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Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Do you out source your Event Management or continue to do everything in-house with your own team?

Has this ever happened to you at one of your events: Late or cancelled flights, guests that have missed their flight or connections, coach breakdowns, tight bump in/out requirements with the venue, budget blowouts, difficult access for the AV supplier?… I am sure that you have answered yes to one or more of these scenarios.

Event management logistics come in all streams; organisation skills, content and messaging, venue management, supplier bookings, financials and administration, masterminding, directional signage, orchestration, execution, registrations, all while running and remembering to smile at every step!

Getting your event staff to co-ordinate logistics, instead of an Agency doing it for you, can be achieved with great results. An Agency will give you a level of comfort through their experience, that your staff may not have. Staff can get waylaid with your guests at the event and not be totally focused on every layer of the process, so having an Agency there that specialises, has staff dedicated to the process, will offer great comfort to every event organiser.

Event logistics can be challenging even for experienced operators, as there are so many variables that are out of your control; weather, airlines, traffic, building/venue design, hotel maintenance etc… however, having dedicated people on the ground with you, can take the stress away. A good Agency will have staff at every touch point of the process to assist your guests with seamless movements ie; airport greeters, venue welcome and directional staff, hotel hosts and porters and in some cases on each coach to communicate important event information to your guests.

Some events may require more logistics assistance than others as the size of group does not matter… moving 20 or 200 guests, still takes the same amount of planning and orchestration.

Where to start to ensure that you alleviate as many challenges as possible. Comprehensive meetings and a great client brief, are the best way to start any collaboration with the client from day one. Clear communication can overcome most challenges, while others can be worked through with detailed and thorough site inspections and recces. I would strongly suggest to every client that a site inspection be carried out prior to every event. Without it, you may as well be going into the event blindfolded. Another helpful advantage is to have an understanding of what your AV requirements might be from the start, as this will save time and money from re-working and re-quoting production.

Communication between the client and the Agency is extremely important, as they will cover off most of the plan B and plan C contingencies prior to the event, so you won’t be needing to make tough decisions on day 1 or 3 of the event, the Agency will know the parameters of who can be transferred in a private car vs coach, or which delegates would need to make their own arrangements if things don’t go to plan or what can be charged to the master account. So knowing the costs for Plan B, will save budget blow outs on the run.

Not every event is going to be held in the perfect space, like a Ballroom with lift access directly into the room, with 4.5m high ceilings and ample power for your AV needs or 12+ hours to bump-in/out. During a site inspection, a specialised Agency will uncover so many aspects of the event, that not even the venue co-ordinator will know to tell you.

The Agency needs to know and understand the city and road network to allow for traffic delays and have excellent relationships with coach/transfer suppliers (sometimes you will need multiple companies at one event due to size and time of day transfers will occur), as they will have the day to day knowledge to help overcome any last minute surprises or they will have a back-up coach sitting in wait, half way on your proposed route in case of a breakdown, so there are no lengthy time delays to get people moving again.

Working with a great, experienced ‘group’ Travel Agency to book your flights (even local domestic flights) is a must, as they will receive up to date direct information from the airlines about flight delays. You may also have passengers that have missed their flights, or their connections, the Agency will already be starting an action plan for these guests while others are in the air, so once they all land, they still have a seamless welcome and transfer, as they could be quite stressed.

Getting your guests and delegates to the event is important, but getting them home to their loved ones is just as, if not, the most important part of an event. Some guests may even need to be transferred by car to the airport as this could save minutes in traffic that a coach cannot make up, if the event is delayed in finishing.

As you can see, specialised Event Management & Travel Logistic Agencies can do as much or as little as you need, and if you have ever wondered, is it worth it? … Is piece of mind and quality time with your guests, one the reason for getting everyone together in the first place?… then yes, working with an Agency is a recommendation we make to everyone.

Show Plate Productions is an experienced Event Management Company based in Melbourne with over 30 years’ experience in hotel management, event logistics, incentive travel and AV production, so please call us for a complimentary planning session before your next event.

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