by Sarah Hill | June 25, 2017
For planners looking to produce an event, it is essential to first understand the reasons behind the event, so that you work towards the client's objectives and themes, and exceed their expectations. That has been the experience of our company, Group Se7en Events Ltd, where we specialise in developing event programs which are creative, deliver value for money, and provide inspiration to guests.

Sometimes this can seem easier said than done. With an in-house creative production team, we work with our clients to establish the key event messages, delivering every element of the event to ensure they are alighned. We work on building a relationship of trust with our clients creating a shared ambition that enables us to exceed our client's expectations. We understand that together we need to deliver events that are editorially strong and experiential in nature, bringing content to life in unusual ways. 

As a planner, you must add real value; producing exciting, inspiring, innovative and aspirational event production. To accomplish all this, the planner must follow a few key best practices to ensure their event is a success and their client is delighted.

Event brief and theme. What are you trying to achieve from the event and is there a specific theme or objective. A theme can be simply the style of event or a full on concept for the whole event including design. Example themes include a networking reception event for guests attending from oversees in an iconic British venue. To a full concept, like a futuristic theme to be considered in the venue choice, business messages and design. 

Venue sourcing. Whether the event is a meeting, conference, exhibition, reception or dinner, you need to help the client find the perfect space. This can include everything from initial proposal, to arranging site visits, to negotiations of contracts and payment terms. The venue is key for all events, as a pull for guest attendance and for matching themes and brand messages. For example, when working with a cool cutting-edge consultancy firm, we would suggest modern and quirky venues, while for a traditional law firm, we would suggest historical and iconic venues. 

Creative catering. After the theme and venue are secured catering is the next big element. Always arrange a tasting and try as much choice as possible to make the most informed decision. If planning a drinks reception, think about wine that is easy to drink, or if planning a dinner pick wine to compliment the menu. Next think about how you can be creative the catering, tie it into the theme to add an extra "wow" factor. For example, if theme is "quintessentially British," think food station with pork pies, scotch eggs, British cheeses, and chutney, and for drinks, how about and English sparkling wine, Pimms, and craft beers. 

Branding. Thinking about the guest journey and branding is especially crucial for client-facing events. The best place to start is a walk around the venue to see how the guests will experience the space. By doing this you can map out the most visual places for branding points as an impact on guest arrival and then taking you right through the event. Taking the example of the futuristic theme event, branding ideas could include high spec lighting design and an event tag line to carry the theme through. 

A/V design. From lighting for reception events to a fully bespoke set, it is crucial to bring some design and personality to event through the A/V design. Start with function, and what you need to enhance the guest experience, but never forget the all-important "wow" factor. So often, clients neglect this element of events, and see this as an area to cut costs, when really this is an area to help maximize the ROI and drive home key brand messages. It doesn't have to be a full high-spec design, but simple ideas like GOBO logo lights and up lighters in company colours can really enhance the look of events, and make them more memorable. 

Finishing touches. The last the all-important finishing touches, include everything from centerpieces to giveaways and entertainment. These elements will help make your events more memorable and rewarding, so should be given careful consideration. As a parting gift, provides a tangible reminder of the event, giving longevity to experience and further enhancing the all-important ROI.

Sarah Hill is the writer at Group Se7en Events Ltd, a conference planning and event management company based London. She has written about event management and meeting planning for years. For those looking for some help with event production, Seven Events can work as an extension to your existing team or take charge of the entire event. With an in-house creative production team, we can provide all the event managment services to allow you to make the most of your events.