Not to sound too cliché but working in a marketing agency really is very much like what you see in the movies: fun and noisy offices, chick and interesting colleagues, full freedom and resources for developing all creatives ideas you have in your head. But there are also late hours in the office, putting out fires in 6:30 am and chasing deadlines all day, every day. Ah, the perfect storm!
One of the biggest challenges but also drives we experience in this ‘creative chaos’ are the events. Events do not give you a second chance – what you give is what you get. Every client has high expectations from the moment they give you the first brief and you are here to exceed them. So, as you can imagine, there is no room for compromise.
PREPARATION is always key. In fact, half of the success in an excellently executed event in thanks to great preparation. You first need to develop a detailed concept and plan for action. After this – execution. You need a whole army of people, working non-stop at least two days is advance, and you should be prepared to call the event venue your ‘home’ for the next 48 hours.
I will share one little secret: always be ready for the ‘night before the event’. This is the time you are having the last ‘walk-through’ with the client and this is the night when all clients realize they have one last wish that was never discussed but is super important to the concept of the event. They tell it and leave you to it. Key here are the good relations with your partners - still, you cannot call just anyone at 23:00 and have the clients wish ready and delivered to your doorway at 7:00.
This is a short preview of what happens behind the scenes. On the main stage you need to show off the final product to all the guests and the client. So, now we are on the SMALL STUFF, things that are not event perceived by the visitors but end up making all the difference in the world! I like to call is: THE TOUCH OF THE SENSES
SMELL – the smells on location need to wipe out the line between officiality and enjoyment. The guest needs to identify the pleasantness of the smells and connect it to event, client and/or product is the future as well. Some people even suggest changing the smell during the event – one fragrance for welcome, different aroma for raising concentration, then entering the smells of food at the right time etc.
SOUND – You will be surprised how important the music is to any event. Especially the play list. I never paid great attention to this until I started reading and practicing this. My suggestions – always hire a DJ! Or if the budget is too tight, plan the play list very, very carefully. This can make or break the event.
TESTE – never compromise when it comes down to food! Try to provide unique and delicious food to every event, specific to the event itself and not something that can be found in the venue menu (and this should also be part of the detailed concept you need to present to the client). Hitting the right jackpot with the food showed to be a very useful Joker for overlooking some minor mishaps that happened during the event – it is that powerful!
SIGHT – Branding, light and decorations is the thing that makes all events different. Be creative but also thorough – small things and the way they are presented could bring up some emotions with the guests and making an emotional connection with the guest is the most important thing you could do.
TOUCH – having said all of this, attention to details is crucial. Inspect everything, the materials of the table cloths, the bows on the gifts, the napkins and even the little umbrellas on the drinking straws.
So a whole ‘360 approach’ to the event! Your strategy must come out of the creative bond you have with your clients and be supported by the spotless execution of the all the ideas (even the ones that have less then 8 hours to be brought to live). Because success in not guaranteed – you need to earn it.
To sum up – you need to have a dedicated team, be very thorough and organized but most of all, love what you do!
Oh, and coffee… Lots and lots of coffee!