons are of the same length, making the ribbon curtain end up in a straight line at the bottom. We also taught her how to make the ribbon curtain by stringing a ribbon we had over a string. We also gave her instruction on the colour arrangement and where it shall be hung up. She was to take these instructions and knowledge, then convey to the other team members. This leaves us with one more team member, which is another event crew and she was given the instruction to go to the venue and liaise with the venue’s manager for the set up of the tables and chairs at the venue. It was actually a very efficient way of letting the team do their job, with each member having something to deal with.
This team was already briefed the night before on what they were supposed to do and we even took a walk around the whole event venue to familiarise ourselves with the venue. We even detected some parts of the venue which needed cleaning or fixing before the event. These people even dare to lie and said that they did not know their job responsibilities when there was a problem. Why would we want to waste our time for the briefing and to allocate the job responsibilities, if they cannot get it into their thick head what they are supposed to do. We definitely do not want to work with unreliable and untrustworthy people.
They took about 4 hours to make this simple decoration and mind you, there were 3 of them. In these 4 hours, they kept messaging us to ask questions such as whether they can change the colours arrangements and many more questions. If it was a complicated event or decoration without prior instructions, we understand the need to clarify. This was a simple decoration. It was clearly stated to them that they were to create the first few ribbons and then snap a picture, send to us and if it looks fine, then they can carry on and finish up the ribbon curtain without needing to refer to us anymore. They cannot even understand and follow simple instructions. We do not like to micro-manage and we do not like people to micro-manage us as well. We are experts in events and we would actually prefer our customers to trust us to know what to do without needing to breathe down our necks with too many instructions. This is how we treat our employees as well – we give them freedom to work as long as they produce the results we want. This team might not be experts in decoration, which is why they were given a long period of time to set up the venue and also to be at the event to render their event services. They were paid for their time to be at the venue for set up before the event and of course they were paid for their time during the event. We even paid them allowances for their meals, which was definitely a sufficient amount to have a decent filling meal. The owner can set up this venue in a shorter time with better results than these team of 3 combined. This is why experience matters, our dear customers and why we are worth being paid for.
With these dim-wit employees’ constant messaging, they do not understand that they were intruding into our owner’s time. Due to the short period of event preparation prior to the event day, no designers were available to create the customised streamers for the customer. Our owner have to step in and create the personalised and customised streamers for the host of this event, who was our customer. It was really a rush and we could not string the streamers in time for the event and it needed to be done during the event, which the host was not happy about. The streamers were put up during the event because we want to deliver what we said we will do but it was put up late. We took responsibility for this and we did not charge our customer for the streamers. We do not simply blame other people, although our time was intruded unnecessarily and if it is our fault that we cannot deliver the streamers in time for the event, we admit it. This is how we do our business – with accountability and responsibility. This is what we expect people who will be working with us to be as well, be it vendors, venues or crews. Once we are involved in an event or project together, we are working towards the same goal and we need to co-operate as a team even though we are from different businesses or companies. We are a single business entity on our own which we do not need to report to anyone because our owner is the sole register owner and we are not interested to have any partners in our business. However, when it comes to situations like these especially for events, it involves different businesses and companies coming together to make the event a success. An example of a very simple event, there’s the event organiser, the venue, the caterer, the waiters/servers and even the cleaner plays a part in the event. Once one party does not deliver or cause trouble, it affects the whole team.
As for this event, our owner went to the venue and saw many mistakes made by the team, which we quickly recitified as the host was already there with some guests. Some of the decorations were not even up and the layout was slightly different from what the team was told. They were sent the layout plan to follow which they failed miserably. Some of the mistakes they made were common sense such as removing tables and chairs that were not needed from the area. Common sense is not so common after all. We quickly rectified what needed to be fixed and get the event going. We are very disappointed with the event team especially the event manager who were specifically told to lead the team as part of his job responsibility. The customer was not happy and she did not want to pay the remaining amount she owed us leading to one long, unnecessary court case which the judge ruled in our favour and ordered the customer to pay up. She is a Penang politician, Pulau Tikus area. Talk about being irresponsible and not paying up. We dare to state this here for it was an open court case, so the public can attend and know. Besides, if she dare to do it, then why would she be worried to let anyone else know. Our owner has a law degree and a diploma in computer science, we are not uneducated, so do not bully us. For our part towards the customer, everything was done and delivered to her except for the streamers, which was late, so she did not have any substantial reason not to pay up. We rectified the mistakes made during the event as fast as we possibly could and we saw many happy, smiling faces of the guests at the event. No one died during the event and feedback from the guests were they enjoyed themselves, so this is already good enough for a birthday party.
Do not even get us started on how absurd the other members behave and how one of them did not even admit her mistake, then dare to argue with us. We had a meeting after the event with the team and have no respect as well as to who hired her and went to claim her money from our customer for herself with the other crew, which in the end comes out from our business through the payment received from the customer. We deducted that amount the customer paid to the crews from the final payment. If the customer can pay the event crews, that means she thinks the event was alright, so why does she not pay our business? Illogical, isn’t it, unless she wants to skimp and run away from paying. She should not even intrude into our business matters. We do not think these crews and event manager deserved their pay because they caused more trouble than delivering what they were supposed to do. Nevertheless, they were paid. There were other parties involved such as the venue which provided food late with no staff stationed at the event area as promised and the other event vendor which arrived late from outstation which caused this trouble to us. When it came to trouble, they all disappeared and did not even bother to fight alongside ourselves to get what is owed (they only bothered about themselves) and stand up for what was right. We are angry and disappointed.
We need to protect our business; to protect Myle Enterprise. We grow colder, we grow meaner and we get better at becoming a boss where we must learn to be bossier. We do not see a difference between being a leader and being a boss. A boss needs to lead and a leader will need to be the boss, if not he/she will be walked all over. Kindness and being too nice does not pay when it comes to business, we have learnt. Not speaking from just this one experience but throughout the years. Our empathy has its limits. We are eliminating what we do not want and reducing as much of manpower as we can. We prefer not to handle any manpower unless it is necessary. While event planning is still our main expertise, we are now ready to go more into decoration as we can now do it with no extra manpower, or as little as possible. We are now selling our decoration in our online store at www.myleenterprise.com/shop.
Just to show you a sample of what we can do, this is a picture of what our owner can do on her own which she achieved within 1 hour of set up. Of course, we need to factor in the time taken to source and purchase the raw materials as well as the travelling time which took more than 1 hour to reach the venue.
When you hold your event, you will have a lot on your hands to handle from planning leading up to the day of the event. Of course you can make your life easier by hiring an event planner to handle the planning and an event manager or event co-ordinator to handle matters on the day of the event. You can then graciously walk into your event as the host and interact with your guests, knowing all the planning is taken care of.
If you really need to handle the planning and management of the event on the day of the event though, here is the checklist to ensure you have everything sorted for your event on the day of the event itself. This checklist is suitable for a corporate type of event, at an indoor venue where tables, chairs and food are available at their venue (for example hotels).
Ensure that the venue is open and available hours before the event for your event contractors and suppliers to deliver items or carry out their work. Some items like audio visual equipments (lighting, sound system, projector and screen), decoration and stage can be delivered and set up one day in advanced. Some venues will charge for the extra days these items are placed at their venue, so you will need to take into account for your budgeting.
At your registration table, it would be helpful if you have your guest list and display of table plans so that your guests know where they will be seated, if it is arranged seating. If you are giving door gifts away, you can place the door gifts at the registration table.
Check that the decorations are set up the way you want it.
Check that the tables and chairs are set out and arranged according to your layout plan.
Check the stage area to ensure stage, lightings, sound equipments and microphones are set up. Test the equipments to see if they are working properly before the event begins.
If you are using projector and screens during your event, check that they are working properly before the event begins.
Confirm that all the performers are attending. Some performers will go to the venue earlier to rehearse, so you would need to see to it that they have access to the venue. When the event begins, check that all performers are on standby for their performance.
If you are having a buffet, check that the food are delivered to the event area and displayed with food tags so that your guests know what is being served. If it is course meals, the servers, waiters or waitresses at the venue will serve accordingly, so you can liaise with the food and beverage director or manager if you need any special arrangements.
At the end of the event, check that all you and your guests have all your belongings and do not leave it at the venue. Usually the employees at the venue as well as the event contractors or suppliers will handle the tear down and clearing of the event area.
We hope you found this checklist useful for you. Have a good time planning your event and if you are overwhelmed, do not hesitate to reach out and hire an event planner. It is worth it to leave the planning to an event planner, so you can enjoy your event as the host and more so if you have the budget, why not just let the experts handle it.