This is a guest blog post by Chuck Smith of Enliven Production Group.
Live Events – they’re stressful to put together and run, can be expensive, and definitely require careful planning. But, wow! They can be powerful, memorable and reap incredible rewards to boost your company brand, create customer affinity, and generate goodwill among employees.
Whether you’re just getting started with live events or you’re a seasoned pro, the process can still feel overwhelming. That’s where an event design/production company comes in. Over the years, Enliven Production Group has instituted some industry best practices that demonstrate what experienced event design and production companies will do before, during and after they meet with you to discuss your corporate event. Because if they aren’t doing these things, be wary before you sign on the bottom line to entrust your business brand, customers and employees to them.
Here are the top best practices of event design and production companies from initial interview to proposal stage. Part 2 will cover what should happen after you sign the contract.
- A quality event production company will have a strong understanding of who you are before you even meet. They should thoroughly research your social media and blog articles to learn about your culture, company mission, focus and desires. They are looking for tone, who the audience is, and what is and isn’t being communicated via social media. Why? Social media is a vital component of today’s corporate events. Using it drives attendee engagement and spreads the word about you beyond the people in the room.
- They will research your company’s website and related information to get a good understanding of your products or services, size and age, current stage of growth and success, and more. This will help them figure out what range of event production levels makes sense for you, and what could realistically be achieved. In other words, proposing an event for a local mom-pop business versus a national or multi-national company should yield two very different designs, city and venue suggestions, and budget.
- The production company should propose a design for your event that will succeed. They also will NOT propose services that may be too difficult or impossible to deliver because of limited time, venue constraints, or your budget expectations. Of course, they should be prepared to explain their reasoning, and offer alternatives and/or ideas of how to incorporate or modify them properly at your next event. And they should not try to sell or design something that will exceed your desires. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t offer plenty of creative suggestions and try to exceed expectations in ways you haven’t thought possible, but they should strive to quickly learn what interests you and what makes good sense – both practically and financially.
- Finally, they should take a little time to process what they learned, do any necessary research, and return with a fully outlined proposal. From the design perspective, every stage of the event should be clearly defined so you understand what results can be accomplished and in what time frames. There should also be a budget – and ranges may be included as there may be options for you to choose from. If you haven’t already checked the company’s references, this is the time to do so, as these may be included in the proposal. If not, ask for them and do your due diligence.
In Part 2, we’ll discuss what to expect from your chosen event design and production company after you sign the contract. Until then, are there best practices you adhere to when vetting a production company? We’d love to hear your ideas.