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A day in the life of an #eventprof… onsite

According to the most recent survey by  CareerCast.com*, events management is the fifth most stressful profession, behind military jobs, police, firefighters and other life-death careers. Even though this is a poll of US employees, I’m sure as #eventprofs in the UK, we’ve all been able to relate to this stress at some point or other! The pressure of liaising with suppliers, clients and delivering to deadlines can definitely get on top of all of us but equally, that adrenaline rush is exactly why we love what we do! We were recently onsite for a corporate event in London, so we caught up with Project Manager, Erin, to hear all about a day in the life of an onsite event professional… 

It’s set-up day. What’s first on the to-do list?

I usually try and get up at around 5am, so I can shower and get ready for the long day ahead without feeling rushed. Once the team is all onsite, the first thing on the list is to set up our production office so we have an organised space to work from. The client is due onsite a couple of hours after us, so we ensure all the relevant suppliers have arrived and started to install, I meet with the venue representative to do a pre-client onsite run through and then hit the to-do list! Amongst the important tasks, someone always goes for a Pret run when we have a moment, to make sure we all have a good breakfast. It’s sometimes difficult to remember to eat when you’re onsite, so now’s the time for everyone to eat and get some water.

pouring water from a jug into a glass - a reminder to keep hydrated

By midday, the client has just arrived so we catch up, update them with the install process and get them some lunch! For the rest of the afternoon, I concentrate on the install. For this particular event, the AV was the largest part of the install, so most of our attention is on getting this ready for rehearsals to start in the afternoon. Later in the afternoon the CEO arrives onsite, so while the team has divided and conquered to ensure each area is on time – branding, registration, expo etc – my efforts are focused in the keynote room where the CEO has started rehearsing for tomorrow morning’s event opener.

Set-up day is coming to an end – what are your last minute checks to ensure live day goes smoothly?

Once the rehearsals are over, the client team heads offsite, so our evening is made up of snagging and fixing a few last-minute branding issues. We then grab a quick bite to eat whilst the last of the suppliers are finishing up before heading to a nearby hotel before midnight. We always try and stay as close as possible to the venue. Someone from the team checks us in during the afternoon – this way the team can head straight to bed once we’ve finished after a long day.

The view from the venue over London at the end of the day

What is your routine the night before live day?

Once back at the hotel, I usually do some stretching after being on my feet all day – I’ll have clocked up lots of steps! I then re-read all my documents and checklists to make sure I know what’s going on at every single second of the event. It’s so much easier to deal with any issues that inevitably will arise when you are fully prepared and know every detail inside and out. I’ll also take some time to write some notes of any little reminders or actions I need to do when I first get onsite in the morning. Following this, relaxation is key! You need to be able to switch off in our industry – before this event I had a relaxing bath and then got an early night.

So, how did it go? How do you unwind post event?

The event went well and the client is happy – this is the most important thing! Once it’s all wrapped up and all suppliers are offsite, myself and the team head to a nearby restaurant for a pizza and a drink. We’ll chat about how the day went, share any onsite pictures and then a summer favourite is to head home to catch up on Love Island!

What are your 3 top tips for long days onsite?

  • WATER – it’s so easy to get dehydrated onsite. It makes you feel so much more awake when drinking enough. We send reminders in the group chat or even over comms every now and again to make sure everyone is keeping hydrated.
  • Get enough sleep pre and post show – there is no way to avoid lack of sleep onsite but stocking up before definitely helps.
  • Enjoy it! The best way to get through a long day is to actually enjoy it. The lead up to an event can be so long and detailed that it’s worth taking it all in onsite and enjoying the day with the Sleek team and the client.

Events Coordinator is the 5th most stressful job in the CareerCast.com poll. How do you combat stress?

  • Lots of lists to make sure everything that can be done has been!
  • The team: having the right team and support around you is key.
  • A post-event stretch/yoga class and, of course, a glass of wine helps too!

a yoga studio - a reminder to de-stress

Working in events can mean times when the pressure is on but it’s also extremely rewarding and fun. If you’d like to work in events, keep an eye on our social media for job opportunities:

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*CareerCast.com 2019 survey can be viewed here: https://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/2019-jobs-rated-stress

48 hours in Berlin

We all know that Berlin is famous for its creative people, culinary delights, cultural landmarks and crazy parties, but what you might not know is that Berlin is a great location for corporate events too. We recently spent some time in sunny Berlin, having a look around for some unique waterside locations that would work for anything from a product launch to a corporate dinner event, with impressive views and excellent service. Here is a snapshot of our top three:

First up on the list is Spreespeicher. This trendy venue sits right on the river Spree and offers beautiful views of the Oberbaumbrücke – a bridge connecting two former boroughs that were divided by the Berlin Wall, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, and which has become a symbol of Berlin’s unity. The venue has natural daylight, multiple event spaces and a terrace perfect for a summer party or winter wonderland with outdoor heaters. Your guests can even arrive by boat for a truly impressive entrance!

The second venue on our list is Haus Ungarn. This edgy venue is located close to Alexanderplatz in the heart of the city, and also doubles up as a nightclub! Haus Ungarn, which translates to Hungary House, is extremely modern but with wooden touches and classic rustic Berlin charm the city is famed and adored for. This space, along with its outdoor terrace and spectacular views of the city, is a surefire way to impress your guests and leave them with long-lasting memories of your event.

Lastly, we leave you with Spindler & Klatt; a beautiful venue right on the river. This multi-floor riverside venue allows for plenty of flexibility within the space, meaning you can really pull out all the stops to impress your guests with whatever type of event you wish to put on. Like Haus Ungarn, Spindler & Klatt doubles as a club by night, and a laid-back restaurant and cocktail lounge by day. Whether you’re looking to host a relaxed dinner, a glamorous party, or a fashion show on the water, this venue has it all!

As well as checking out these impressive venues, we also spent some time sampling the local delicacies and exploring the city by scooter – we even got ourselves a bit of a tan! 48 hours in Berlin goes very fast due to the sheer number of activities and venues to keep you occupied, but we left Berlin convinced that this creative city is not just a haven for hipsters – it could be a really unique option for a corporate event or an incentives city break. With competitive prices and direct flights from nearly everywhere in the UK and Europe, the possibilities are endless in ‘the coolest city in Europe’!

We’re always on the lookout for new venues – if you’re interested in hearing more about our search, check out our latest blogs on incentives trips to the seaside, and our current favourite venues here in London.

outdoor event

Challenges of outdoor experiential events

As #eventprofs, we know there are all sorts of challenges when it comes to creating successful events. But what happens when you move your event to the great outdoors? The challenges that come with an outdoor experiential event can be endless, but not necessarily detrimental. We asked the team at Sleek HQ about the challenges they have faced and compiled a handy little list below of potential challenges, how to overcome them and things to consider next time you have to use the great outdoors.

1. Permits

Some outdoor areas, such as parks, gardens and other public areas, require you to obtain a permit before ‘setting up shop’ as it were. It’s really important to read up about the venue before booking suppliers, as this could really impact what you are and aren’t allowed to provide. Setting up a gin and tonic pop-up van in a park for a festival-style event sounds dreamy, until you rock up on the day and are met with an angry ranger telling you there is no alcohol permitted and your event is suddenly in jeopardy. Preparation is key!

Festival tents in the dusk

2. Weather

This is especially important when considering AV requirements. It’s all well and good planning a lit-up wonderland for a fashion show, product launch or Christmas event, but when the heavens open and all your open electrical equipment is at risk – the event could be at risk! Make sure everything is covered and the AV supplier has correctly assessed all potential weather risks and has backup plans for every occasion.

This is also crucial to bear in mind for the attendees too – imagine you’re outside at an event and the weather is unexpectedly hot, cold or rainy, and you suddenly find yourself in need of cover for 200 people. Keeping people happy, whether that be giving them shade, warmth or a dry place to sit/stand is a sure-fire way of making them remember your event – if you have thought about things before they happen, this ensures the event runs seamlessly no matter what Mother Nature throws at you! People like to feel looked after – if they feel like you have provided everything they could possibly need and considered how they experience your event, you are more likely to get good press/reviews, even if it was a washout!

Winter Wonderland light display

3. Coordination

Keeping people happy – have you thought about every eventuality and how you can look after people in all scenarios? How are you going to cook and bring out food? Are you going to provide cutlery? Have you thought about what is going to be the most user-friendly attendee experience? You may want to ‘wow’ them with some fine dining, but if you aren’t providing seating, then maybe you need to think of a more creative alternative to ensure their experience is easy and they don’t have a million things to hold.

Interference – if you are holding an experiential event in a public space, then you also need to consider other distractions/interference that may hinder your event. Traffic, wildlife, external noise etc, all need to be considered and a back up plan put in place. It is also worth mentioning security – if the event is ticketed, you may need to hire staff to ensure you have no unwanted visitors!

Special Requirements – you need to make sure there is suitable access for disabled guests, as well as any other considerations you would usually take for an indoor event.

Fashion show runway

4. Equipment

Things we take for granted in an indoor venue/exhibition hall/conference centre are not available outdoors! Make a comprehensive list of everything you could possibly need, even things you wouldn’t think twice about normally. One thing we find we always need onsite is scissors. You never think you’re going to need scissors until you do, and can’t find any! We recommend packing a fully-stocked stationery box, as well as a first-aid kit – not for your client’s guests as that will be supplied separately, but for your own team!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but will hopefully give you some food for thought if you are looking to plan or are in the process of planning an experiential event outdoors. Outdoor events can be tricky and stressful to plan, but they can also be more fun and exciting and really deliver the ‘wow’ factor that is so important for an amazing experiential event.

One crucial thing to remember is an experiential event is an experience – an immersive adventure that aims to bridge the gap between a brand and its consumers, enhancing selling potential by creating a memorable experience. This being said – make sure people remember your event for all the right reasons! We can’t stress enough how important it is to prepare for every eventuality. As the author Howard Huff once said, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” How topical with this week’s weather!

If you want to hear about how we can help you with any element of your event planning, be it experiential or corporate, outdoors or indoors, please get in touch today!

Dinerama in daylight

May’s top 3 experiential venues

Hello everyone – us again! This week in our live experiential blog series, we are exploring our favourite unique venues for experiential events in London.

There are so many venues in and around London that are great for so many different reasons. Whether it’s an exhibition hall in the Docklands, a warehouse in Shoreditch or a hotel in Mayfair, for us, the venue is up there with the most important elements of a successful event. Of course, different events require different types of spaces. The beauty of experiential events is they can be as weird and wonderful as you like, so the more unique the better! Keep reading for our top 3 venues of the week.

  1. Dinerama

This East London gem is a former truck yard with two levels, rooftop areas (with retractable roof to help with our wonderful English weather!) and multiple different spaces to hire and transform into your own experiential activation!

Capacity: 1,000 pax

Location: Shoreditch

Close to: Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street stations (2 and 6 minutes respectively)

Good for: Brand launches, concept parties, brand installations, summer events, festival-type events, food-based events

Why we like it: We love the fact it’s a former truck yard – there’s something so cool about dressing up and attending an event in a space that was once used for something so completely different.

Shows the capacity of the venue with a crowd of people

  1. The Conservatory, Barbican

If you want to create your event in the jungle but don’t quite have the budget to get you there, then look no further than this tropical dream in the City. Located in the Barbican, this small but versatile venue sells itself – there’s no end to the amazing and unique events you could create here! It’s also a perfect place to come and sit if you’re at a loose end on a Sunday afternoon.

Capacity: 150 standing

Location: City of London

Close to: Barbican and Moorgate stations (6 and 7 minutes respectively)

Good for: Jungle-themed events, interactive events, product launches, intimate brand activations, unique dinner experiences

Why we like it: This jungle paradise is home to over 1,000 tropical plants and fish. The key to a great experiential event is the element of surprise – this beautiful venue will wow your attendees and is sure to leave them with a unique experience they won’t forget in a hurry!

The conservatory by night with coloured lights

  1. Garden Museum

This striking venue is a fully-functional event space while maintaining it’s artistic and historical influences within a converted church, making it an ideal location for a slightly more edgy or creative experiential event.

Capacity: 320 standing

Location: Bankside, opposite Westminster and the Houses of Parliament

Close to: Lambeth North and Vauxhall stations (11 minute and 14 minute walk respectively)

Good for: Fashion shows, car launches, product launches, interactive displays

Why we like it: This venue is really different because it’s a traditional church space mixed with beautiful gardens, giving you a sense of calm while being slap-bang in the middle of London.

Glass box view

We hope this blog has helped if you’re on the search for a unique London venue – we think these three have great potential to host some incredible experiential events!

We’re constantly on the lookout for up-and-coming venues to add to our little black book so, if you have a suggestion, please get in touch! Stay tuned for the next blog in our experiential series, which will be tackling some of the financial elements of creating an experiential event!

Experiential Events – what’s all the hype about?

The events industry is an ever-changing, fast-growing and rapidly-developing industry, full of twists, complete 180° turns and, as we all know, no two days are ever the same. With this in mind, certain industry trends naturally come and go, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what’s ‘fashionable’ in the events world. One such trend is the coveted experiential events of which we are seeing more and more.

But wait, what actually is an experiential event?

According to Ecoconsultancy (2018),  an experiential event “creates a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience”. Basically, an experiential event bridges the gap between client and consumer, and enhances selling potential by creating a memorable experience that is actually going to last in people’s minds. The goal is to make people enjoy themselves and, in turn, reap the rewards this enjoyment brings your business or brand. There are two types of experiential events – B2B and B2C. In this blog, we’ll be focusing on B2C but, no fear – we’ll be covering B2B later on in our LIVE experiential events blog series!

Ok, but why choose an experiential event?

Well, experiential events are great for everyone. Humans, especially in this day and age, love to compete with each other. Now, as clever #eventprofs, we can tap into this integral part of our nature and harness it to our advantage. As an attendee, we want an engaging experience that is memorable and allows us to impress our family/friends/frenemies on Instagram and, in the long run, makes it more likely to encourage us to buy a product or experience that makes our lives easier in some way. Additionally, we are so busy in our day-to-day lives, that if we get the chance to attend an event which is just a little bit different and doesn’t necessarily feel like attending a work event, it will leave a longer-lasting impression on us than a boring event that is the same as every other event we attend on a regular basis.

One (slightly extreme) example that springs to mind is Redbull’s Stratos campaign which, as you all probably remember, saw skydiver Felix Baumgartner set a world record for the highest skydive…  from 128,000 feet. Now, we’re not saying if you drink Redbull you’ll be able to do this too, but doesn’t it tie in perfectly with their tagline of ‘Redbull Gives You Wings’? Not only this, but people felt like they had been part of something truly amazing as they intently watched the whole event. This is a prime example of ingenious experiential marketing that will be remembered for years to come and probably saw their sales, ahem, skyrocket.

Of course, as our clients will attest, the benefits of experiential events are obvious – spending more time and effort putting a little more creativity into the way products are marketed and events are created undoubtedly result in a higher ROI – and this isn’t just limited to the attendees themselves. I have touched upon Instagram but this goes far beyond putting a photo on your personal account and that being the end of the story. The social media phenomenon has drastically changed the face of brand development and ‘spreading the word’. For this reason, even if your amazing experiential event only has 50 attendees, if each of those share their experience on social media platforms, your event is actually reaching 10 times (if not more) the number of actual attendees. It also makes your event more elusive, in turn, increasing demand and, to some extent, also enhances trust in your brand. If a potential customer is there experiencing your product and can see it and try it for themselves, they will hopefully be more encouraged to carry on using it.

One great example is IKEA’s event back in 2011 – in response to a Facebook petition to have a sleepover in IKEA, they decided to allow 100 lucky people to spend the night at their Essex store, complete with manicures and massages. This created huge social media coverage, showed IKEA in a charitable and good-natured light and most likely increased their bed sales!

The way I look at it is twofold – we as humans A) love to have fun, and B) love a freebie. Therefore, the combination of an amazing, unique and fun event, coupled with a fun freebie or something a bit different than the usual swag of water bottles, tote bags and USBs we all seem to hoard after an event, is a winning one and one that is more likely to engage new customers. Ever heard of the saying ‘Happy Customer, Happy Client’? Probably not but, if you’re in professional services like us, you’ll understand what we mean!

To prove our point, take a look at these statistics:

  • 74% of attendees at an experiential event say they are left with a more positive view of a company and its products than before the event (Event Marketing Institute)
  • 70% of attendees become regular customers after a great experiential event (EventTrack).

I don’t know about you, but these stats seem good to me, and really demonstrate the power of an experiential event. For this reason, we think this is one trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Hopefully, this blog has given you a little more insight into experiential events and why they could benefit your brand. I will leave you now with a tiny bit of food for thought – psychologically, we are more likely to remember something that has a semantic connection rather than acoustic or visual connections. To break this down, if something has more understanding and meaning behind it, we are more likely to remember it than if we have just seen or heard it, such as on an advertisement on TV.

So, next time you sit down with your boss or your marketing team, bear in mind that sometimes we need to break down the ‘corporate barrier’ and give people something a little more meaningful and a lot more fun.

If you have any questions or just want to chat more about experiential events and how we could help you, please get in touch!

Day in the Life of an #eventprof … a Project Manager tells all

This month we are entering into the world of one of our wonderful project managers, Claire Riddell. Claire joined us in June last year and has made huge strides in the company, working on corporate and private clients. We asked what a typical day looked like for her in the exciting, yet busy, world of events!

My alarm wakes me up at 6:30am everyday. I like to take 5 minutes to wake up and often find myself thinking about what I need to do to achieve my goals for the day. I have a shower, do my makeup and then leave the house at 7:30am to catch the train. On my way to work I like to catch up on the news, but it’s also a good time to get stuck into a new book or a podcast! At the moment, I’m reading “Everything I know about parties, dates, friends, jobs, life, love” by Dolly Alderton.

Once I get to the office at 8.45am, I catch up on emails while having my breakfast and chat with the girls to see how everyone is. Breakfast is a much-needed coffee and some porridge with fruit, which sets me up for the day. Around 10am, we usually have a team meeting to discuss a pitch for a client or a status update on any upcoming events we are managing. With the telephone constantly ringing and the ever-changing events industry, my day doesn’t always go to plan, but this is what makes no two days the same and keeps me on my toes.

Next, I have several catch-up calls with clients and suppliers, to touch base and update them with progress and details. Other typical tasks include researching and sourcing venues if we have a new brief, managing budgets and nailing down the finer details of an event to ensure our client is the happiest they can be.

I do always try to make time for a decent break at lunchtime. I like to walk into Richmond and grab something healthy – my favourite lunch in this cold weather is a nice warming soup. After lunch, the day always seems to fly by so, to make sure my days are as productive as possible, I spend half an hour at the end of each day planning and writing a ‘to do’ list for the next day.

My job also involves attending networking events once or twice a week, which helps to keep me up to date on event trends and meeting other #eventprofs. Sharing experiences and learning from others is something which I value very highly, and it’s also a good excuse for a drink or two! If I’m not going to a networking event or meeting up with friends, I often spend my evening keeping myself fit – a spin class is a favourite. After the gym it’s time to wind down by watching a documentary with my flatmate, making some dinner (salmon and roasted veg – yum!) and enjoying a glass of red wine.

Working at Sleek Events has been amazing so far – the people, the office and the clients really make it such an exciting and rewarding way to spend my days. No two days are ever the same in the world of events, which is something I really enjoy and keeps me on the look-out for the next challenge!

Sleek team

Recruiting for 3 new roles… join our team!

We’re looking for 3 new fantastic people at Sleek Events. Fancy joining our #DreamTeam? Take a look at these 3 jobs by clicking on the job roles below:

  1. Project & Sponsorship Executive Job Description
  2. Senior Project Manager Job Description
  3. Placement Job Description

woman laughing in office

More information about us…

Company Overview
Sleek Events is based in Richmond. We work with companies and agencies looking to outsource their event planning and organisation to an experienced partner. We also work with individuals needing support to organise something special for a loved one, anniversary or other celebration.

From exclusive private parties to globally-recognised exhibitions and conferences, we can handlethe entire process for our clients, both in the UK and overseas.

Sleek Vision
Sleek are the most responsive and creative boutique events agency in London. We never say “no”, we say “how?”. Our friendly events professionals are passionate about every job regardless how large and small and set out on a mission to ensure they are successful and memorable.

The Way We Work
We are one big dream team here at Sleek Events. We pride ourselves on a culture made up of:
● Mutual respect
● Loyalty
● Authenticity
● Unity
● Fun
● Creativity
● Personable

We also have a rule at Sleek Events: if you put in 100% during work hours, you must 100% chill out on your days off.

 

The habits that’ll make 2018 run smoothly for event profs

Jennifer Davidson, founder & MD of Sleek Events, tells us how event professionals can win in 2018 by forming positive habits. This article was recently published in Conference & Incentive Travel magazine.

Have you broken your new year’s resolutions already? Have you already lost that buzz for life just a few weeks into the year you planned to be your best yet? I’ve spent the last couple of years ensuring my team at Sleek Events enjoy a wellbeing at work which can often evade people working in our busy industry.

The early bird…

Start as you mean to go on because we all know we can easily be distracted by emails and phone calls throughout the day. I read Hal Elrod’s book ‘The miracle morning’ which focuses on ‘Live S.A.V.E.R.S’ that will transform your life all before 8am. Things like committing to make your bed each morning or starting your day with a short yoga routine all contribute to creating positive habits which put you in an organised, productive frame of mind before you even reach your workplace. I really recommend you read the book and not only carry out the ‘Life S.A.V.E.R.S’ but also add a few of your own habits you have been meaning to start. Even on a morning when you have a lie in, you’ll find you’ll want to keep to your habits but maybe before 10am!

What are my morning habits? As well as Hal’s Life S.A.V.E.R.S – silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading and scribing – I have also added a couple of my own – gratitude and dreams. All-in-all they can take as little as 8 minutes to complete if you choose yoga as your exercise but I often extend that to around 20 minutes with something a bit more high tempo. Taking 5 minutes to sit in silence, clearing my thoughts, I then move on to reciting some affirmations which could be about my personal life or work goals. Finally, I visualise those goals as complete, consider who I have to thank and what further dreams I might have. I then take 15 minutes to get my body moving and my blood pumping, often choosing a HIIT workout from Kayla Itsines. Now is a great time to cool off and read a chapter of the latest book on my hitlist ‘Work Smarter: Live Better’ by Cyril Peupion for professional development which sets my mind into work mode. I’ll often implement what I’ve read if the opportunity arises during the day ahead.

Sharing good habits

My team at work have a wide range of habits to fit their own goals and personalities. Wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit are all just as important as each other and, I think, even more important in such a stressful career as an event professional. A survey in the USA put event coordinators as having the 5th most stressful job after the military, firefighters, pilots and police officers! The list, by US recruitment site CareerCast, states that whilst those working in our industry aren’t at risk of death or physical injury, they must adhere to strict deadlines and pressures to perform which go beyond even those in top corporate positions.

I’ve not been able to find the same survey in the UK but I’m happy to put my reputation on the line and say that I doubt our results would be too dissimilar here – I think most people who go into a career in events are motivated to deliver and, usually, exceed expectations. My team here certainly strives for exceptional experiences for our clients.

Forming habits

I love exercise and I know that in the first two weeks of January, my gym will be crammed with new members but they soon disappear because they haven’t gone about forming the good habit of attending the gym in the right way. They key to making something a part of your routine is to start small. If these new gym members had committed to just 30 minutes of exercise twice a week instead of an hour every day, they may have managed to make it fit into their lifestyle – and then slowly worked up to more. You’ll notice my 8 habits before 8am tie in nicely with each other and they work for me – but I appreciate spiritual affirmations aren’t everyone’s cup of tea so do what works for you!

As you experience the results of the small habits you start, you’ll be motivated to do more – essentially, your willpower grows with positive endorsement. And why did I introduce my team to the idea of forming good habits? Well there are two reasons. I knew it would improve their wellbeing, creating a happy and more effective workforce (my dream team) but it’s also much easier to stick to your good habits if you surround yourself with people doing the same!

And the results? My team are achieving great things in both their personal and work lives and, importantly to my business, resulting in 100% staff retention where the average for agencies in general is 85%. Sleek Events has grown to £3million turnover in two years with a team of 6 who are a pleasure to work with.

I’ve always said that if you have to go to work every day, why not do something you love with clients who appreciate you. Wellbeing is a large part of that and forming good habits impacts greatly on your wellbeing. Are you ready to make a lifestyle change which will improve your life forever? You’re the most important person on your to do list so make sure you put yourself first.

Stressed lady

The top 5 most stressful things in events and how to combat them

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of organising your mum’s 60th birthday party or your best mate’s hen do, you’ll know that event management comes a close second to the stress of moving home or shopping on Christmas Eve.

We’ve compiled our top 5 most stressful things when it comes to events and how you can deal with them and sometimes completely avoid them altogether.

1) Shoe-string budget

We would all love a luxury lifestyle on pocket change but let’s go back to the real world. If you’ve got a shoe-string budget then you’re going to need to set expectations and plan your event in minute detail. You’ll need to spend a lot of time researching best deals and negotiate every item on your plan.

At Sleek Events, we’re lucky to benefit from bulk-buying discounts and preferred-client prices. Using an agency will come with a management fee but the savings you make elsewhere could make the fee pay for itself several times over.

2) Setting a date

People have such busy lives, one of the most challenging elements of an event project is getting agreement on the date. Your best bet is to set a date as early as possible and come to terms with the fact that not everyone will be able to attend.

We recommend sending regular event reminders including a physical “save the date” promotional item to ensure a good level of attendance.

3) Changing minds

When someone has an idea for an event and you know that they love the idea but their guests won’t, it can be a tricky conversation. Conducting research to back up the popularity of other options is a sure-fire way of convincing someone to reconsider – how great would it be to throw the event of the year?

Events usually have a desired outcome, more than just an objective to hold the event itself – generate enquiries for a product or become the favourite granddaughter. If you can prove your ideas will address these goals, you can influence change.

4) Last-minute requests

Whether the whole event is late in its inception or just one part of an event is changed at the eleventh hour, accommodating last-minute changes can throw you off balance. You can be the most organised person on the planet and the ideal choice to manage an event but there are plenty of people who are not!

If you take on an event, you need to be a ‘yes’ person with a little black book full of useful contacts to make things happen.

5) Supplier slip-ups

Ever got to the point where you think everything is on track and then something goes wrong and it’s completely out of your control? Technical issues are a common bug bear when one wire is plugged into the wrong socket or the electricity is cut off to fix something down the road.

At Sleek Events, we have spent the last few years assembling a core team of dependable suppliers. From lighting and sound specialists to freelance hostesses, our team are loyal to us because we are loyal to them. And in our time as event professionals, we’ve faced many situations which our suppliers have stepped up to provide a sensible alternative such as a vegan cupcake or a power generator!

Our top stressbusters

During an event project, our “must have” list will save you:

  • Spend at least 15 minutes a day exercising – your mind may be exhausted but if your body isn’t tired then you may find it difficult to…
  • Get a full night’s sleep, every night
  • Keep a note pad and pen handy at all times – once you’ve written something down, your mind will be clear to concentrate on the most immediate need
  • Download a calming app – the sound of waves on a beach or birds in the countryside – whatever will create a calming oasis for a timeout. We like Headspace for meditation made simple.
  • Make sure you have a friend on speed dial to vent your frustrations – and ideally, they will be someone who can offer suggestions to help
  • Don’t let an event overtake your personal downtime – if events isn’t your full-time job, use a local coffee shop as an office space and keep home for home life.
guest wellbeing

Chocolate brownie versus fruit salad – guest wellbeing

Healthy options versus event success OR Chocolate brownie versus fruit salad

Can you still put on a memorable event (memorable for the right reasons) and cater to the needs of the health conscious amongst your guests? With the fast-increasing importance of wellbeing, fitness and nutrition, we might instead ask the question, will your event be successful without catering for your health-conscious guests?

As the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) publishes its report on trends in nutrition and delegate wellbeing, we decided to share our experience and advice not only on how to satiate the needs of your corporate event delegates but also for your private party guests too. Here are some of the questions we most often receive from our clients during event planning stage.

Is healthy food more expensive?

Prepared healthy meals and organic produce are generally costly when purchasing from the supermarket but, when bulk bought and prepared from scratch by professional caterers, prices for healthy option menus come in at the same price as any other regular menu. Ask your event manager what menus are available from your shortlist of venues or caterers.

Can one menu cater for all guests?

Whether it’s for ease during a short lunchtime break or for budgeting purposes, some clients consider a single menu to cater for all guests. We recently catered an event with a totally vegetarian menu and even the most committed carnivores amongst the guests were raving about the lunch because of the thoughtful, tasty recipes including well-balanced spices. You don’t need to be afraid of single menus when you have talented chefs behind them.

What actually constitutes healthy food?

This completely depends on the nutritional plan your guests are following. We always recommend our clients ask well in advance. For instance, gluten-free food is necessary for people with intolerances but is rarely lower in sugar or calories that its gluten-packed alternative. So, keep an open mind, a record of dietary requirements and share them as soon as possible with your event manager.

What non-alcoholic drinks can we serve?

Many clients worry that the non-alcoholic drink options are boring for their guests. They are often choosing not to drink because they are the designated driver or have other responsibilities after the event, but that’s another reason why they deserve an imaginative beverage!

We like Time Out’s recent top of the mocks – mocktail that is – The Temperance from Behind This Wall in Hackney. Your gut will thank you for this one as it contains a sour kombucha base mixed with fennel seed, pomegranate molasses and cardamom tonic – great for digestion!

Interested in the nutrition and wellbeing of your guests? Contact our team at Sleek HQ where we have our fair share of vegetarians and meat eaters, tea-totallers and champagne coiffeurs!