The Signature Process That Transforms Your Event Planning (Part 2)
Welcome to Part 2 of our “How We Work” series! (Catch Part 1 here.) We’re pulling back the curtain to show you the systems we use to create strategy driven events for our clients. At Kennedy Events, we plan corporate events for clients in San Francisco, New York City, and beyond. Our clients—hosting events like conferences, product launches, and off-sites—hire us to handle the logistics. For every client, we use our tried-and-true process for creating events that meet our client’s biggest goals. Part 1 covered steps 1-4 of that process, and this post takes us from day-to-day details all the way through celebrating! Let’s dive in.
Step 5—Day-to-Day Event Planning: Organize + Delegate
The middle stage of the event planning process is where you’ll find our team continuing to work on event details both large and small. This step is otherwise known as the land of 1,000,001 details (including your physical stage design), but you won’t be getting that many emails from us. We promise!
We realize that while we’re planning your event, you’re still busy with your own day-to-day and we don’t want to flood your inbox with pesky details. That’s why we strive to keep our interactions limited to weekly calls. Of course, you’re always welcome to reach out to us! Our goal is to keep communication from our team contained so that you don’t have to answer an email from us about details like “teal tablecloths or blue tablecloths?” Instead, you can concentrate on building your audience, securing your keynote speaker, or landing the biggest sponsor yet.
Your event planning timeline will determine the length of this phase. It may be a few short months or it may be the better part of a year for bigger events. You’ll continue to receive regular updates on progress and budget as we continue to finalize details with your vendors.
Step 6—Production: Crunch Time
As we get closer to your event, we get deep into the minutiae of what will happen on the day of your event, especially as it involves other parties like attendees, speakers, and sponsors.
We’ll set up speakers for success by giving them our tried and true event training. To help them be successful on stage, we’ll nail down details like timing when they should walk, the cue-to-cue steps, and granular details like how many chairs we’ll need on stage and in what order they should walk on stage. (We don’t like to leave anything to chance!)
We’ll also begin producing the on-site timeline. This will include even the tiniest of details for everything from load-in to lock-up. This timeline can be six pages long for a single day! As one of our clients said so well, the secret to a successful company is clean spreadsheets. We couldn’t agree more!
Step 7—Event Week: Bring It All Together
Here we go! The long-awaited day is finally here, and we love the thrill of live events. In the last few weeks leading up to your event, we’ll have a daily 15-minute call during which we’ll cover anything we need in just a few minutes of intense focus. This saves your inbox from filling up, and our clients always tell us how much they love this daily check-in.
The day of (or sometimes even the day before your event) we’ll oversee every element of production from set up to load-in. Sometimes load-in can take just a single day; other times, like when we planned an event on Treasure Island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, it can take five days! No matter how long it takes, we’ll be there for every minute of it. As an extension of your team, we’re executing on the vision that we’ve all developed since day one.
Step 8—Analyze + Report: That’s a Wrap!
The event is done, but before we can tie a bow around this event and call it finished, we still have a bit of work to do: measuring the event’s success. To do this, we’ll refer back to our early meetings where you told us your goals, and we use that information to collect and analyze the event data.
This information will help all of us plan accordingly for next year while making the most of your budget and schedule. For example, was the keynote standing room only while the workshops were only half full? Was there nearly 100% attendance at lunch, but breakfast had far too many leftovers? We’ll make note of these metrics so that next year’s event is even more budget efficient.
Critically, we’ll give you information that will help you better target your content to your market. Events are a great opportunity to learn about your audience, and we’ll compile that so you have it all handy. We use surveys, registration data, and session attendance information to help inform your content marketing.
Sponsors are a key element to any successful corporate event, so we make sure that we are fulfilling our end of the agreement by providing your sponsors with information on attendees who showed up to their sponsored sessions. We use both sophisticated and manual technologies (like badge scanners and headcounts) to make sure that we’re getting accurate information on attendance numbers.
Finally, our last planning step is to have a team-wide debrief meeting. We won’t share all the ingredients in our debrief meeting secret sauce, but we do love to ask, “What surprised you?” The answers are always fascinating!
Step 9—Celebrate: WE DID IT!
We made it! At long last, it’s time to pop the bubbly and celebrate. Delighting clients is one of our favorite parts of the job, and this step is a great opportunity to show our clients how much we loved working with them.
Looking for a more condensed version of “How We Work” at Kennedy Events? You’re in luck. We’ve also shared our process on our website here and made it available as a PDF downloadable too!
Are You Next?
Are you planning a corporate event in 2019 or 2020 and want it to be a smashing success? We’d love to hear about your vision and goals. Send us a note and we’ll be in touch right away!
Maggie Kennedy is the co-owner of Kennedy Events; a large-scale event management company based in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. Our team creates stress-free conferences and events with a positive impact, which allow our clients to resonate with their audience. Kennedy Events specializes in producing flawless product launches, award ceremonies, fundraisers and multi-day conferences while keeping our eye on retention and engagement goals