“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are vibrant cultural and commercial hubs. Every year, more international events are being hosted here, in addition to numerous exciting local happenings like Dubai’s annual shopping festival, it’s always full of spectacular events: exhibitions, product launches, conferences, sports events and so on.
During the event high season, stretching from September to March, the pace speeds up with peak pressure during October-November and February-March. For event planners, this is a blessing with an edge. To get the most out of the season, you need to have the best organisational skills. Here are some of our handy tips on how to navigate through the peak season smoothly and successfully whether you are planning for clients or organising your own events.
The Event Ninja Guide to Perfect Peak Season Planning
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
It’s never too early to start strategising – planning how to make your event shine in a packed schedule. During high season, it seems like Dubai is hopping with super events – from trade shows and exhibitions to luxe private affairs. The key to handling the pressure is to plan your schedule well – balancing between following up on business leads, with fulfilling existing client demands. Like the old 6Ps adage says Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance (Promoting Perfection). What does that mean for events?
- Strategising: Existing and potential business
- Don’t let the busy season creep up on you
- Start blocking out your calendar months in advance ensuring that you have adequate time and resources to meet increased peak season demand
- Follow up both on competitors and potential clients – read the trade papers and follow industry sites to know what is coming down the pipeline
- Reach out to potential clients with pre-proposals
- Reach out to existing or prior clients to see if they require your services again
- Planning ahead
There are a few vital things to take care of when you are planning, including the following:
- Developing a master project plan with milestones and accountabilities
- Using your plan – don’t just let it lie there on paper or on your screen. Revisit, tweak and refer to it frequently
- Scouting, booking, reserving venue, or deciding on temporary structures
- Locating and locking in partners to help you achieve your vision, like exhibition stand builders, event solution providers, and event rentals. Just like you, the best event contractors will be in great demand so it’s best to catch them early.
- Expect the unexpected: Sometimes, no matter how well you are prepared someone throws a spanner in the works. Develop contingency plans and try to anticipate ahead what could go wrong. For example, some malfunctions at the venue require you to move.
- Getting organised
Being organised should be engraved in the job description of every event planner. But during peak season, you need to master this skill. Key to good organisation is making use of all the resources you have available. That means offloading some critical tasks to reliable experts. Examples include using exhibition stand companies to build, set up and dismantle your exhibition booth or pop up installation.
Using an event solutions provider can help you by managing all technical aspects of your project such as preparing the venue according to your theme, including fit out, furniture and décor.
- Ensuring that you send out your project briefs early enough, including size, site, access, time frame and purpose of use
- Sharing all required information to suppliers at once. Be proactive and check with suppliers about the information they need. Don’t wait until they ask you. This cuts down on back and forth communication and helps keep budget expectations in line
- Maintaining open communication channels with clients and providers – check in regularly; expect and deliver frequent updates
- Checking progress physically – visit the venue, review all printed materials, inspect constructed items and rentals
- Learning your Lessons
Once the peak season frenzy has passed, it’s easy to put it aside until the next time. But never neglect to take the time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work during your season. Document the lessons you have learnt for each event and use them to help you avoid pitfalls during the next season.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
High season is a gift for event planners. It is the perfect time to help you or your clients shine. If you are organising an event for your own company, peak season is ideal to help your brand stand out and promote your products and services. Put in the time for proper preparation and planning and avoid the worst event planning fails. Examples include not having your exhibition stand completed and/or installed on time; or failing to book early enough and not being able to find an appropriate space.
At Electra, our motivation is to help our clients move from vision to reality. Project execution is our forte. We can take care of all the little details in setting up your venue to your exacting specifications. This frees up your time to concentrate on the bigger picture –creating an unforgettable experience for your clients’ guests or visitors. Check out our specialised and customisable services for all your event needs today.
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